Executive Director and Founder
When I started this ministry in '06 my goal was to help 30 Christians who, like me, were same-sex attracted. Since those humble beginnings SIW has helped thousands in 58 countries. I've taught over 100,000 people in churches, universities, and faith-based groups globally, have written six books and have had a documentary movie made about my life and this ministry called FINDING GUY.
Before I became a Christian I lived an active gay life until I was 24 years old. After becoming a Christian I left that life behind forever. Over the years God has blessed my life tremendously. In 1991 I married my best friend Cathy and we have 4 amazing adult children. Sadly, Cathy passed away in 2018 of cancer. By God's blessing, He opened my heart to fall in love again and I married Laura. My interests? I am a news junkie, love anything political, love to read, and am an avid hockey and baseball fan.
Chief Operating Officer
Ellen is a faithful Christian woman, wife, daughter, and mother who navigates the nuanced realities of living as a same-sex attracted follower of Christ. Ellen has a BA in Interpersonal Communication from East Carolina University and an MA in Counseling from Harding School of Theology. Ellen is a provisionally licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHCA) and a provisionally licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFTA). For over 10 years she has walked alongside individuals and families as they navigate the joys and pain of striving for sexual integrity.
Ellen lives in eastern NC with her husband and their son. She is committed to soaking up every bit of life and enjoys traveling, laughing, and spending time with family and friends. As a same-sex attracted and loyal follower of Christ, she is well equipped to offer her support and walk alongside you as you navigate these tender topics.
Director of Operations & Client Services
Laura brings to SIW the gifts and talents that made her so successful in Operations Management. As our Director of Operations and Client Services, she is friendly, engaging, and has great communication and organizational skills. If you need client service assistance or would like to learn more about our ministry, don't hesitate to contact Laura.
Parent & Family Ministry
I bring rich experience to this unique area of ministry; as both my mother and daughter previously experienced seasons in their lives when they were lesbian. This has led me on a very profound journey of learning how to emulate God's heart of grace and compassion.
I am qualified to offer practical and Christ-centred support and advice to Christians who have a family member who is homosexual. I have a background in pediatric nursing, and as a result, have worked for two decades with children who have a variety of special needs. I am currently employed by the Toronto District School Board working with children who have autism. I have raised two amazing children and am now a grandmother. I assist with the Parent and Family Ministry with Strength in Weakness.
College & Young Professionals Ministry
I have been a vibrant follower of Christ since my conversion while attending the University of San Diego. I was born and raised in Northern California where I pursued a basketball career with a full scholarship. There I contributed to record-breaking seasons from 2008-2012. It was on campus, during the summer of 2010, where I was introduced to some great Christians who were eager to help me in my walk with God.
I received a bachelor's degree in Communications with a minor in Leadership Studies. I am passionate about my role with the SIW College & Young Professionals Ministry. Years of living in same-sex relationships before becoming a disciple equipped me well to mentor and advise young men and women as I continue to live as a same-sex-attracted disciple. I married in May 2015 and am enjoying living life to the full as a wife and a mother of two!
I have been a faithful follower of Christ since 2004 navigating college and now single life as a same-sex attracted Christian. I am committed to glorifying God through sexual integrity and enjoy being a support for those who aspire to do the same. With a bachelors degree in Public Health and a masters degree in Health Administration, I have worked for years in the healthcare industry. Now I am excited to bring my talents and serve in the SIW Women's Ministry guiding others as they navigate their journeys.
Barry has been a faithful Christian and member of his local church in Denver, Colorado for almost three decades, where he also serves as a deacon. He and his wife, Sharon, have one daughter and two granddaughters. Coming from a same-sex-attracted background, Barry sadly spent much of his youth struggling with suicidal ideation stemming from his struggle with homosexuality. Since becoming a Christian and experiencing tremendous victory over his homosexual temptations, Barry has always had a desire to serve other same-sex-attracted followers of Jesus, helping them to live victorious lives in Christ. Barry and Sharon have been married since 1994.
