English Camp Report

Just wanted to send our support team a quick note as to how we saw God work on our trip to Poland in July. Of course, it is always our intent to quickly send off a report to all of you when we get back, but jet lag and the busyness of Minnesota summers has delayed this communication for a few weeks.

As many of you have already heard in person, this camp was another amazing trip in which we really saw God’s hand at work. The feedback we often hear from our Polish friends is that they love the camps because of the amazing relationships that are developed. It is a place where God’s love is not just talked about, but eIMG_3561xperience in a community.

We faced some unique challenges with a diverse team from across the country and even across the world. We had native English Speakers from California, Iowa, Minnesota, Indiana, Poland, Scotland, and Australia. Our Polish campers came from Ireland, Italy, Australia, the US, and of course Poland. But God even used these diverse personalities to demonstrate His love to the Poles. It is never easy to work with a group of people whom you are still getting to know. And it did provide, I think, many of us as team members with some unique interpersonal challenges. And, of course, these interpersonal interchanges and quirks do not escape the notice of the Poles. But God is good, and used even these challenges to glorify Himself. It is such a testimony when we face the awkwardness and discomfort of these situations with God’s grace and are able to respond in love.

It is also fun how God uses each of our gifts to minister in this environment. All four of us at Equip2Counsel (Mike and Mary, Mark and Doreen Henderson) attended the camp. Though it is a camp which is focused on teaching English, between the four of us, we probably did close to a dozen counseling sessions this week. God used these meetings to strengthen marriages and free men and women from some of their own personal struggles. During one session, Jesus met a young woman in a special way and she decided right there to give her life to God. What a blessing!

At the end of the camp, it seems none of us left unchanged. Whether teacher or translator or camper, it was a week that–I think–stretched each of us in our faith. The numbers do not tell the whole story, but the feedback we received from the camp evaluations is a testimony to how God worked. Of about 120 campers, 17 Poles indicated they made a decision to accept Christ. Another 6 Poles indicated the week had impacted them, but they are still deciding. Most put on their evaluations they are open to spiritual conversations in the future or to attend a Bible study.

Thank you for your prayers and financial support. This letter is a report to give you a first-hand account that the money you have invested has made an impact. Your prayers have been heard and answered in amazing ways. Men and women will spend eternity in heaven because of God’s working through your prayers. And this is just the start. Many of these Poles who have given their lives to Christ are reaching out and leading others to Jesus. Thank you for partnering with us in this ministry.

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English Camp, Here We Come…

Dear Prayer Team:

English Camp, Here We Come...We are off to Poland. As we leave, we are excited and apprehensive. Excited to see what God is going to do, and yet wondering what it is that God will ask of us to do. Excited to see old friends in Poland and meet new ones, but sad about leaving some of our older kids back here in the States. There is no place we would rather be this next two weeks, but we definitely rely on your ongoing prayer for us and for the team.

We will be out of the country until Wednesday, July 15, and will be leading a camp that has the facility at capacity with nearly 250 people.

Please pray for us…

  • As we minister to and care for our team members from Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana, Duluth, and the Twin Cities area.
  • Please continue to pray for God to bring unity to this diverse team under the banner of supernatural love.  (By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:35)
  • Please pray for uneventful travel.
  • Please pray for the family members that we leave behind, that God will keep them under his protection.
  • Please pray that the Holy Spirit will penetrate the hearts of those who attend, and many lives will be changed from the inside out.

Thanks so much for your prayer!

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International Messengers Staff Conference

When we first started writing these blogs, it was fun to talk about the amazing things that God was doing. Now, about 18 months in to this ministry, it is getting more difficult. Not because we are no longer seeing God at work. In fact, our experience is just the opposite. We are seeing God’s hand in our ministry in more and more amazing ways. But writing these blogs is becoming more difficult because we are concerned that the “amazing reports” may seem less believable.

As you know, we just returned from 9-day trip to Poland. We spent a few days with some missionaries in Warsaw, and then attended the International Messengers Staff Conference for 4 days. We didn’t know exactly what to expect, but were confident that God had called us on this trip. God unfolded a very clear plan for us, though. He brought the people who needed our ministry to us. We had the opportunity to invest in these men and women with training, counseling, and encouragement.

