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Beauty for Ashes Grief Workshop

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John and Kay West

Missionaries to South Africa

Kay West, former counselor for Jesus Cares Ministries, is the founder and author of  "Beauty for Ashes."  She originally developed and conducted this workshop for the many grieving and hurting women of Jesus Cares Ministries. These workshops began right in our home with our live-in clients. As we saw the increasing need, and many benefiting from Kay's teaching on grief, we expanded to offer this seminar to our volunteers as a training tool. We also included those we were reaching through our Community Outreach program. "Beauty For Ashes"became a regular part of our outreach. After time, Kay and her husband, John, were called to minister to the grieving people of Swaziland. Wanting to step up our skills in this vital area, we took some courses on grief. We built upon the foundation that our faithful sister had laid for us, finding ways to make the material more relevant for men, and compiling all the information into a booklet format. The material is now available to others in the community as a free booklet to use for themselves or their counselees. What my sister began by faith years ago has grown like a mustard seed into a large tree offering shade and refuge for many. Many have found relief through the material she sowed into this mission. 

Rape, incest, abandonment issues and a host of grief and loss issues can be stuffed into our hearts. Much energy is needed to keep the cork on that bottle and the material has helped many an individual release the floodgates, and allow the Lord to walk them through the valley of grief. We want to protect the privacy of our clients but would like to share the comments of one such woman who walked through the difficult places with Jesus Cares Ministries: 

“For approximately 45+ years I have carried guilt and shame for being molested as a very young girl. Then counseling with Jesus Cares one on one, "so much more" came out...all the ugliness that our Messiah had forgiven me for, that I could not forgive myself, and unknowingly held on to which deep down was causing more issues in my relationship with my partner and with my Savior. I learned from example and by your wisdom, that I was not accepting God's grace. Jesus died on the cross to forgive all my sins, not just the ones I allowed Him to. I was rejecting what Jesus had done by not allowing ALL my sins to be forgiven. Since I have learned this, I have rededicated my life..."

We had the privilege of coaching more women this year who have been struggling with denial issues that caused unhealthy coping patterns. Many have come to a place of acceptance and even joy! We would like to honor John and Kay West who walked with us early on in this vital and fruitful facet of Jesus Cares. We want to say to you, “Well done faithful servants!”

If you are an individual, church or organization wanting to conduct a seminar in your community, please contact: Doreen at 480 831 1737.  A free PDF version of the workbook: "Beauty For Ashes" is available here.

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