Grief Support Ministry Training

My name is Charlene Loughlin, and I am 63 years old. Currently, I live in Klamath Falls, Oregon. I am taking grief support ministry training courses online at the Christian Leaders Institute.

My Journey

I have had an incredible journey with Christ. However, at times, it felt like the experience of the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years. I grew up in a poor non-Christian home with five brothers and a single mom on welfare. However, my grandmother, who I spent many summers with, was a believer. She taught me about Jesus’ love.  So, I decided at an early age I wanted to go to church.

My mother got sick when I was in High School. My youth choir sang at church. So I always asked my mom to attend, but she declined every time. One day, I fell off a motorcycle and hit my hip on the curb. I was in a lot of pain, but I wanted to go to church. Although concerned, my mother let me go. Her orders were that I would go to the doctor as soon as I got home from church. I returned home with a big smile, explaining that the Lord had healed me. She knew something changed, so to my amazement, she decided to go to our choir performance. That night, she gave her heart to the Lord. She died six months later of cancer. At 18, I was now on my own.

That was the first death I ever experienced.  Sadly, there were many deaths to come. About 10 years later, my father died, then, within two weeks, my brother died. A few years later, another brother died by suicide. Then another brother died of liver disease. My grandmother died shortly after that. Shortly after that, my marriage ended.

A Changed Life

The toll of all the loss finally caught up to me. Living a double life sinning Monday thru Saturday, I still went to church on Sunday. The Holy Spirit convicted me, but I could not break free from the life I had chosen. Through all my sins and rebellion, God was always there. However, one day, I heard the Lord say, “I will spit you out of my mouth.” I ignored His warning. Then I literally felt for the first time in my life that God’s presence left me. It terrified me! I cried out, asking Jesus back into my life. It was a wake-up call to a sincere relationship with God, not just a religious performance that I had for all those years.

I decided to go to college and get my teaching credentials in special education. Then, I worked on an Indian Reservation for six years. One Sunday, a man was speaking from the pulpit, asking people to join him on a short mission trip to Guatemala. I jumped at the chance thinking it would be a mini-vacation. Little did I know that it would turn my world upside down. After I returned home, the orphanage stayed on my mind. A year later, I sold all my things and moved to Guatemala as a full-time missionary. I lived there for four years until I got very sick and knew it was time to return to the USA.

New Direction

After I returned, I felt lost and alone without a purpose. I never really connected with my community again. I went back to teaching, but it never felt the same and I missed ministry. Then, on my way home after visiting my younger brother, I drove through a small town and heard a voice say, “You are going to move here.”  I knew no one in the area, so I wasn’t sure why that popped into my head.

Two years later, God provided a job and I moved to that town.  I connected immediately with a supportive church family and made amazing friends. It was the connection I desperately wanted. However, I still had a tug on my heart for ministry. Over the years, I saw many people who lost loved ones, especially during covid. I also lost my very best friend of over 30 years. Feeling the sting of grief again, I woke up one morning realizing my ministry was to start a grief support group at our church.

Grief Support Ministry Training at CLI

This is the journey that I am now on. I found the Christian Leaders Institute on the internet as I searched for classes for leadership. The classes fit perfectly with the training I was hoping to find. My hope is to start a Grief Support Ministry in the Fall, which will be perfect timing when I finish my Christian Leaders Institute Leadership training course.

I am excited to continue taking classes at CLI to equip me on this journey. Praise God! He has been faithful in my unfaithfulness and guided me through so many challenges and experiences in my life. I am excited to start this ministry journey.

Register a Study Account

Register for a free study account that automatically enrolls you in the Getting Started Class at the Christian Leaders Learning Platform. The Getting Started class will take you less than an hour to complete.

When you log in to the Learning Platform, you will notice that the Getting Started Class automatically appears on your dashboard.    

The Getting Started Class will orientate you to the Christian Leaders Learning Platform and the Programs offered, including:

  1. Ministry Awards, Certificates, and Diplomas with the Christian Leaders Institute.
  2. College Degrees with the Christian Leaders College.
  3. Minister Credentialling (Ordination) with the Christian Leaders Alliance, including local Soul Center registration possibilities. 

Note: You can enroll in tuition-free courses or mini-courses immediately without finishing the getting started class.  

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