When Jesus lived on earth, every encounter He had with people was powerful and impacting. In the stories we read about Jesus, we see His incredible ability to get to the heart of the matter, to perceive unseen needs and bring transformation and healing to those who were willing to receive it. Ventura Missionary Church is passionate about sharing the transformational love of Jesus with as many people as we possibly can. We know the power of His love first-hand, and we want to share it. We like to say that, "We grow deep SO THAT we can reach wide."
Ventura Counseling Center, one of our partner ministries, has been a beacon of hope and a channel of the love of Christ for over 35 years. It began as a resource for our pastors that provided Christian counseling to those who were hurting in our midst, and has blossomed into a county-wide ministry, serving the needs of individuals, couples and families from Westlake to Carpinteria. Churches in Camarillo, Oxnard, Ventura and Ojai rely on Ventura Counseling Center to help shepherd those who are struggling to navigate through life's difficult seasons and issues. The Center also partners with physicians. 40% of the primary care visits to the local doctor's office are mental health related. Their patients have anxiety, depression and life struggles that are affecting their physical and spiritual health. These doctors also rely on us and other partners in the community to assist in the healing of these patients.
In 2010, Ventura Counseling Center averaged 100 client hours per month. By 2016, this number had increased dramatically to an average of 600 client hours per month. Since 2010, the Counseling Center staff has tripled as we continue to meet the needs in our faith and medical communities. We are destined to outgrow the facility on our campus in the near future. Maureen Houtz, Clinical Director of our Counseling Center, recently began to ponder, "What would it be like if we could expand our reach beyond the beautiful hilltop location at 500 High Point? What would it be like if we could meet the needs of the hurting and those searching for hope in a grander way in and around Ventura County? What would it be like if we were more accessible? How can we EXPAND OUR REACH?"
"As we have discerned what God is calling us to do, we will be moving to incorporate as a 501c3. As we launch, we will be seeking a more central location, and we will be developing a board that will encompass many in the community. We will continue our partnership with Ventura Missionary Church. We not only rely on your financial support but covet your ongoing prayers. We trust that God will continue to bless the work that has been done over these many years, as well as help us reach more of His people."
We celebrate what God is doing in and through the ministry of Ventura Counseling Center. Please pray as we begin to implement next steps for this exciting and bold vision to reach more people with the hope and help that Christ brings. If you have questions, please contact Maureen at 805.644.1650, x414 or email Maureen. For more information about Ventura Counseling Center, visit their website.