October 2020 Newsletter
The Five Components of Change
We see changed lives in the counseling office, but there is another part of our organization that plays a crucial role in bringing significant transformation called Trips to Enrich. In reflecting on the components that bring about change, we identified five things: sequestered setting, hospitality, worship, experiential learning, and content. Each one of these components benefit the people Battlefield helps.
People have a need to get away from their normal routine into a sequestered setting. Jesus Himself sets the example of stepping away from the crowds into an isolated place. At home our lives are filled with worries and distractions that may hinder us from communing with God as well as practicing self-care. Especially when we are experiencing a crisis, or are stuck in a rut, it can be helpful to get some time in a set-apart location. A periodic “reset” can enable us to return to our routine refreshed and equipped to better deal with everyday life.
Read more from The Five Components of Change
An essential element of that sequestered setting is hospitality. As Christians, we, on a daily basis, battle the enemy and the evil he inflicts on the world. We are wearied by the attacks that hound us. When we receive a warm welcome in a safe place it sets the stage to receive the rest, truth, and wisdom we need. When the sequestered place involves a kind greeting, a comfortable place to sit, and tasty food served, our bodies relax and our minds begin to slow to a calmer state.
Worshiping the Lord is a critical part of bringing about change in our lives. After we undergo the internal changes that the sequestered setting and hospitality have worked in us, we are more ready to engage in worship. From the more peaceful and content place in which we find ourselves, we set our attention and intention on the Lord. When we sing songs of praise and offer words of gratitude to the Lord, our hearts are joining with the One Who created us and Who draws us with lovingkindness. It is important to the process of restoration to engage in worship, to pour out from the fullness of our grateful hearts, to give back to God through our worship.
Learning by doing can be a significant catalyst for change. This is why experiential learning is woven into Battlefield events. Experiencing something new, whether that is going on a picnic, doing an art project, paddling a kayak or climbing a mountain, is a great opportunity to learn crucial life skills. Engaging in a new activity, then processing that activity, gives us a chance to look at, think about, and talk through things in a whole new way. We can learn how to overcome fear, express discomfort, relate to other people, and much more when we are in a new setting and doing things we are unfamiliar with. Although all the components of change are regularly utilized in Battlefield events, Experiential Learning is highlighted in the Trips to Enrich branch of the ministry.
All components of change mentioned above set the stage for receiving truth according to the present need. Being warmly received in a sequestered place generates the mental energy to be able to hear and think about making changes in our perspective about our life and the challenges it brings. The acts of worshiping the Lord and experiencing something new awakens areas of our soul that may have been sleeping, covered-up, or lifeless. Once ignited, our hearts and minds are prepared to hear and consider the teaching offered.
We need the tender care of the Gentle Shepherd, the comfort of the Holy Spirit, and the lovingkindness of God the Father which draws us to Himself. Here, we are in position to receive the truth of His great love for us and can choose to allow it to pour over and into our weary souls. We need tools to wisely navigate our own heart and our relationships. Doing these two things well sets us up to be more effective in the work God has called us to do.
The Five Components of Change in Many Areas
Finding a sequestered setting with hospitality and participating in worship and experiential learning to prepare the heart for getting deeper understanding of self, others, and God are things we incorporate into many areas of Battlefield Ministries. As individuals, we can also seek out these things in our lives. When choosing time away with your spouse, family, or for self-care, consider intentionally weaving these components of change into that time.
Trips to Enrich-Did You Know?
Through what we call Trips to Enrich, Battlefield Ministries hopes to offer attainable experiences that include all Five Components of Change. We value adventure through whichever activity you choose and offer expertise and safety in order that you might attend and benefit from time with your family, friends, small group, or co-workers outside of your normal context with them.
Different activities represent different levels of adventure for everyone and is based on the specific needs and desires of the given group. We set up activities aiming at the two important factors of Experiential Learning; having a new experience and learning something new about yourself and those around you.
Read more about Trips to Enrich and the Five Components of Change
Very seldom do these meaningful experiences fall into our laps. Making room in your calendar and provision in your life to be sequestered for intentional time, whether for a couple of hours or an overnight trip, is a way to set yourself up for the growth and meaningful interactions we all long for.
Worship, prayer, the application of Scripture, and engaging in meaningful conversation bring the richness of life our hearts and souls deeply crave. Slowing things down in the midst of a fun, exciting adventure in order to connect spiritually with God and others is vitally important. Our hearts are absolutely required for this life and we must make provision for all hearts to be present in our most important interactions.