Here are some of the outcomes of this trip:

  • After a full year of extensive equipping and training, a missionary in Warsaw is using a broad Equip2Counsel tool-set to powerfully impact and bring healing to men and women in their church community.
  • Many missionaries are using simple Equip2Counsel tools to build a foundation of trust and relationship—which they tell us is having a huge impact in their ministries.
  • We taught an elective class. We brought a lot of “extra” materials and were prepared if as many as 50 attended.  We were surprised to have nearly 80 missionaries attend. This provided a foundation for many of the discussions and ministry opportunities that followed.
  • We spent many hours “diving deep” with individuals and couples, meeting through meals and into the wee hours of the morning. As a result, God helped and healed marriages, helped some find hope and healing, and gave helpful life tools to others.

The frustrating part for us is that we want to tell you some of the stories of exactly how we saw God transform lives and relationships. But of course the stories should not be told due to confidentiality.  You can be confident, though, that your prayers are being answered and God is using your financial support to make a ministry possible that is equipping missionaries to be even more effective in the place where God has called them.  We are thankful to be a part of this ministry.  We are thankful and humbled to have partners like you who make it possible.

Please continue to be in prayer for these upcoming events:

  • Equip2Counsel will be teaching in Cornerstone Church for the next 4 weeks.
  • Pray for the Poland Team as we begin training and preparing for the summer English camp.
  • Please pray for wisdom and guidance as we have been invited to both Romania and Peru in the fall.
  • We have already been invited/requested by International Messengers leadership to attend the staff conference in Hungary in spring, 2016
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En Route to Warsaw, Poland!

Tomorrow, March 21, at 1:20 pm, Mike, Mary, and Mark will be boarding a plane headed for Poland. We are looking forward to seeing what God has planned for us as we spend some time with our missionary friends in-country. This trip, we will be spending a few days in Warsaw with some of the missionaries who we have been training. This time together will give us an opportunity to encourage these friends. In addition, this follow-up training and continued mentoring will allow the missionaries to continue to develop and hone these ministry skills.

We are sad that, due to work conflicts, Doreen is not able to join us on this trip. It is tough to leave one of the team members behind—and it is difficult for Doreen to stay behind.  But we have seen God’s clear hand of direction that this has been the right decision for this one trip.

Here is a brief itinerary of our trip, with some prayer requests.

Sat 3/21: Leaving Minnesota

Prayer Requests:

  • Safe and On-time Travel.
  • Please be in prayer for Doreen and our kids back home throughout the week!

Sun 3/22: Arriving in Warsaw, Poland.

Prayer Requests:

  • Rest and quick recovery from jet lag.

Mon 3/23 – Wed 3/25: Spending time with several missionaries in Warsaw.

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray that God will use us to further equip missionaries with tools to care for and minister to Poles and their local congregations.
  • Pray that we will be an encouragement and bring joy to the missionaries as we visit with them.
  • Pray that God will clearly guide us to complete the work that He has for us and the people who he wants us to invest time with in Warsaw.

Thu 3/26: Driving approx. 6 hours to a mountain village near Zakopane, Poland.

Thu 3/26 – Sun 3/29: International Messengers Staff Conference

Prayer Requests:

  • We will be seeing Pastor Z and Edyta from Glogow, Poland, and doing some planning for the summer Family English Camp.
  • We are scheduled to do an optional training with the missionaries on Saturday. Pray that God will use this time to equip the missionaries with relationship tools.
  • Ask God to lead us as we spend a few days with these 200 missionaries. Pray that this will be a time of refreshment and encouragement for the missionaries.

Sun 3/29: Drive back to Warsaw, Poland.

Mon 3/30: Fly back to Minnesota

Thank you for your prayers and partnership on this trip!

The Equip2Counsel Team

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2014 Equip2Counsel Team Celebration

A week ago, on Sunday night, we had our first ever support team meeting. Thanks to those of you who were able to attend. We are so appreciative of all of our supporters, and it was fun for us to be able to share with the group how God has been using us to impact the lives and ministries of missionaries that God has brought across our path.
The four of us first started discussing the possibility of starting a ministry serving and training missionaries about 18 months ago. And we have felt like we have been front-row spectators watching as God has established the Equip2Counsel ministry. In fact, we have been amazed to see how God has caused this ministry grow faster and broader than any plans or strategies we put together.

As we sat down together with our supporters a week ago, we wanted to share many of the stories from the past year. But we highly value the trust of confidentiality that is placed in us as we work with individuals and couples. Though there are many missionaries who have shared with us how transformational our training has been, we feel that it is only their decision when and how these stories are communicated to others.

That is why we were excited to have a missionary couple be willing to meet with our support team and share their Equip2Counsel story. We are not going to mention their names in this blog, but we want to thank them for their willingness and transparency as they shared. It was so encouraging to hear how the tools that we taught have transformed their lives and enhanced their ministry. Not only did they share how the training impacted them personally. But as they have begun to practice these tools in their ministry, it was fun to hear how God is using them to impact others.

