Welcome to Keys To Health, Wholeness, And Fruitfulness! I’m Steve Goss and in this short session,
I and my co-presenters, Dr Mary Wren and Dr Ifeoma Monye, want to give you a flavour of what this course is about
and why we are so excited about it. But first let’s hear from some people who have been on it. So, over the last few years I’ve struggled with anxiety
and depression. And it´s become part of my identity. But what I´ve realized through doing this course
is that it is not my identity at all. You’re not just stopping there with looking at,
you know, theory and theoretical practice but know it´s looking at what the word of God says
and marrying it with the word and standing on the truth and knowing that, you know,
the truth of the word will just set you free. This course has actually made me realize how God heals
not only spiritually but through my doctor as well. It helps to be able to deal with the root cause of issues rather than
just dealing with the surface symptoms. It’s an awesome experience for me
to remind me as a child of God. By this course I realized
that I need to speak out and confess it. It´s just a further layer on the icing
of the cake and given me a much deeper understanding of the connection between the biblical, scientific,
and medical aspect of health, wholeness and fruitfulness. I´ve had some issues resulting in feeling worthless
because of what people have said in my past. And I looked at the Scriptures and found out who
I really am in Christ. And that’s just really transformed me. Together the true understanding of wholeness came through
from both the medical and the spiritual sides. It will give me such freedom realizing that my identity
is not tied to any disease and I don´t have to own it. I was born in Nepal in a Hindu family
where people are treated differently according to their cast. Knowing who I am in Christ
and choosing Christ as the Lord has absolutely set me free. I have the awesome privilege of travelling around the world
as we in Freedom In Christ Ministries work in about 40 countries now to equip the church with
discipleship tools. And everywhere I go, I find that the Freedom In Christ Course,
our main discipleship resource, has kind of gone before me. It’s been translated into about 30 languages now. And it’s become a normal experience for me
to arrive in some far-flung country, and turn up at a conference, and find people who want to tell me about how
doing the Freedom In Christ Course has changed their life. And very often, the changes that they tell me about
actually include the resolution of some kind of health issue. It’s usually a mental health issue maybe depression,
or anxiety, or stress, or fear. Um, also have a lot of people coming to tell me about
resolving addiction issues. And occasionally there’s the story of what appears to be
a serious long-term illness just going away. But many, many people tell me that the teaching
they received on the Freedom in Christ Course has literally saved their lives. It’s wonderful to me. I love it! But of course the teaching
that we give on the Freedom In Christ Course is just the traditional Gospel message, nothing new. And it´s just the gospel message explained in a very practical way. But what I´ve come to understand as I’ve talked to these people,
as I’ve seen the results, is that this gospel message is perhaps one of the most
powerful medicines known to humankind. And I often find myself wondering
just how much money national health services and medical insurance companies
around the world are saving because people have been on the Freedom in Christ course
and no longer want to use their services. I remember one time a lady called our office and I spoke to her and she told me that a friend of hers
had been healed from clinical depression after she went through the Freedom in Christ stuff.
And so her question to us was well, how can I experience that too
because I’m also clinically depressed. Well I asked her if she was a follower of Jesus
and she said she wasn’t. And so I explained to her that actually this only really works
on the basis that somebody has become a new creation in Christ, somebody totally new.
And I heard her ask, “Ok, well, how can I become a Christian?” I’ve also heard amazing stories from people whose
medical condition hasn’t gone away but who still have an incredibly powerful testimony about how going through that
teaching has given them strategies to persevere and to grow through their illness. My own wife and I went through
a period of two years, which is really difficult, when she suffered with chronic fatigue syndrome and
at the worst point she was having to use a wheelchair. She really couldn´t really do much at all. But both of us found that
the principles we had learned from Freedom In Christ’s teaching
really did help us during a pretty tough time and God used that time to help us grow before he
graciously provided us with a solution for her particular issue. And as we look back on it we sometimes talk about this,
we think, well would we change it? And actually I think we probably decided we probably wouldn’t
because what we gained from that was so valuable. Anyway with all that in mind, about 5 years ago
I found myself sitting at breakfast, I think it was, at a hotel with three doctors and a nurse practitioner, all of whom
had been personally helped by Freedom In Christ’s teaching and all of whom kind of used little bits of it with their patients
as it was appropriate and when they could. And all of us as we talked were excited
about the possibility of bringing together the amazing scientific wisdom out there in the medical world
with the incredible transformative power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And so we hatched a plan
to produce a course that brings them both together and to put it in the hands of the church. Along the way we were joined
by another doctor and a psychologist to keep us sane which we needed
because there was a lot of writing, and re-writing, and testing and re-testing, and refining. And finally here it is! And the course will help you, we hope, understand health in the widest possible sense,
across the whole person, spirit, mind, and body. And because it is Freedom in Christ,
we wanted it to be very practical and give you some really practical tools for your own life and godly wisdom
that we hope you will be able to use. But somehow I just get the sense that it’s bigger than that.