Sharon became a Christian in 1988 in Denver, Colorado at the same church she and her husband, Barry, still attend. She is an accountant for a real estate company and also a small business owner. In 1993 she met her future husband Barry. Soon Sharon became aware of his struggle with same-sex attraction during their pre-marriage counselling. After much prayer she knew that he was the man God had chosen for her, and they were married in December 1994. Sharon has learned that Barry’s struggle is not an easy battle, but she has continued to work alongside him as he has enjoyed success in overcoming these temptations and living a faithful Christian life.
Spanish Ministry Men
Yo he sido un Cristiano fiel desde el año de 1986, lo cual es por cierto gracias a la gloria de Dios.
Dios en su misericordia me ha concedió la victoria en mis batallas frente a la homosexualidad por alrededor de 34 años, al manifestarme públicamente quise ayudar a otros con sus luchas frente a las tentaciones de inseguridad, soledad y confusión en esta área.
Kathy y yo hemos estado casados por 30 años, tenemos 3 hijos y una nieta. Soy Cubano y Kathy es mitad ecuatoriana y puertorriqueña.
Spanish Ministry Women
Mi nombre es Kathleen Mora González, vivo en la ciudad de Miami, Florida y he sido discípula de Jesús durante 37 años.
Rolando y yo hemos estado casados durante 32 años y tenemos 3 hijos adultos increíbles. Como mujer casada con un hombre atraído por el mismo sexo, comprendo la profunda necesidad de conexión con una comunidad que pueda brindar comprensión, empatía y apoyo. Encontré esa conexión aquí en Strength in Weakness Ministries.
Nunca me hubiera imaginado que Dios nos usaría a nosotros o nuestra historia de esta manera, ¡pero tenía un plan! Sirvo en este ministerio ofreciendo apoyo a otras esposas en su viaje.
Dr. F. LaGard Smith
Dr. F. LaGard Smith has been a professor of law for over 40 years and is a best-selling Christian author. Before beginning his teaching career, Smith was District Attorney for Malheur County, Oregon. Professor Smith has taught Criminal Law and Constitutional Criminal Procedure at Pepperdine, Liberty, and most recently at Faulkner University. For five years, Smith served as Scholar in Residence for Christian Studies at Lipscomb University. In addition to his career in law and time spent as a frequent guest lecturer, Smith has authored some 30 books, including devotionals such as the popular Meeting God in Quiet Places. Dr. Smith is the arranger and narrator of The Daily Bible(the NIV in chronological order). As often as they can, LaGard and his wife, Ruth, enjoy time in their cottage in the bucolic Cotswold countryside of England, northwest of London, where he does much of his writing.
Dr. Douglas Jacoby
Dr. Jacoby is an internationally recognized authority in the areas of biblical training and Christian apologetics, and has taught tens of thousands in over 125 nations on every continent. He received a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard University in 1982, and then underwent three years of postgraduate study at Kings College London. Douglas received his doctorate from Drew University in 1999. He is a Member of the American Scientific Affiliation, Society of Biblical Literature, Biblical Archaeology Society, Evangelical Philosophical Society, and the American Association of Christian Counselors. He has authored 33 books, created numerous DVDs and audio sets, and produced other materials that are benefiting many through his International Bible Teaching Ministry. His website (www.douglasjacoby.com) contains more than 10,000 pages of biblical teaching resources. He also serves as Adjunct Professor (M.A. in Theology) at both Lincoln Christian University and in the Rocky Mountain School of Theology & Ministry. Dr. Jacoby is married with three children, and lives in the greater Atlanta area, Georgia (United States of America).
Dr. Jennifer Konzen
Dr. Konzen is the director for the Center for Sexuality in San Diego, CA. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist, a certified sex therapist, and a certified chemical dependency counsellor. She is also a nationally award-winning researcher, an international speaker, the author of Graduated Intimacy: A Guided Intervention for Increasing Sexual Intimacy in Marriageand an adjunct professor at Alliant International University, San Diego and Bethel Seminary, San Diego. Jennifer and her husband, Tim, lead a married ministry in the San Diego Church of Christ. They have four wonderful children.
