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April 9, 2013

Dear Friends and Supporters of Truth in Love,

Truth in Love Ministries has had a busy first quarter in 2013. Preparations are finalized for a 15 day missions trip to St. Petersburg, Russia as well as Kemerovo, Siberia where I will teach the biblical approach to counseling those with “addictions” to two sets of pastors and ministry leaders. Mark Edward Shaw, Jr (age 16) and I are traveling together on this unique trip, and we appreciate your prayers as we leave in 2 days!

There is a huge development that was just confirmed this past Sunday and I am excited to tell you about it. Beginning in October of 2012, I began to pray and ask the Lord for 3 prayer requests which we have witnessed Him graciously answer:

1) I prayed for God to give me a pastoral role in a church where I could serve as an assistant shepherding pastor.
2) I prayed for Truth in Love Ministries to continue functioning while I was in that role.
3) I prayed for God to allow me to do more “addiction” counseling, training, and networking with those who are already participating in helping those enslaved to “addictions.”

It is with joyful celebration and praise to our Lord, that I inform you that Faith Church in Lafayette, Indiana, has called me to serve as a pastor on staff, specifically serving as the Executive Director of Vision of Hope, a residential facility for women who struggle with all types of “addictions” and other sinful responses to life events. I have accepted this offer and will begin in May, 2013, which will allow for smooth transition of leadership at VOH in cooperation with the current Executive Director, Jocelyn Wallace, who with her husband has determined that it’s best for their family for her to be at home full-time with their two young daughters.

Faith Church http://www.faithlafayette.org/ has been leading the world in biblical counseling and is clearly the strongest church for biblical counseling that currently exists. You can find out more about Vision of Hope at http://www.faithlafayette.org/voh.

Mary and I are excited in so many ways yet saddened that we will be moving from the Birmingham, Alabama area away from so many of you with whom we’ve partnered in ministry over the years. Our desire is that you will continue to serve the Kingdom through biblical counseling in your local church, and that the ministries will carry on at Bethel Baptist Church in Moody, Alabama, as well as at Philadelphia Baptist Church in Birmingham.

Even though we will now live in the “north” we anticipate hosting some of you in our home in Indiana. Faith Church hosts many NANC conferences, and there is an annual week-long biblical counselor training conference there every February, too. Consider getting that in-depth training and visiting us there!

How can we adequately thank you enough for praying, supporting, and serving in Truth in Love Ministries in Alabama! We want to offer everyone the opportunity for a Q&A meeting and you will be hearing the details of that soon. Also, please join us all for a drop-in celebration and Russian missions trip report on Sunday afternoon, April 28, 2013, where we can personally tell each of you how much you mean to us and thank you for the blessing of serving alongside us over the years. The time and location of those events will be forthcoming.

To God be the glory,

Mark and Mary Shaw (learning to sacrifice what we want for what He wants and recognizing His great blessings in obedient faith)