After the meeting we were able to talk with several of our support team members. We heard from several of you that this meeting was very helpful in clarifying what the Equip2Counsel ministry is all about. One person even asked, “How do we multiply this so that even more missionaries and ministries can be impacted?” That was so encouraging to us!

We are thankful to have a team that is faithfully partnering with us to bring these tools to missionaries around the world. We know that we are incapable of changing anyone’s lives. But are having so much fun following God, participating in His plan to carry out this impossible mission, and watching it unfold before our eyes. Thanks for being a part of this journey with us!

If you are not already a partner in this ministry and would like to be, let us know at equip2counsel@gmail.com. We are currently praying about attending a missionary staff conference in Poland this coming spring. This will give us an opportunity to meet and spend time with many of the missionaries with International Messengers. Please pray with us as we consider whether God is calling us to attend this conference.

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Join us in November!

Happy Autumn Minnesota!

Wait…it might be winter as the first snowfall is upon us with about six plus inches in the forecast this week. We hope you all are well. Here is what we are up to and a few prayer requests.

Expansion of the church counseling ministry continues as we provide training to several couples this fall.

We have been working with several missionaries as they return to the USA on furlough. Many have come to Minnesota to meet with us to receive some training. This continues to be a blessing as we watch them return to their communities to share what they have learned and be able to have a few simple tools to serve.

As we wrap up this year with Equip2Counsel, God has provided amazing opportunities and more than we could ever have imagined. We have accomplished so much since we launched this ministry.

We are excited to see what God has planned next year and are considering many opportunities that have been presented to us in South America, Europe, and the Middle East.

Please pray with us as we consider where to travel in 2015. We are praying for direction on where to travel given the fact we have received many invitations. We are also praying for guidance as we continue to developing resources and materials for those we meet with and train with.

We will be having an upcoming meeting on November 23rd to share details on our ministry this past year, prayer, and looking at 2015. Please let us know if you are interested in joining us.

Mike, Mary, Mark and Doreen

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Equip2Counsel – Poland Marriage Seminar Success

The following is an article that appeared in the Wayzata Free Church Encounter newsletter: 

As a church we are excited about the many ways God is working to minister within our community and around the world. We have seen God use Wayzata Free Church’s counseling ministry to bring healing to marriages and individuals. A couple of years ago, Mark and Doreen Henderson along with Mike and Mary Snuffer felt God’s calling to expand this ministry beyond our local community. The focus being to equip missionaries around the globe with simple but powerful counseling tools.Poland Marriage Counsel Semiar Group

The plan God laid out for us is to travel to the home field of missionaries around the world in order to provide training. We have already taken a couple of these trips and have seen God’s hand at work. We have also been surprised that several missionaries have chosen to travel here to Plymouth to receive an intensive week-long training. Skype also allows us to follow up with additional training. We have been partnering with the Millers, who have opened their home to these missionaries as hosts.

In February, the four of us traveled to a retreat center in Southern Poland to provide a week-long marriage counseling training for six hand-picked Polish couples from two different communities. The ways we saw God work were unbelievable. The post-communist Polish culture has a built-in distrust, which makes openness and transparency difficult even for the believers. It was amazing to us and to the Poles, how engaged and open the couples were with one another during the practice sessions. One said, “What we have learned is going to help us to counsel others, but these tools have already been helpful for our own marriage.” Praise God – Mission Accomplished!

Please pray for these couples that God will use them to start a movement of Polish believers who are trained and actively involved in God’s healing in marriages. Please pray for us as we plan follow-up training sessions via Skype, as first sessions in April. And we can all thank God together for how he is using Wayzata Free to continue to minister in our community and around the world.

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For Marriages, in Poland

Our first trip to Poland was about 13 years ago.  I remember in those early years talking with Poles about divorce rates.  “There is almost no problem with divorce in this country,” I was told.  “Very few marriages end in divorce here.”

Fast-forward about 10 years.  In 2012, the divorce rate in Poland was up to 17%.  Though many marriages were not healthy 10 years ago, economic hardship kept families together.  An improving economy and more job opportunities has resulted in divorce being a viable option.  It is a new reality in Poland.  And like here in America, divorce is occurring both outside and within the Polish church.

As we did camps in Poland, the pastors of our partner church began asking Mark Henderson to come and teach some marriage counseling tools.  Pastor Zbyszek said, “In America, you have dozens of books by Christian counselors to help men and women having difficulties in their marriages.  We have almost no resources in our country and in our language.  We need some Biblical tools to help us reach hurting marriages in our churches and our community.”

