Tower of Light Ministries

Senate Bill 5870 Final Resolution

Hi everyone,

I thought I would update you on the final status of the Washington State Senate bill 5870, a bill that would make it illegal for therapists to counsel minors who want help with their unwanted same-sex attractions (SSA). While I don’t normally get involved in the politics around homosexual issues I did testify before the Senate hearing committee on bill 5870 because my heart is to help those with unwanted SSA get the help and support they need to live a life that’s in alignment with their personal beliefs. This bill would deny youth the right to seek the help and support they desire so I was willing to speak out on this issue. After several people and I testified at the senate hearing the senators modified the bill to make it illegal to do shock therapy, ice baths, etc. (something everyone is in agreement on) for minors who struggle with SSA but to continue to allow talk therapy. The bill went to the House of Representatives where it was changed back to include making it illegal to do talk therapy as well and the House of Representatives passed the bill. The bill went back to the Senate where it thankfully died.

While the bill died this year it has passed in several other states and we can assume it will be brought before our state congress again next year.

For an overview of what happened you can read more about it here: http://www.fpiw.org/blog/2015/04/23/therapy-ban-dies-senate/

Thank you all for your prayers and support around this.

Jeff

Seminar June 20th “Homosexuality – How Should We Respond”?

If someone in your life tells you they struggle with homosexuality how would you respond? If someone asks you if people are born gay and if there is a possibility for change, what would you say? If someone asks you what God says about homosexuality how would you answer?

Jeff Simunds, Director of Tower of Light Ministries at Northshore Community Church is doing a Saturday morning seminar on June 20th on how we should respond to the various questions we face regarding homosexuality. He’ll be covering the Scriptures on homosexuality, the gay revisionist theology that’s becoming increasingly popular, how same-sex attractions develops in someone’s life, and how we should respond to those who are dealing with this issue in their lives.

This is a unique opportunity to be informed and think through this critical issue in our culture and in the lives of those we know and love.

Join us at Northshore Community Church from 8:00 am to 12:30 pm on Saturday, June 20.

My Ministry Time in South Africa

YWAM South Africa

YWAM South Africa

I just finished 2 weeks of teaching on sexuality at Foundations of Counseling Ministry School (FCM) for the YWAM (Youth with a Mission) base in Worcester, South Africa and it really was a productive time of ministry.  Participants who attend this training are people who are career missionaries who in addition to coming for their own healing want to be more effective at helping people who are coming to Christ in their areas of ministry. I spread my normal 1 week teaching over 2 weeks so the pace was more relaxed, there was more time for questions, and there was time almost every day for small group ministry time when they could share more deeply and have times to invite Jesus into areas of pain and brokenness in their lives.  The small groups were precious times and the students really met Jesus in deep ways and received a lot of healing.  I received a lot of feedback that the 2 week method was much more effective than the 1 week.  I got a lot of very positive feedback on the time, a couple students said getting healing in the area of their sexuality was one of their main goals for coming to the school.  Several people mentioned that the talks on what the true masculine and true feminine are was very eye opening and that they plan to revisit the material again.  People mentioned that they knew they had issues but now they know where the roots are and where they need healing. I met with quite a few of them for 1-on-1 sessions which allowed them to go deeper than they felt comfortable in group. I think it was a very impactful time for everyone including myself.  Thank you to all who prayed for me during this time.

Participants who attend this training are people who are career missionaries who in addition to coming for their own healing want to be more effective at helping people who are coming to Christ in their areas of ministry.  One of the people who went through the training last year told me that she ministers in the local public schools and took what she had learned to help equip some of the local school counselors.

I will also be going to Switzerland this summer to teach at a YWAM FCM school that’s comprised solely of participants from China.  I’ll be working with an interpreter for the first time which I know will be an added challenge.  I will also be going to Thailand in September to teach at an FCM school there that is starting up for the first time.

If you would like to financially partner with me and support the work I do you can do so here.

