In 1971, I (Bob) attended college with a major in Fine Arts. My dreams and desires at that time, were to spend my life in the field of art and photography. Art for me back in the late 60's and early 70's encompassed my entire worldview. In January of 1972, I came to believe in Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. After my rebirth in Christ and as I grew in my relationship with God, my humanistic worldview was dramatically shifted to a biblical worldview. I laid down art as a life direction and career goal at that time.
2014 marks our 31st year in ministry serving in churches as well as in ICBC of Texas. As you may be aware, over 10 years ago in the fall of 2003, Debbie and I started the International Center for Biblical Counseling of Texas (ICBC of Texas) at the invitation of Dr. Mark Bubeck the founder of ICBC located in Sioux City, IA. Since that time we have had the privilege of ministering to hundreds of individuals and couples from all over the United States, as well as teach in the field of discipleship counseling in various conferences and churches in the U.S.
In the fall of 2012 we moved our counseling offices and integrated our counseling services into our church, Hope Fellowship, in Longview, TX, where we still continue to offer encouragement and help to those struggling in the battles of life. We have witnessed a significant decline in the number of counseling clients over the past three to four years. Both my wife and I have faced some decline in our health as well, but we are still able to help others as needed, so we are not complaining; we're just not as young as we used to be. My precious wife and companion Debbie, has been the most active counselor in our office, which is good, because the majority of requests for help come from women; but even those requests are in a serious decline.
Just recently, as of last year, the Lord opened doors of opportunity for me to start using some of my latent creative skills. Those skills in art design concepts and photography that could now be used to help other ministries communicate the Gospel; primarily using technology such as graphic design and web development on the internet. By God's grace I have been able to complete over 30 courses, in the field of web design and development, in the past year and a half.
The real tension is that I have spent the majority of my life in ministry, often in bi-vocational fashion (that is working in secular fields to support our roles in ministry). I desire to continue in ministry and believe God has led me to do so full time in my latter years. A unique graphic design team has approached me and asked me to pray about joining their team, continuing to serve in ministry alongside them as they reach out to assist ministries around the world communicating the Gospel clearly through the graphic arts, web design and video services. As a faith mission they offer these services at no cost or very low cost. This is made possible because all the staff raise their own support. The name of the design team that has invited me to work with them is, 289 Design, based in Longview, TX; check them out at www.289deisgn.org. "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not as a result of works, so that no one may boast (Ephesians 2:8-9 NASBU)." 289 Design has been active in several countries in Africa, as well as in Russia, India, Thailand, and across the United States with various churches and Christian ministries. 289 Design is a 501c3 entity, operating as a non-profit organization based in Texasˎ
Would you be willing to be a part of our prayer team as we work to help ministries reach out and proclaim the Gospel here in the U.S. as well as in countries around the world?
Both Debbie and I continue to be available to offer biblical discipleship counseling for those who call in, working through our church ministries, but my (Bob's) primary focus is going to be towards that of web development and graphic design for ministries. There are some exciting things God is doing in "closed" countries in relation to the use of the internet and technology in making the Gospel known, as well as offering biblical education and teaching.
We do need prayer partners in accomplishing these goals. As a prayer partner I will keep you up to date on various projects and efforts that 289 Design will be actively involved in. As in any ministry endeavor, our effectiveness will only be in and through God's mighty protection and His blessing.
The time is drawing closer to the blessed day of Christ's return. Please pray with us as we assist various ministries around the world to clearly and effectively communicate the Good News of Jesus Christ.
If you are reading this online you can check out some of the projects I have worked on by clicking on this link, photo review of projects.
May the Lord bless you!