The COVID crisis crippled our live training this year … but we serve a God who loves to display his grace and expand his kingdom by making cripples walk, leap and run!
So as soon as we saw all of our live seminars being cancelled last spring, we went to prayer, asking God to show us how he intended to use this unexpected setback for good. He impressed a clear and immediate answer onto our hearts: “Give all of your training away for free, especially to those who are being hit the hardest by this pandemic!”
So that’s what we did. In March we announced that our online training would be free to all healthcare workers. As the stress of the pandemic spread, we opened the free offer to everyone around the world. By July we had given away over $218,000 worth of training to 4,460 people in 45 countries, not only to nurses and doctors but also to pastors, teachers, military chaplains, police officers, parents and many people who had been sick or lost their jobs.
This was the most fruitful four months of ministry we’ve ever experienced! And the long-term relational harvest is just beginning to come in. Here are just a few of the first fruits we’ve seen so far:
“The stress of back-to-back shifts caring for COVID patients had utterly depleted me. I was not a pleasant person to work with or live with, and I hated how short and irritable I was with my patients. Your free course came at the perfect time. The more I practice your simple but powerful acrostics (I love SOG, READ, GPS and SERVE!), the more I’m becoming the nurse I’ve always wanted to be.”
“My company recently paid $5,000 for me to be trained in emotional intelligence by one of the leading EI organizations in the country. I felt bad because it was entirely humanistic. I felt such relief when I learned of your training. I’m only halfway through the course, but your training is already of far more value and use to me than the $5,000 training!”
“I live in Shanghai and lead a care group with Chinese teachers at the school my children attend. Thank you for making your training available for free. I love that I can translate your blog posts into Mandarin!”
“As a military chaplain, I can’t thank you enough for making this training available for free during this unusually stressful time. Our entire chaplain team is going through the training, and we’re already finding opportunities to use the material to help military families work through their conflicts constructively.”
“I am a Recovery Coach at a shelter for men and women who are experiencing homelessness and addiction. We provide the opportunity to find new life in Christ and release from the bondage of addiction. This training is greatly aiding our efforts to help the people who come through our doors to be all that God has created them to be.”
“Earlier this year, my elders helped me to see my need to be more sensitive toward others and really show my love for them. So now my wife, two of my adult daughters and I are going through your training together. When I shared the free offer on Facebook, my non-Christian sister in Quebec enrolled!”
“Wow! Thank you for this incredible blessing to our family. We just completed some intense weeks of therapy with three adopted children and this course is greatly blessing us as we seek to grow in our relationships with the Lord and one another.”
“This course is exactly what I needed to round out my seminary education. Though I know a lot about theology and have been married for over 20 years, faithfully living out the principles of RW is transforming our marriage, as well as my relationships with my three daughters.”
“I live in South Africa. I have been a relational mess at work, with neighbors, with family, you name it. Then my husband and I took your course. It helped both of us in our marriage and in other relationships. During my performance review, my manager commended my improved relational skills, so I told her about RW360 and asked if I could use your material with my special needs students, most of whom live in poverty, violence and broken homes. She said yes and suggested that my class be a pilot project that might extend to the whole school. I am excited for what lies ahead and so thankful for your free training!”
“Just before COVID hit, I was doing premarital counseling with a couple who had been married and divorced years ago. When the Lord led them to remarry, they told me they wanted to “do their relation-ship right this time.” We met by phone for eight weeks as they worked through the free RW course, identifying ways to use RW to avoid their previous relational problems. Four months after they remarried, they sent me this message: ‘The counseling you provided us has been priceless to our marriage and our relationship with our children. It has helped all of us grow together. We’ve had some setbacks, but are managing them well. God has blessed us beyond measure!’”
“I am a prison chaplain. While I am familiar with the broader principles of emotional intelligence, the way they are weaved together in this course, with Scripture, helpful acrostics and engaging content, I found myself blessed more than I expected. I’ve been sharing this concepts with my wife during the past week, and now she wants to take the training. I look forward to using this in my ministry in the days ahead!”
Our entire church is going through the RW course in our community groups. As a pastor, I have found it to be such an ENORMOUS help, boosting my church’s journey toward healthy, GRACE-filled living.
As more and more people go through our training and tell their friends how relational wisdom is changing their lives, many of those friends visit our website to download articles on applying RW in marriage, workplace relationships and pastoral ministry. As a result we are seeing 10,000 people visit our website every month and download over 1,000 pages of RW teaching materials every day.
Our online courses also enable us to continue equipping Christians worldwide, serving believers in more than 60 countries during the past year.
Although God was the ultimate source of this harvest, much of his grace was channeled to us through your prayers, messages of encouragement and financial support. Thank you for all you’ve done to enable us to experience such an “unexpectedly” fruitful year of ministry! It is such a privilege to serve a God of surprises!
Warmly in Christ,
Ken and Corlette Sande