Senate Bill 5870 cancelled – Substitute bill going forward

Thank you everyone so much for your prayers regarding Senate Bill 5870.  The Senate Bill 5870 that would prohibit the counseling of minors with same-sex attractions was voted out of committee on Friday.  In place of that bill they’ve put together a Substitute Senate Bill 5870 http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2015-16/Pdf/Bills/Senate%20Bills/5870-S.pdf.

The wording has changed from prohibiting all “sexual orientation change efforts” to prohibiting the more physical “aversive” therapies for minors.  It prohibits the use of “electrical shock, extreme temperatures, prolonged isolation, chemically induced nausea or vomiting, assault as defined in chapter 9A.36 RCW, or other procedures intending to cause pain, discomfort, or unpleasant sensations to the client or patient.”  It does not prohibit “those practices, treatments, or therapies that are within the standards of practice for license holders….”.

This bill is a huge improvement as the initial bill prohibited all forms of therapy for minors.  I’ve not known anyone to use any of the physical aversion techniques they’ve specified in decades so I don’t think that portion will affect any therapists I’m aware of.

Again, thank you everyone so much for your prayers!

Update – Senate Hearing Committee Follow-up

I just want to give a very heartfelt “Thank You” to everyone who was praying for us this morning as we testified before the Senate Hearing Committee on bill 5870, legislation that seeks to ban therapists from counseling minors with unwanted same-sex attractions.  There were four of us who testified, 2 of which are licensed therapists which was awesome.  Our testimony time was very short, we thought we’d have 3 minutes each to share but it wound up being more like 1 minute each.  While our testimony time was short we provided all the members of the committee with copies of our written testimonies for them to be able to read in more depth.  Following our testimonies the senators had a lot of questions for us and one of the therapists was very eloquent in addressing their questions.  The Senate Committee seemed genuinely interested in what we had to say and actually spent quite a lengthy time on Q&A.  I think it went very, very well.  We will know on Friday if the bill dies in committee or moves on.  Again, thank you all very much for your prayers.

Please Pray – Speaking at Senate Hearing Committee Tuesday AM

The Washington State legislature is looking at passing a bill “Senate Bill 5870”  that will make it illegal for therapists to counsel minors who are wanting to get help with unwanted same-sex attractions.  There is a senate hearing committee meeting about this tomorrow between10am-12pm and I will be one of several people providing testimony in opposition to this bill and I would greatly appreciate your prayers.  I don’t normally get involved in political activity as I don’t want the ministry to be seen as anti-gay.  However this bill is aimed at making therapy inaccessible to youth who want to get help to live a life consistent with their beliefs and since providing people help for unwanted same-sex attractions is what I do, I felt I need to speak out on behalf of these young people.  Please pray for me, the others who are giving testimony, and that the bill would die in committee.

Last year a similar bill “House Bill 2451” passed the Washington State House of Representatives by a vote of 94 to 4 but was later narrowly defeated by the Senate Health Care Committee.  So far California, New Jersey, and Washington D.C. have all passed legislation banning therapy for minors with unwanted same-sex attractions.  Encouraged by the legislation passed in these three areas there are now 20 states who are considering passing similar legislation including Washington.

Your prayers are greatly appreciated.

Reminder “Such Were Some of You” Documentary Screening, January 24th, 6:30 PM

Such_Were_Some_of_YouCome join us for the screening of “Such Were Some of You” on Saturday, January 24th from 6:30-9:00 at Northshore Community Church in room 212/213.

This professionally made, 2-hour documentary “tells the story of how people develop homosexual confusion and how Jesus Christ brings healing from those things that contribute to their same-sex attractions.” It includes many excerpts from the lives of 29 people who’ve walked out of homosexuality as the film describes how same-sex attractions develops in someone’s life, what the gay lifestyle was like for them, how they walked away from that, and what their journey with Christ has been like since. It’s a very informative and hopeful film.

For a short trailer of the documentary click here

End of Year Giving by Dec 22nd

Hello everyone,Nativity

2014 is drawing to a close and it’s a time when many people do their end of year charitable giving.  I don’t normally do a formal ask for support but I’m posting this message because the organization that processes the donations for my support will be closed from Dec 22nd – until January 10th so if anyone would like to make  a tax deductible donation for 2014 it would need to be processed by them before December 22nd.  If you would like to make a contribution to the work that I do helping those struggling with same-sex attractions get the help and support they need, in educating the church so that we can love people in a loving yet Biblically appropriate way, in supporting parents, family members and spouses who are impacted by their loved ones SSA, etc. you can do so here.

