How does a former lesbian end up a biblical counselor through a TMAI Training Center?
The Expositor’s Academy (TEA) in the Philippines equips men to pastor churches, preach the gospel, and protect people from deception. These deceptions take various forms, from the old-world false gospel brought ashore by Rome in the 16th century, to the gender ideology imported from the modern West. But standing in the gap, TEA faithfully trains men to stand firm against old and new cultural influences afflicting the nation. To do this, they offer two certificate programs: Expository Preaching & Pastoral Ministry, and Biblical Studies.
When properly handled, the sharp two-edged sword of Scripture does not stay sheathed. The truth does not discriminate, it transforms those in all walks of life. While the focus is to train men, TEA’s Biblical Studies program is open to laypeople, men and women alike. Old and new worldviews held her tightly, and she allowed them to justify her, define her, and harden her.
TEA has seen these programs bless the Philippines, transforming all types of people from prospective pastors to active adversaries—one of whom was a young woman named Dia.
From the age of six, Dia thought of herself as a lesbian. She cross-dressed daily, abandoning any classical femininity in favor of her own self-perception. But being born into a Catholic family, she never considered herself as a sinner due to her habitual pattern of attending confession. The LGBTQ community reinforced this new conception of identity, assuring her that she was an oppressed victim, not a sinner in need of a Savior.
Old and new worldviews held her tightly, and she allowed them to justify her, define her, and harden her.
When a Christian coworker invited her to a Bible study, Dia leapt at the chance to truly read the Bible. Her aim was strategic, to retaliate against the church’s “oppression” of her by finally proving to herself that God approved of her lesbianism. But instead, the living and active word of God pierced her soul.
“The word of God is the means He used to change me,” Dia remembered as she shared her testimony with TEA’s biblical counseling students. “It was not my good works as a Catholic, it’s not the authority of the priests or Pope, and not even the acceptance from the LGBT community. The word of God is sufficient to let me know what my true identity is.”
The word of God revealed a fundamental truth to her: true love is not the freedom to do what she pleased, but freedom from the enslavement of sin, freedom to love and worship God alone. Even a young woman, completely opposed to the gospel, may become a beautiful aroma of God’s goodness.
With a transformed heart, Dia began attending Greenhills Christian Fellowship East, sitting under faithful expository preaching, learning the sufficiency of scripture in all areas of her life. Her fellow bible study members stood with her, loving her through her conversion, the hard task of putting off old sinful habits, and worshipping alongside her day by day. Through this, Dia saw the beauty and significance of the Church, both local and universal.
She would later begin taking biblical counseling classes at TEA. And in May of 2022, she left her job to pursue a Masters in Biblical Counseling at The Master’s University.
Dia now serves as a volunteer Teaching Assistant for Biblical Counseling courses for women at TEA.
This is the influence that men trained at TMAI training centers have all over the world. Not only are men being taught to shepherd churches, but the training centers contribute to laypeople likewise being taught to accurately, skillfully, and lovingly handle scripture and minister to their families, churches, and nation. Even a young woman, completely opposed to the gospel, may become a beautiful aroma of God’s goodness.
Pray that these transformations would continue, that the word faithfully preached would soften hearts and bear fruit of regenerated lives. Pray that the Lord would bless His people through these training opportunities, and that He would continue to use TMAI training centers to serve people in all walks of life.