The primary mission of the Equip2Counsel ministry is to train missionaries.  And we are excited about how God is already giving us many opportunities to work with missionaries from around the globe.  But as we prayed and talked with pastors and lay people from Poland, it became clear to us that God was opening a door in a place where we had not been looking.

Poland Marriage Counseling Training

Next Friday, February 21, the 4 of us (Mark and Doreen Henderson, Mike and Mary Snuffer) will be traveling to western Poland to conduct a Marriage Counseling conference.  We will be meeting with about 16 Polish men and women who have a heart for ministry in marriage counseling.  These represent several churches in Poland and will be attending to learn how they can begin to reach out to hurting couples with some simple but powerful tools.

After working for months to prepare materials and get many of these translated into Polish, we are excited to see how God uses this conference.  We are scheduled to be in Poland for about a week.  After a 4-day intensive conference, we will also be working in Glogow with the Church and Christian School after the conference.

Please pray for us as we travel Fri, Feb 21 – Sat, Mar 1:

  • Pray that God’s Spirit transcends language and cultural differences as we teach.
  • Pray that conference attendees will catch a vision to care for those in difficult marriages.
  • Pray the conference attendees will leave with a working understanding of how the Holy Spirit works to heal marriages.
  • Pray for stamina for us as we work and teach for many hours every day with jet lag.
  • Pray that God will plant the seeds in Poland for a movement of men and women who are passionate about counseling ministries and equipped be a part of God’s healing work in marriages.
  • Pray for God to protect and bless our children, who will be back here in the states.

A special thanks to our friends Greg Zytka (in North Carolina) and Agnieszka Jaduszynska (in Glogow, Poland) who have participated in this ministry by translating many materials into Polish.  Equip2Counsel is not a team of 4, but a team of dozens who are supporting, praying, serving, and ministering in many ways that are necessary for this ministry to impact men and women around the globe! Thank you!

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Our Report from Mountainside

We just returned from our first trip to the Mountainside Training Center in Libby, Montana. We got to work with the 6 missionaries that are finishing up their 4 months of training before going overseas.  We were only there for a few days, but were able to lead 2 different 3-hour training sessions.  The first was about shame and vulnerability, which we have also been teaching at Wayzata free and other local Twin Cities churches.  The second session was on “Sorting Systems” and how our brains process information. The feedback we heard from the training center administrators was that the missionaries found these tools very helpful.Mountainside Pic

Along with our teaching, we were able to spent time hanging out with the missionaries.  It was fun to connect with them and hear their hopes and plans for ministries overseas.  Because of the connections we were able to make, we have many standing invitations to visit these missionaries on the field.  It was fun to see God’s hand at work in our lives and in their lives.  We are excited to see how God is going to use these relationships in the future.

As of right now we have already connected with 16+ missionaries that we are teaching and training.  This includes both missionaries working with International Messengers and others who are supported by Wayzata Free Church.  When we started this ministry less than a year ago, we were wondering how it could ever work, and how we would start connecting with missionaries.  But God has just thrown the doors open, and we are already starting to feel like we are at our limit.  Isn’t God amazing?  We prayed for the impossible, and God is already answering prayers.

Thanks for your prayers and support.  We know that Equip2Counsel is not only a Henderson / Snuffer ministry.  Instead it is being blessed because of all of us that are investing time, money, and prayer into this important work.  Thanks for being part of the team with us!

Mark and Doreen, Mike and Mary

A special thanks to the Henderson and Snuffer kids. You guys help make these trips possible because you are trustworthy and responsible. We couldn’t do this ministry without you. Thank you!

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Off to Libby, Montana…

Happy Thanksgiving from the Hendersons and the Snuffers!

We have so much to be thankful for as we have seen God at work in our lives and our ministry even in the past few months.  Want to keep this update brief, but it has been fun to see how God has been blessing our ministry.  We have been excited as God has already been giving us opportunities to invest in the lives and ministries of missionaries.

We just wanted to send you a quick note to remind you that we will be traveling on our first trip in a couple of days.  We are going to be ministering and training new missionaries at the Mountainside Training Center in Libby, Montana.  We will be traveling Sat Nov 30 – Wed Dec 4.  Please pray for us:

  • That God would give us opportunities to build lasting relationships with the missionaries.
  • That God will use our training to impact the missionaries and give useful ministry tools to them.
  • That God will keep all four of us healthy.
  • That God will protect our children—who will not be traveling with us—so that we can focus on our work.

Thanks for your support and prayers.  We are thankful to have a team that is partnering with us in this ministry!

Mike, Mary, Mark, and Doreen

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