“It was powerful!”
Cornerstone CHANGED Event Report:
Saturday, November 2, 2019
Hope and healing for those struggling with unwanted same sex attraction and/or gender dysphoria.
When it comes to the areas of same-sex attraction and sexual identity, often we feel we are fighting an uphill battle. The war of words can be exhausting. But, make no mistake, God’s truth will prevail. Beyond the rhetoric are real lives, real pain, real need.
There is no more compelling evidence of that than in the heartfelt testimonies we heard this past weekend at our CHANGED Event.
Attendees gathered Saturday morning at a local Concord area church to hear firsthand the remarkable and courageous stories of our CHANGED speakers’ journeys of healing and finding their God-given identity.
Ken Williams shared his childhood struggles of isolation and poor self-image that led to pornography and same-sex attraction. His journey to healing through Christ’s love led him to found the ministries Equipped to Love and the CHANGED Movement with the mission of education and supporting individuals struggling with their sexual identity or lifestyle.
Liz Flaherty told of her own childhood pain and sense of never fitting in. Turning away from her faith and embracing her identity as a lesbian, she experienced ever-present pain which she tried to mask with drugs. When she opened the door again to a relationship with God, His love embraced her to the point she could no longer live as she had. It was through a sexual wholeness program that Liz finally felt embraced, understood, and loved unconditionally.
Jeffrey Johnston is a survivor. Having lived as a woman for over two decades, Jeffrey’s powerful testimony of gender dysphoria, same-sex attraction and prostitution offers a compelling witness to the saving grace and restorative power of God’s love. His Ex-Transgender with Regret video made with Cornerstone has now garnered over 884K views, clearly showing the hunger people have for the truth.
Questions from the audience largely centered on how best to help those struggling with same-sex attraction and gender dysphoria. Often these individuals are our family members, neighbors, friends, or fellow congregants. Also front and center were questions on how to best preserve a culture of religious and personal freedom that will allow individuals to seek the counselling and care they desire in the face of societal and political pressure to shut down the “Jesus option” for those who identify as LBGTQ.
On Sunday, we hosted a NH Legislative Roundtable to discuss the collision course between religious liberty and the “Pro-LGBTQ+” policies that are currently being pushed nationwide. Ken Williams and Liz Flaherty shared the legislative battles CHANGED has fought in CA and MA, specifically in regards to the conversion therapy ban as well as therapy bans in a dozen other states. The roundtable engaged NH legislators on our state-centric challenges and strategies to preserve the right of individuals with same-sex attraction to receive counseling/therapy incorporating a faith-based perspective.
The feedback from those who came was overwhelmingly positive and encouraging. Clearly hearts were touched and caring avenues of communication and support opened. From one attendee:
“Our people who attended found it to be very valuable. Hearing the stories, the real gritty reality spoken with so much grace and truth. We walked away with a deeper understanding for people, sexuality, and how that all intertwines with life, self-image, hopes, desire to find wholeness and love. A woman with our group has a gay daughter and she was apprehensive about coming. She was so thankful for the conference and gained both greater compassion and empowerment, and received prayer. “
It was an honor to host this special event. There are challenging times ahead for us all as we stand up to the attacks on our personal and religious freedoms, and on our very identity. Pray for those with the courage to share their very personal stories. Pray for the people of NH and our country, our lawmakers, and those therapists brave enough to offer love and support to those individuals seeking answers and healing.
If you want to know more about transgender issues, this Parent Resource Guide from the Family Policy Alliance is a good place to start as well as our Cornerstone page of resources.