It’s not just about health. What it’s really about for you personally, I think, is
equipping you to be everything that God created you to be and to do all the things that God says
he has specifically prepared in advance for you to do. And kind of beyond that we hope that it will
help churches show the entire world what powerful medicine
a personal relationship with Jesus actually is. We passionately believe that God wants
to use the church to transform the nations. Hi, I’m Mary. I knew that I wanted to be a Doctor
from about the age of about 10. No one in my family had done medicine or anything medical,
so I think God put the idea there in the first place! So at the age of 16 I decided I would test this out and
I went to a big hospital and I stood through a six hour a heart lung operation. And I decided that
because I could stay upright for that six hours and I found it quite interesting that I was going to be OK!
During my studies I spent 3 years with the Zulu people in South Africa where the medicine was much more basic,
the physical medicine, but there was the inclusion of the spiritual realm,
the spiritual realities in the healthcare. And then I worked in a hospital in the UK, a Christian hospital,
where excellent medical care was combined with church and chaplaincy input on site. So even before I qualified
I was learning from God about wholeness and not just health, not just physical health.
So I spent time in various different hospitals before becoming a family doctor or General Practitioner in 1992.
And for 20 years I worked in inner city practices in Sheffield in the North of England, looking um, looking after people there.
Seven years ago I moved to a different practice in Sheffield which is based at Sheffield University. And now I look after Sheffield University students
who come from all around the world. My whole medical career has really been about
asking God for keys for wholeness for people – starting with myself and my family. So I’ve had several
health issues over the years, as have our three children. And sometimes the key has been a physical answer
– so a medication or an operation or perhaps a change in diet. Sometimes it’s a spiritual solution – for example forgiving someone
or dealing with an issue from previous generations. But often it has been about renewing my mind
and aligning my thinking with what God says is true. So I’ve seen healing and wholeness come
in many different ways over the years. A big breakthrough in my life came when I went through
the Freedom In Christ teaching, which is about 17 years ago, and I started to understand that
I didn’t have to accept fear in my life. I realized that past experiences had caused me
to believe things that weren’t actually true and so I started to replace the lies with truth over many months
– I worked really hard at it. And a shift started to happen.
And I remember really clearly the day when fear left. It was in an instant and I knew it had gone.
And that radically changed my life. My mental health improved as a result
and then my physical health improved as a result. So my own experiences motivate me to see
other people equipped to be whole and free. I find it quite hard even at my age,
and after so long, to believe that I’m a doctor even though I know I am genuinely qualified!
Because I just enjoy being with people. I enjoy hearing their stories. I enjoy loving them. I enjoy giving them options,
sharing what I have learnt with them. And I’ve learned that wholeness and life come to people in the Church setting
as we pray with people and talk with people. But also wholeness in life come when
I prescribe the correct medication, when I give an antibiotic or when I admit a patient with sepsis or when
I correctly diagnose appendicitis – lives are saved too. And both those things are equally important to me.
Being a doctor is also good fun. We get a lot of things that make us laugh.
