Here at the Christian Training Center International we are all about HEALING and TRAINING! We work with families and individuals, young people and older!
Here is what one of our past participants has to say about the family program called Train to Reign that they attended:
“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.”
Isaiah 11:1
We’ve been meditating on this scripture this week as we observe the advent season. It has meant more to me this year than ever before.
Our family found ourselves in the midst of great difficulty. We were weak, displaced, disillusioned, and floundering halfway across the world from family, familiarity, and anything resembling security. We had just arrived in Africa after two years of preparation when we were hit with seven bouts of malaria as a family in the first eight weeks. We went and stayed on a farm with some kind folks in Zimbabwe while seeking medical care and rest. During that time Tyson was became ill and couldn’t get out of bed, and our 16 month old had diarrhea for 21 days straight. To say it felt as though the stump was firmly in place with no signs of anything shooting out would be an understatement.
In the depths of my soul, I knew the shoot was there. I did. It had to be. It is out of the stumps of life that the shoot springs forth. When life is unraveling and looking really hopeless is when it’s just getting good. The backdrop is forming to reflect something worth beholding.
CTCI in Franklin, NC is where we found ourselves by mid-February after returning from Africa weary, broken, and longing for a glimpse of hope for our situation. We needed a shoot to spring forth and it did! The soil of our hearts were so fertile for the planting of His truth. Difficulty plows up the hard places, shakes things up, and prepares us for roots to grow down deep. The timing of our arrival for The InnVision (now called Train to Reign) was nothing short of a miracle.
As we were on our way to Franklin, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was desperate for encouragement and hope, but a little fearful of making myself any more vulnerable than we already were. It was the fear of the unknown, but I’m so glad I chose to take the risk.
From the moment we drove up, we were greeted so warmly right at our vehicle with staff and young people who were sincerely happy to have us and immediately started unpacking our luggage for us and helping us to get settled. The atmosphere and culture of love, humility, servanthood, and honor at The Inn was a soothing balm for our broken and hurting hearts, and I began to feel it immediately.
I find it difficult to articulate what the Lord did in me, in our marriage, and in our family during those two weeks, but I’ll do my best. The way I picture it is that we were limping along doing the best we could with what we had on one plane, and the Lord reached down and lifted us up onto an entirely different plane and level of operating that has been unbelievable. For the first time in our almost seven years of marriage I feel the covering and protection of my husband which frees me to be who God’s made me to be as Tyson walks in and embraces His God given role in our relationship. We now see our marriage as our highest calling, and are for the first time are experiencing the fruit of walking in agreement. This was revolutionary for us, and it makes our relationship exponentially more effective in His Kingdom. We now see that our own vision had to die, so that His vision for our lives could come into view. So many scales were removed from our eyes during those two weeks, and such clarity came.
The teaching and guidance on parenting was just as life changing. Our kids were loved on and poured into the entire time. Not to mention, both of our kids were sick with colds, and Miss Melissa and others still loved and nurtured them so we could get the most out of our time there! Tyson and I spent more one on one time together than we ever have since we’ve had children. That was a gift in and of itself, and made it possible for us to get to the heart of matters. Everything about the entire two
weeks was intentional and done with purpose for us to receive all that God had for us.
Before we went to Africa, God impressed Matthew 13:44 on our hearts. “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When the man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” We wanted to go after the treasure of the Kingdom with all of our hearts. Just when we thought “our calling” had crumbled and were feeling lost and confused as to what God was doing, we realized that our marriage and our family was the in fact the treasure in the field that we had given everything to possess.
We can’t recommend The Inn highly enough. It is more than worth the investment of time and money. There’s no vacation in the world that will satisfy your soul like opening yourself up to The Lord and what he has for you and your family for a solid week or two and receiving the gifts that flow through Larry, Susan, and all the wonderful folks there (in the amazing mountains of western North Carolina no less)!
Thankful for His goodness
Train to Reign Participants
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