2018 OIC Year End Report
This year has been an amazing time of growth for the Odyssey in Christ Ministry and I’m excited to give you a brief overview of what the Lord has accomplished.
We began and ended our 2018 retreats in the Caribbean (Grenada and the Bahamas respectively). Returning to Grenada 7 years following our pilot program before officially beginning the ministry was a special treat and had a very positive impact upon the participants. Additional international retreats included Honduras (Deeper Walk), Thailand (Spiritual Discernment) and returning to the Philippines for various retreats and graduate seminary teachings. This included a Deeper Walk retreat in Mindanao which had previously been prohibited to us for security reasons, and the opportunity to reach out to non-GCI venues at both the high school and university levels. The latter included co-partnering with GCI in a youth outreach to some 100 faculty and students from Signal Village High School in Taguig, Metro Manila and another outreach at Pili University in Bicol, Philippines. Other all-Filipino led retreats were led by Dr. Rey Taniajura and members of our OIC core groups in training.
A very exciting new venue is the establishment of a Master’s Degree program in Formational Counseling at the School of Graduate Studies of the Philippine Missionary Institute in Cavite, Philippines. Several classes have already been taught and we now have interest in the courses being expressed on the part of students in Thailand. Here is a description of the program:
The Master of Arts in Christian Spirituality and Formation is designed to assist a new generation of leaders, practitioners, and educational leaders in learning, developing, practicing and teaching in the fields of spiritual formation, spiritual direction, and formational counseling. The program equips students in the ministry of Christian caregiving through Spirit-directed counseling with a view to bringing hope, healing, and spiritual wellbeing to all levels of brokenness in the human condition. Concomitant to the benefits of the program’s design is a focus on the student’s own personal transformation which in turn leads to effective participation in Christ’s ministry of healing and wholeness for the church and for the world.
In the U.S., very spiritually impactful Deeper Walk retreats were held in Louisiana (Resting in Jesus), Minnesota (Emotionally Healthy Spirituality), and Florida (Experiencing the Trinity).
We have also carried out 5 levels of online classes in the art and practice of Spiritual Companionship (Spiritual Direction). I conclude this report with a testimony from a GCI pastor’s wife that is very indicative of how Odyssey in Christ participants in general are being blessed through the ministry.
"This workshop has been like a needle and thread that God has used to bring together and give me a rich tapestry of who I am and why.
All the inspirational moments of my life, desires, sensing, emotions, prodding and wondering now make sense to me. He was using all that he created in me to speak to me but I didn't understand the language. I didn't understand how God's Spirit, working from within, uses this inner world to speak to me and through me when I respond to others.
I have begun to practice meditating on scripture and I am changing. To get to know Jesus, to walk with him, to listen to him, to imagine the love he felt within himself for us has and is taking away my fears and anxiety about situations in my life. He is with me and I can get overwhelmed as I try to tell you about how what I am learning is changing me."
Your prayers and financial support are very much appreciated as we continue to help believers become more aware of the presence of Jesus in their lives and to experience his love, grace and empowerment in deeper, more personal and intimate ways. I like the New Passion Translation version of one of the ministry’s foundational scriptures, Ephesians 1:17.
"I pray that the Father of glory, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, would impart to you the riches of the Spirit of wisdom and the Spirit of revelation to know him through your deepening intimacy with him."
If you are interested in experiencing a personally designed 1 or 2 day online retreat in your home either individually or with a small group, I encourage you to check out the Online Personal Retreat on the OIC website.
New Year’s Blessings to all!
Dr. Larry Hinkle