THE PATHWAY TO INTIMACY
Amidst the crisis that the world is experiencing with COVID-19, we at Battlefield Ministries know that many of the relationship challenges people normally experience are still present.
Being quarantined at home, many of us may be physically closer to our families but find ourselves feeling relationally disconnected. We have hopes for some form of intimacy; feeling close, connected, like-minded, or communicating well, but how do we obtain the intimacy we want? When we sense distance in our meaningful relationships and desire to be closer, what do we do? Why is it we can’t find intimacy when we all seem to desire it in one form or another? The more we aim at it the more elusive it seems. It simply can’t be forced.
So, how do we get intimacy? First, it is helpful to know that intimacy is a by-product of something else. The “something else” is openness. When we are open, we tend to enjoy more intimacy. However, we run into a similar frustration with openness in that it, too, cannot be forced. You know this if you have ever tried to force someone to open up. The good news is that openness is also a by-product of something else. That something else is safety. In short, feeling safe leads to being open, which leads to Intimacy in our relationships. The pathway looks like this:
Safety > Openness > Intimacy
When you are feeling disconnected, and helpless to do anything about it, you can always do something to make the environment more safe. What makes you feel safe? What makes your spouse feel safe? Do you know? These are great questions to be curious about as they can get you on the path to the connection you are hoping for. People all over the world are dealing with this dynamic right now. When can I hug my loved ones again? When will (fill in the blank) open back up? The answer is; when we all feel safe again.
CELEBRATE THE WAYS GOD PROVIDES FOR BATTLEFIELD MINISTRIES
At Battlefield Ministries, we are constantly reminded of the amazing way the LORD provides for us. In this season of uncertainty, we want to welcome you to celebrate that provision with us.
PROVISION FOR THE COUNSELING OFFICE
We rejoice that we have been able to stay open and continue to offer virtual counseling to our people. Battlefield’s phones are continuing to ring and we are continuing to appreciate that people in our community are trusting us to care for the significant matters of their hearts. We are thankful that our counselors had already been certified to offer TeleMental Health services and we had the platform in place to offer virtual counseling sessions. Because of this, Battlefield Ministries was able to adapt our office procedures to fully operate online in a timely manner.
PROVISION FOR INTERNATIONAL MISSIONARY CARE
In February Andy Phillips, Sarah Freeman, and Chris and Angie Wheelus along with their daughter Diana traveled to Zimbabwe, Africa to come alongside one of our ministry partners, Lasting Impressions, who had invited Battlefield to facilitate a marriage retreat for them. Besides leading worship together, the team led a half-day workshop on lay counseling skills for people in ministry. In addition, they had the opportunity to sow into the Lasting Impressions staff through leading experiential learning initiatives and offering training in lay counseling skills.
As always, it is our joy to see how God is using Battlefield Ministries around the globe to touch the lives of people who have a heart for serving those around them, making an eternal difference and lasting impressions of God’s great love for them. We thank God that as our team was traveling in the midst of governments establishing precautions for COVID-19 and issuing travel bans, all returned safely home to the US.
CHALLENGES WITH THE COVID-19 CRISIS
PEOPLE HAVE LESS INCOME TO PAY FOR COUNSELING
We anticipate a wave of people needing counseling who cannot afford it due to unemployment or reduced pay. Many of our current clients and new clients are experiencing increased depression and anxiety due to isolation in COVID-19, fear, and relationship issues. These people receive help at BFM through the sliding-fee scale which is based on their ability to pay. This income-based fee is funded by donor support. Without donor support we are not able to pay our counselors at the fair market rate that their licensing and expertise deserve.
DID YOU KNOW?
Battlefield Ministries’ sliding-fee scale is funded by donor support. Your support makes it possible for us to provide counseling at a reduced rate for clients with financial hardship. THANK YOU!
PAY HAS BEEN REDUCED
Like the rest of the world, we have experienced the effects of COVID-19: It has affected every aspect of the economy as well as access to care. We find ourselves in the remarkably familiar place of trusting God’s provision on all counts. He is faithful.
While we celebrate that we have been able to pay the bills, many of our clients have attended fewer sessions, which has significantly impacted our counselors’ income. This raises our concern for both the client and the counselor. The one is still in need of care but is either stretched too thin financially to continue meeting or is too uncomfortable with meeting through a computer screen. As one might expect, a client’s waiting tends to worsen the emotional strain they were tending to when everything shut down.
With plans to implement social distancing standards and adherence to necessary hygiene measures, we are praying for God’s timing regarding when to open the office and depending on Him to make financial provision for all parties involved.
WE NEED LARGER OFFICE SPACE
Before COVID-19 we were considering the fact that we have outgrown our office space. We have had to ask counselors to adjust their schedules to match the office space available. We do not have enough offices for all counselors to meet with their clients at the same time. With the COVID-19 social distancing requirements, our hallways and rooms are not large enough to meet the standards. We are prayerfully considering finding property with space that accommodates our needs.
CHANGES AT BATTLEFIELD
SOME OF THE TEAM HAVE MOVED ON TO THEIR NEXT THING
- Dana Sutton accepted a position and joined the team at Focus on the Family.
- Maddie Mason who has been with us for three years, graduated from Berry College and has been hired by Winshape to work in North Carolina.
FOR A SOME, BATTLEFIELD IS THEIR NEXT THING
- Moriah Pender recently graduated from Richmont University and is offering counseling at BFM.
- Elizabeth Dempsey joined the team as our Digital Marketing Manager and works in the front office.
- Rachel Brooks has been helping part time in the front office.
ALLOW US TO INFORM YOUR PRAYERS
We know that many of our newsletter subscribers care deeply about the work being done at Battlefield Ministries. We want to do a better job communicating how you can partner with us in this work. Let us start by sharing our needs which we trust the LORD to provide:
- An environment which promotes a sense of safety for all who enter.
- Larger office space to accommodate our needs.
- The monies which fund the sliding-fee scale for those in need.
Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in Him, because we trust in His holy name. Let Your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in You. Psalm 33:20-22