And we need that to keep us sane sometimes. So I think of the man who came with a saucepan
stuck on his head; or the lady I visited at home in bed who pulled back the duvet to reveal 8 puppies
and she offered me one but I refused. And then there was the very well-dressed lady
who appeared with her very expensive handbag, and brought out a package and unwrapped
an enormous worm that she had passed. And the man who had been happily swallowing
enemas and they were working very well, thank you! And then the lady who earnestly told me
that she had a problem with her Gentiles! So my hope for this course is that people will be
inspired and equipped to live whole and well and free. And to consider new possibilities for health. But also to be part,
perhaps, of a whole cultural shift in how the Church can help people to live
healthy, whole, fruitful lives and health professionals can be loved and respected
for the work that they do, and who they are by the Church and for their God given skill and gifts.
And then maybe we will see communities, and cities, and even nations changed for good.
And then hospitals will be emptier, and health services will have fewer people needing them! And physical resources can then be used
for the people who really need them. Hello, I’m Ifeoma. I have always felt a lot of empathy
for anyone who was unwell, be they family or friends. I was only four years old
when I decided I wanted to be a doctor. I´m the fifth in a closely-knit family of nine. Unknown to me,
my eldest brother was also thinking the same and today both of us are medical doctors. At a very tender age
I remember having an overwhelming desire to help people stay well. So each time
I visited sick relatives in hospital with my mom, I’d always walk away thinking, wondering,
why did others fall ill in the first place and is there anything we could do
to prevent them from falling ill again. So my greatest desire then as is now,
was to help people feel better and get well quickly. I trained in the College of Medicine University of Benin in Nigeria.
And towards the end of my training I was privileged to travel all the way to the
University of Helsinki Medical School for a summer exchange training program. It was while
I was there I attended a World Health Organization conference which left me a lasting impression about
the role of primary heath care in disease prevention. I left Helsinki that summer with the full knowledge that
it is possible to prevent illnesses even before they happen. It was therefore not a difficult choice at all for me to
pursue my post-graduate training in family medicine or general practice. Early on in my career I was very small and physically petite.
People would be sent to my Consultation Room and when they saw me,
without fail they would ask me where the doctor was! They always looked surprised each time said I was the doctor! This was some thirty years ago
though I wondered what to do to appear older so that patients would believe I really
was the doctor they had come to see. My patients’ reaction often left me with a smile.
I thank God for youthfulness. So in pursuing the frontiers of family medicine
I am deepening my passion for disease prevention by pursuing another specialized interest in the field of
Lifestyle Medicine. This has become my passion. It’s a new and evolving specialty. A branch of evidence based
medicine in which comprehensive lifestyle changes including nutrition, physical activity, stress management,
social support, and environmental exposure are used to prevent, treat, and reverse the progression of
chronic diseases by addressing their underlying causes. I’m so excited about teaching fellow doctors
and other clinicians as well as my patients how to adopt simple lifestyle changes that enable them
to live healthier and happier lives. Not only can people prevent many chronic diseases
but they can also reverse the effects of some lifestyle related illnesses such as diabetes
but until very recently were thought to be irreversible. So I now divide my time between Nigeria and the UK.
In Nigeria I’m a chief consultant family physician and a founder of the Brookfield Centre for Lifestyle Medicine.
Thanks to the wonders of technology I am able to run the Centre For Lifestyle Medicine in Abuja,
with a dedicated and highly motivated team of clinicians and support staff as well as
work here as a General Practitioner in the UK. My husband and my children have been
enormously supportive in this regard. I am so excited that this course places
medical wisdom in a Biblical worldview. Pills and medicines are wonderful, no doubt,
but they aren’t the answer for everything. When we see ourselves as God sees us
and address the whole person, spirit, mind, and body, we can then feel our way towards a whole answer. For example, I had a headache that had kept me
incapacitated for the better part of 6 weeks. You would think that as a doctor I would know exactly
how to deal with it and zap it away. Well, I couldn’t. At that time I went through an individual session
of The Steps to Freedom in Christ, a tool that we will tell you about during the course that
helps us deal with spiritual issues in our lives. The headache immediately went away
and has not returned sense. My sincere hope is that this course might be
a valuable resource to churches and individuals who require help in enriching their understanding
in health and wholeness. But even more than that, that as they go through this course they may live in
wholeness and fruitfulness prepared to be all that they were born to be and equipped to fulfill
the purpose for which they were created. So enjoy the course and then go out and play your part in seeing your nation transformed for good,
through the Church!