Providing hospitality is the opportunity to bless everyone present in a way that is unique to them. From favorite campfire treats to special treasures as we explore the area, everyone has something that makes them feel at home away from home. The goals of hospitality are for everyone to feel welcome, safe, and cared for.
Chances are, we each have a component that really draws us in; adventure, hospitality, getting away, or connecting with God in worship and in truth. All of these things in combination are powerful, and when all Five Components of Change are present, each component serves as a doorway to the others. When you experience all of them together, a fun day of rock-climbing becomes a Trip to Enrich.
Celebrate What God is Doing
The last few newsletters have featured some of our counselors and the work that God is doing through them. Battlefield Ministries also has gifted staff members who function in a variety of roles. It is our pleasure to share what God is doing through them.
ADAM & SAMANTHA (SAM) NASH
Sam and Adam fill strategic and nurturing roles at Battlefield Ministries. Sam joined the Battlefield team in 2007 as the office manager and Adam in 2014 as a life coach and quickly stepped into the roles of developing and stewarding the Battlefield culture. Over the years this couple has brought a sense of peace, safety, and integrity to the team. Much of the nuts-and-bolts required in order for Battlefield to run smoothly is done by this incredible and faithful couple.
Read more about Sam and Adam
Battlefield’s founders, Nathan and Jane Phillips, have enjoyed a long, deep, and rich friendship with Sam and Adam. Having administrative skills, Sam began helping Jane with the administration of women’s events long ago. When Battlefield found itself without an office manager, Sam approached them about filling that role. Knowing the Phillips well, it was a great fit. In the early years of Battlefield, Nathan and Jane were the “chief cooks and bottle washers.” When Sam joined them she had a passion for the behind-the-scenes work, telling Nathan, “I want to do everything that I can do to free you up to do what only you can do.”
Sam is now the Executive Assistant to the CEO. She truly does free Nathan and Jane up to do what God has uniquely gifted them to do. As a result, the Phillips get to do more because she is taking things off their plate. They describe Sam as being glue-like for Battlefield. Any organization requires those who manage the finances, the calendar, staff, etc. Battlefield is no different. Her investment in Battlefield equips all the counselors to be freed up to more fully walk in their calling to care for the Body of Christ. Sam lovingly brings order and structure to all that is needful for clients and staff alike. All of us under her care feel heard, attended to, and supported.
Read more about Samantha
In the early years of Battlefield’s international work, Adam was working full-time at WinShape, an organization which, among many other things, had a heart for missionary care, and began to partner with Battlefield to provide it. Both Sam and Adam play a crucial role in carrying out Battlefield’s international work. Much of the practical needs, logistics, and hospitality of an event, such as making sure the schedules are lined up, airline tickets are booked, and food is provided for all those involved, is anticipated and taken care of by our Sam and Adam.
Adam initially came on board with Battlefield as a Life Coach. As he has walked that out with individuals as well as with the ministry team, he has added to his life coaching what we now affectionately refer to as The Steward of Battlefield. He gives substance to what the Lord has entrusted to all of us. Adam does a great job of capturing what happens here at Battlefield, attending to it, and nurturing growth. Having a background in horticulture, it is fitting that Adam fosters this growth. He has a keen sense of “listening to the yard” as he appreciably recognizes all the working parts of the ministry that the Lord has allowed us to cultivate over time. Adam has a heart to help people walk out the fullness of what God has deposited in them. Specifically, he has played an active role in helping those of us at Battlefield find fruition and tangibility to dreams and outcroppings of what God has uniquely given to each of us.
Read more about Adam
It is fun to note that Adam and Sam were the first couple to receive premarital counseling from Nathan and Jane through Battlefield in 1996. Adam and Sam benefited from the solid, biblical counsel they received over 20 years ago. In fact, they found the counsel so helpful that they began to share what they learned with all the couples in their small groups. They were surprised how many people had not received help of this sort early in their marriages. They now offer premarital coaching and foster a culture of seeking wisdom through counseling among their friends and family as well.
The principles just work.
And relationships thrive.
To be sure, when Sam and Adam are involved with any Battlefield activity, it works better. Tasks which some may consider menial, these two faithful servants recognize as calling and gifting and readily put their hands to work. They are helping Battlefield’s clients by holding up the counselors who are working in the trenches… fighting for families.
Premarital Counseling- Did You Know?
Battlefield Ministries offers a solid foundation of communication and connection in preparation for a lifelong marriage. While you are planning and focusing attention on your wedding day, we will be helping you build your marriage.