While your financial support is highly appreciated there is also a spiritual battle going on for the souls of those I minister to and I would greatly covet your prayers.

Thank you for your support and I pray that you find Christ in your Christmas this year.

Blessings,

Jeff Simunds

From Black to Living Color

Sometimes, God does not make sense.  Sometimes, God does big work in small, slow ways that are not easy to express in words, but I will try. 

BlackI came to Living Waters two years ago because it was recommended to me.  I wasn’t thrilled about the idea, but I showed up.  At that time, I saw myself as someone not worth the air she inhaled.  There were many disconnections between the person I tried to present to the world and the person I was on the inside—although I didn’t realize this at the time.  Years of counseling had not been able to touch that issue.  I was emotionally numb, as well, and I had assumed that this was the way my life would continue.  Black was my favorite color. 

Living waters has been the missing piece that has shown me how to get on the right page with God and begin to accept His trustworthiness.  The kind hearted, gentle prayers of the leaders have invited Jesus into places in my heart that have been walled off for decades.

With that said, I am at a loss to explain why Living Waters has brought about such deep changes in me.  But, I do know that in those Wednesday night meetings, I have had the support to find God on a different level and understand Him from a different place… a place where the wounds are deep and run the span of my life.  I can talk about the dirty, bloody stains of my existence with other Christians and they don’t turn away in embarrassment, awkwardness or fear.  Instead, they pray and invite Jesus to come and take care of my wounds.  And slowly but surely, He has come and debrided them – flushing out years of spiritual and emotional gangrene that has been eating me alive: stealing my life.

ColorI can’t thank the leaders enough for showing me how to move forward and leave behind the bad, while hanging onto what has been good.  I now understand that God has good in store for me, as I continue to heal from past injuries of the soul and spirit.

God will continue to be Mysterious.  He does things in His own time and in His own way and Living Waters is a group that has been instrumental in changing my life.  And for that, I am very, very grateful.

Karen

 

If you would like to financially support Jeff Simunds you can make a tax deductible contribution here.

David’s Story of Meeting God in His Brokenness

I came into the Living Waters group with no sense of who I was as a man.  Even though I am in my late twenties, I came into the group a scared little boy, not even having any sense that I was a boy.  I was an “it”, really unable to associate myself with masculinity or femininity. 

Even though I had an idea of what I was getting myself into, I still came into the group very shut off and closed up. The heart and sincerity of the leaders was priceless. Their openness enabled openness in me. I was able to open up and release burdens I had even hid from myself.  

Opening up in front of a group of guys was scary, but I could not have done half the growth if it were not for this aspect of the group.  Not only to see through other’s eyes what I myself was blind to, but for other’s eyes to truly see and know the real me. 

Through many different aspects of my time in this group God put His arms around me, walked me to the mirror, and introduced me to me. How He sees me and the man He is lifting me up to be. 

In addition to revealing who I am in His sight, God worked hard to reveal who He wants to be in relation to me. “Are you my daddy?”  God revealed Himself as my loving father. He looked at all that I was holding as my own (my pain, shame, self-hatred, other’s issues, need for control) and said to me, “I can take that.”  

This is a deeply personal process and so I did not advertise I was part of Living Waters but some of my coworkers knew I went somewhere and tried to sneakily ask “how was last night?” and I could truly answer “Life Changing”.  And I do not say that lightly.  Living Waters is hard work but I can now see that I am not alone and that I am loved.  I have been strengthened. I can walk this path. 

As I write this, I am brought to tears, moved by what God has done and is continuing to do; more than can be mentioned here.  Along with the above mentioned ground gained I, the scared “it” who walked into the program, stepped out of the program with a better sense that I am a man amongst men. 

Lastly, I would like to say a heartfelt “Thank You” to the leaders, to Northshore Baptist Church, and to anyone who has supported this Living Waters program. You have forever changed my life. 

– David