Andy and Laurie Brown
When my home church, Green Pond Bible Chapel, graciously provided a sabbatical, my desires for my wife and me were three-fold: 1) observe biblical counseling and ministry first-hand in a residential community; 2) take time to focus on accomplishing requirements for biblical counseling certification with NANC; and 3) have a time of rest, relaxation, and spiritual renewal. With these goals, the ABC Ministry Center seemed to be an ideal place for us. And it has certainly proven to be so. We have seen the word of Christ and the love of Christ working to restore and mature believers. We have been blessed by such enriching interpersonal interactions, not only with residents but with ABC brothers and sisters. We have been able to focus on our NANC requirements. And we have rested and enjoyed the abundant beauty here. We anticipate these blessings benefitting future ministry at Green Pond. Thank you very much, ABC Ministry Center, and God bless you, Pastor Andy Brown.
I came to the ABC Ministry Center in July of 2011, sick and desperate. I have struggled on and off with drug addiction for the past 46 years and I knew that this was probably my last stop. Although I had been a believer for most of those years, many wrong views of God had infiltrated my thinking. These beliefs kept me from fully trusting Him enough to surrender defeating behaviors. It was a blessing to live in the lodge where most daily distractions were removed so I could spend long hours studying the Word of God, praying and receiving encouraging, godly counsel. It was during these times God began to reveal more deeply His character and the love He had for me in spite of all I had done. During an in-depth Bible Study, God showed me powerful strongholds in my life and how I could break free from them. I saw His kindness to me in ways I had not fully grasped before and it has changed my life. I am filled with tremendous gratitude for this ministry and the committed servants God has raised up to love the wounded and lost. The year at the Ministry Center saved my life. I am home, healthy and clean surrounded by a family that pulled hard for me. My prayer is that God will use the rest of my life to spread the message of God’s love and desire to break bonds and set captives free.
When I arrived at the Ministry Center in the fall of 2008 I had no idea what the Lord had in store for my time there. I had spent the last 4 years on the mission field but had found myself at a place of anger and discontentment in my relationship with the Him. What I thought would be a time of R&R and regrouping, by God’s goodness to me, was a season of brokenness and restoration. For the first time in years I wasn’t running around “busy” with ministry but learning to rest before the Lord and allow him speak and reveal the things in my heart that needed attention. The body of Christ at Adirondack Bible Chapel became the tool the Lord used to accomplish His desired work in me. I received countless encouragement and support, had challenging times in the word and received solid biblical counsel on a daily basis. Through his word and the power of the Holy Spirit God did a transforming work in me. One of the greatest things I learned during my time at the ministry Center is that, doing for the Lord does not equal abiding with the Lord. I needed to get back to a place of daily abiding with Him where everything else on any given day was simply the result of that.
Justin and Michelle
Following a difficult three year pastorate, we were encouraged by some fellow leaders to spend some time at the Ministry Center in the Adirondacks. Our time there was both difficult and rewarding. Through the conviction of His word and the care of the folks at ABC, we were able to wrestle through some issues from our previous pastorate and experience God’s grace in forgiveness and healing. We have been struck anew at the power of the Gospel in our own lives – not just for our salvation (which is where we often stop), but in the every day living out of our faith. We are grateful for the time we spent at the Ministry Center and we are excited to move on to the next pastorate with a renewed sense of both our own sinfulness and of God’s unbelievable mercy extended to us on the cross.
Keith and Amy
Ministry Center Interns
Franklin, North Carolina
Our experience as ABC Ministry Center Interns has been one characterized by God’s lavish love and grace, which we have seen and felt through a committed body of mature believers. As we graduated from college, were married, and started job hunting, Pastor Ed extended an invitation to us to consider the internship program at the Ministry Center. It has proved to be an amazing time of growth for each of us, both in our marriage and in our walk with the Lord. Our time here has allowed us the opportunity to see the body of Christ functioning in the Biblically intended way, while also affording us the opportunity to minister to other at the same time. Each day as we work on the Ministry Center grounds, disciple young believers, or build relationships within the community we are ministering and being ministered to.
Over the last few months, God has impressed two important truths on our hearts. The first truth is the reality and the certainty of God’s sovereignty. Many times we as Christians will readily acknowledge God as sovereign over all of creation but fail to remember and apply that in all of life’s heartaches and victories. Somehow we forget that God continues to be sovereign even when we can not understand how the bleakest of circumstances could be used for God’s glory and our good. The second truth that has been shown to us is the necessity and centrality of the gospel in the life of the believer. The Apostle Paul pens in Romans 1:15 the he is “eager to preach the gospel” to the Christians in Rome. Many times we have a tendency to view the gospel as a prayer that we pray as an unbeliever and then we move on; however the gospel is the power of God for the believer and it plays a key role in truly understanding the atoning work of Christ on the cross on our behalf.
Our time at the Ministry Center has been exactly what we needed in our marriage, in our walks with the Lord, and in our truly Biblical and Christ-centered understanding of ministry. We have been shown the importance of a church truly committed to being the church.
Pictured with new husband Andrew
I did not want to come to New York and spend the entire summer away from my family and friends. However, by the time summer ended, I did not want to leave the friends and family I had made. God worked miracles in my heart, renewed my mind and spirit, and freed me from the untruth that was rampant in my life. He truly broke my chains and set me free through His grace and love for me.
Josh and Marissa Pell
Past Ministry Center Interns
Our time during the ministry center internship was one of growth and encouragement, as we were able to serve the local body of believers, while also being built into by fellow believers in Jesus Christ. Whether working on the ministry center building, helping those in need around the community, or eating a meal in someone’s home, we were truly blessed and grew in our walk with the Lord. We are thankful for how the Lord used the internship to prepare us for ministry opportunities, and look forward to how He will continue to use this time in our lives as we serve Him in the future.