A few general topics over four, two-hour sessions leading up to the wedding will be covered. In addition to our four session framework we offer Prepare Enrich. We highly recommend four follow-up sessions after the wedding at one, three, six, and twelve months into the first year of marriage.
If you are entering into re-marriage we recommend that you consider a fifth session and you may be paired with a therapist who can help you navigate the challenges of blended families.
Sarah Freeman fills a special role at Battlefield Ministries, Inc. serving both in a counseling capacity, and as an experiential learning facilitator and adventure guide. In the counseling office, Sarah does an amazing job shepherding the hearts of teenagers and guiding families through tough family dynamics. Sarah’s passion lies with experiential counseling: “Getting what’s in the office out of the office.”
Read more about Sarah Freeman
Sarah has been helping with Battlefield’s Trips to Enrich long before officially joining our team in 2017. Sarah received her Bachelor of Arts from Berry College in 2005. For many years she worked in the outdoors as an experiential facilitator and guide, and it was through this work that Sarah began to be drawn towards what was happening in individuals below the surface, in the heart. This drawing eventually led her towards the field of counseling. Sarah made the decision to respond to that call in 2012 and attended Richmont Graduate University where she acquired her Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy degree in 2018. Sarah joined the Battlefield counseling team during internship and continues offering counseling to teenagers, young women, and families.
Sarah helps people recognize their unique worth and specific gifts in order that they may walk in the freedom and truth of who God created them to be. She contributes a great deal to our counseling team. Many of our counselors request Sarah to help as a co-therapist in family counseling. Much of her approach involves helping her clients identify how they are wired, understand what is going on in their hearts, and discover how to make provision for that to show up. She also spends time going toward and strengthening the family relationships. Sarah helps parents learn what it looks like to make space for their teenager as the teen navigates the journey of discovering how God has knit him or her together and how to give this a voice.
Sarah has been working with youth for more than 20 years. Having an extensive background in working in the great outdoors, Sarah is at the heart of many of our Trips to Enrich. It has been an honor for us to see Sarah using her gifts of facilitating meaningful conversation through art therapy, on canoeing trips, rock-climbing adventures, and family outings. She counts it an incredible privilege to experience how the outdoors impacts both adults and youth: in the way adults connect to that childlike part of themselves through being outside and participating in any level of adventure; or in witnessing the settling that occurs in youth when they are outdoors and away from technology; or in the genuine wonder and appreciation of beauty that shows up in adults and youth alike. We all get to experience, discover, and enjoy the beauty of creation in nature. When a family gets to do this together, it opens the opportunity for different kinds of conversations. On a Trip to Enrich, many families feel empowered, experience caring for one another, or have an opportunity to use newly acquired tools as they practice working through tension that may arise. It’s a beautiful thing to witness a family go toward tension in such a way that they land in a better, more connected place than they were before the tension arose. This… is a trip of enrichment.
Sarah has a heart to minister to people around the world, and has served multiple times as a valuable member of the ministry team when a Battlefield event is called for internationally. During these events, in addition to playing an important role with experiential learning, Sarah has offered a ready hand of hospitality to participants, presented Battlefield tools and culture (and how to incorporate these into one’s daily life), and facilitated therapeutic experiences using art. In fact, the incorporation of art into therapy is another one of Sarah’s trademarks (in addition to the outdoors). Sarah understands that while some people are good at using their words to communicate, others may not be as skilled or have as many words at their disposal. Believing that the size of the vocabulary does not indicate the size of the heart or volume of emotions to be expressed, Sarah incorporates the use of art and creativity to help someone find an outlet for what is going on inside them: their wordless place.
Sarah also works as an experiential guide outside of Battlefield with organizations such as Higher Ground and Cumberland Wilderness Retreat (CWR). Higher Ground is a Rome-based outdoor ministry whose mission is to transform lives by providing adventure-based experiences that honor Jesus Christ. Sarah has worked with Higher Ground as a facilitator and guide for several years now. The mission of CWR is to glorify God through the revealing of truth, empowerment of the family, and discovery of purpose. Sarah has served with CWR through plugging into their annual Family Camp weekend, as well as through facilitating adventurous experiences during other retreat weekends. Both organizations benefit from Sarah’s expertise and her heart to minister to families.
How privileged we are to have one with such a broad reach who so beautifully serves the Body of Christ with diverse and developed skills in our ministry, community, and world.