Andrew Lewis is the co-lead evangelist for the Toronto Church of Christ. Along with his wife, Suzette, he also leads a multicultural suburban ministry known as Milestone Christian Ministries (www.milestoneministries.ca). As a Qualified Mediator, Counsellor, and experienced trainer in Restorative Justice, he brings a rare mix of consultant and speaker. He specializes in helping people effectively embrace and triumph over societal challenges without becoming bitter or scared in the process. As a community advocate, he is committed to volunteerism where it brings people together; the advantaged and the disadvantaged, despite their differences. Andrew utilizes his diverse background as a licensed commercial pilot and seasoned evangelist to respect and relate to people regardless of creed, class, or culture.
WHAT WE BELIEVE
The Guiding Principles and Goals of Strength in Weakness Ministries
We assert that God's biblical design for sexual intimacy is that it is to be exclusively reserved for the relationship between a man and a woman bound together in marriage. (Genesis 2:18-25; Mark 10:7-8)
We believe that all people are created in the image of God and are precious to Him, regardless of one's sexual orientation or chosen lifestyle, and are to be treated with respect and dignity.
We fully recognize that many in society celebrate and embrace homosexuality and do not agree with the stance taken by this ministry. We respect their freedom to choose as they desire. It is therefore not our intention to make judgements on, or to criticize, those who do not hold to the Christian sexual ethic (1 Corinthians 5:12). However, we also recognize that there are others who, also by that same freedom of choice, desire to keep to God's will for human sexuality as found in Scripture, thereby deciding not to celebrate or embrace their same-gender attractions, but rather to learn how to deny them daily in submission to God. It is for these individuals that this ministry exists.
We exist to offer support and Christian camaraderie in a secure and confidential atmosphere for Christians who come from a homosexual past and who currently live with unwanted same-gender attractions. We recognize that all of us are at different places in our journey to find healing and that we must be tenderly patient with those who have been trapped in sinful and dysfunctional activities that separate them from the will that God has for their lives, while encouraging them to hold to the standard of righteousness as found in Scripture. (Galatians 6:1)
We endeavor to help same-gender-attracted Christians recognize that though they did not choose this as their sexual orientation, they do have the freedom in Christ to choose the path of self-denial and obedience to God in the daily decisions they make. (Romans 6:15-22). This is not offered as a one-dimensional antidote, for we appreciate that the issues are complex, but rather as a profession that submission to God in personal righteousness must be a fundamental component of one's life if true healing is ever to be fully realized, regardless of what kind of therapy one uses to discover that healing. (Luke 9:23-24)
We want same-gender-attracted disciples of Jesus to be reminded that everything Satan has meant for evil, God can use for good. They are not victims; rather they are a part of the solution, beacons on a hill in a dark and sinful world where they can help others find forgiveness and healing just as they have. The Lord is not ashamed or embarrassed of Christians who are same-gender attracted, and He wants to use their lives to glorify Him whether that orientation ever changes or not. (2 Corinthians 12:8-10)
Same-gender-attracted disciples are simply God's children. They are not gay or lesbian or bi-sexual or transgender or homosexual or even ex-gay. There is so much more to all of their lives than their sexual orientation, sexual identity issues, or other areas that are broken. They are great husbands and wives, loving parents, loyal and trustworthy friends, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, trusted employees, hard-working students, and helpful contributors to their communities and churches; but first and foremost they are Christians, loved sons and daughters of God. (2 Corinthians 5:16-17)
This ministry desires to offer education to the church in order to demystify and destigmatize homosexuality and same-gender attractions, so that our churches can truly be caring, safe sanctuaries for the same-gender-attracted Christian to find love and acceptance. We want to offer practical tools that all can learn in order to truly offer the love of Jesus in a pragmatic way to anyone with sexual identity issues. May the homosexual who comes through our doors to find God, and the same-gender-attracted brother or sister who we worship beside never again have to fear that they will not be accepted and loved with open arms and treated in a respectful manner in Jesus' church. May we all learn to journey together—humbly, respectfully, and compassionately.