Read more about Sarah
Remembering Founding Memember and Loyal Supporter
Leroy Jackson 11/10/1946 – 03/18/2020
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 (KJV)
In 1985 Nathan and Jane met Leroy and Dianne Jackson and began ministering alongside them in Villa Rica, Georgia. The Jacksons quickly became a part of their “wisdom of many counsels” mentioned in Proverbs 11:14. In 1995 the four of them met for breakfast at Shoney’s in Carrollton, Georgia for the purpose of “getting coffee and a hug” after 3 years of Nathan and Jane serving overseas without contact with these dear friends. (The internet had not been invented yet). During that God-anointed time around the table, Leroy teared up and stated in a husky voice with solid conviction, “We’re supposed to be behind you on this thing.” To which Nathan and Jane responded, “Uhhh…What thing?!”
What Nathan and Jane had shared that day was their concerned observation that since leaving the States just three short years ago, several of their significant couples who were in Christian leadership then, were now divorced and some already remarried.
Read more about Leroy Jackson
Impacted by the strength of God’s movement in Leroy, Nathan and Jane climbed back into the car with their two boys and continued on with the “next thing,” and only thing, the Lord had given them: the journey of sharing coffee or a meal with supporters up and down the east coast that had made their stint as dorm parents in Zaire, Africa possible.
While driving, Nathan and Jane were talking with God and each other. Jane got quiet and asked the Lord, “What is this? These Christian couples who faithfully sit on the church pew every Sunday and lead Your people: They are missing each other.” And God answered with a vision. Jane “saw” a battlefield; the ground littered with wounded soldiers. She also saw two soldiers kneeling down beside two of their fallen comrades. Each of the two kneeling down had an armband; red with a white cross. And God said, “That is you two, because it is My soldiers who are getting taken out.” Ever since that drive in the mountains outside Asheville, NC, Nathan and Jane have been coming alongside believers whom the enemy is attempting to take out.
Leroy knew that God was leading him to support and come alongside the ministry by way of financial means, but he and Dianne also were a source of emotional, mental, and spiritual support. He and Dianne were a source of encouragement and faithfully supported Battlefield Ministries from its founding to this day. Leroy would tell anyone that the most fulfilling work he ever did was being a supporter of Battlefield. For the first 10 years of our presence in Rome, Leroy met with either them or Nathan to go over the Profit & Loss reports and pray over the provision for and the current needs of the work. Leroy fathered Nathan in this way so much that for 25 years he called him on Father’s Day to thank him for the significant influence in their lives and in the life and well-being of what began as a prompt… which turned into a non-profit organization… that we now refer to as Battlefield Ministries. He and Dianne have made a continuous priceless investment in many… who will never be the same as a result.
Leroy was a former Coosa High School Eagle, both as a football player and as Head Coach and Athletic Director from 1973 to l978, who then ventured into business. He fully understood all that this well-loved Bible verse, Isaiah 40:31, embodies. He drew strength and power from the freedom that the resurrection of Christ granted him as a believer. Although not always a patient man, Leroy did comprehend the importance of waiting upon the direction of his God. He fearlessly sought to win others to Christ and knew that the courage to do so came only from the Holy Spirit within him. He always acknowledged that all he accomplished was due to God’s grace… and his earthly accomplishments were many.
Allow us to Inform Your Prayers
OPPORTUNITY TO JOIN US IN MINISTRY
We have the opportunity to see hearts healed, lives transformed, and families made stronger as we meet with those going through their toughest seasons; and we marvel at all God has made provision for in those moments. Like the rescue climber who works his way up the rock face to bring hope and safety to one who dangles from the cliff, we would not be able to rescue them alone. There must be someone in the harness holding the rope on the ground. Many families do not have the resources for the help they desperately need. Every year we see God use the small gifts from donors multiply in exponential returns, much like the fishes and loaves Jesus used to feed the five thousand. God works through the body of Christ to help Battlefield fight for families.
We know that planning ahead often goes hand in hand with financial provision, even as we pray and trust the Lord for guidance. As we enter the financial fourth quarter, we would like to inform you of an opportunity to give. Will you consider an end-of-the-year donation to our ministry? God is our source, but we know that He works through people like you.
There was a time when Battlefield Ministries was Nathan and Jane Phillips, their boys, a handful of supporters, and an answering machine. When the desperate pleas for help on the answering machine outpaced the resources available, the Phillips removed themselves from the phonebook (it’s like a community wide contact list in a paperback book)! Times have changed and not just with technology. The Lord has brought more counselors to Battlefield Ministries and the time has come to give voice to the needs of those hurting and the means of meeting those needs present at Battlefield. Will you prayerfully consider becoming an advocate for those with financial need who need counseling?
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