Ok so I left off last week where my mind was full of questions like: How would I study from Guatemala? How would I find time to study with how busy I already am in ministry? How is God going to provide for the cost of continuing education? Is this really what God wants? Will it truly benefit my work here in Guatemala? What will people think of me going back to school? Does Servants let their missionaries go back to school? These were just a few of the doubts that raced through my mind but if there’s one thing I’ve learned on my journey as a missionary it’s that if God calls you to do something HE WILL provide everything necessary to make it happen. So I started praying. And I was VERY honest with God. I told Him…ok this is something that I believe you’re telling me to pursue so the first thing I want to know is “Do you really want me to do this? Or am I misunderstanding? The response came quickly as Jesus reminded me that I have had a desire to study to be a counselor for 10 years. In fact, I almost switched majors when I was getting my bachelor’s degree but there would have been issues with the grants/loans that were paying for my education so I stayed the course. And I’m grateful I did because I have seen the Lord use many of the things I studied for my work here in Guatemala. But I felt the Lord say to me “I’ve put this passion in you for a reason and now is the time to pursue it.” So I then started praying about how it would really benefit the things the Lord has me doing in ministry here in Guatemala. That’s when He started bringing me people who were in desperate need of some type of counseling help. Now I’ve done a lot of research on this, read a lot of books, and have always been a person who my friends turn to for wisdom and advice but I felt really overwhelmed when God started bringing women to me who needed even more help than what the Celebrate Recovery program offered. Then He brought Dylan and I a couple who we have grown very close to who basically said to us “our marriage is a mess, we’re thinking about divorce, but we want to try getting help first can you help us.” In all of these circumstances Dylan and I have explained that we are not officially trained in any type of counseling but that we do have a little knowledge about it and that we would seek the Lord and see how He allows us to move forward. I can tell you that every time I go in to one of these meetings I feel completely inadequate but I just keep relying on the wisdom of Jesus and I allow Him to speak through me because I know He is always MORE than adequate. As word is slowly getting out I have more women who are coming to me and telling me “oh, I need help with my marriage” or “I need help with this issue in my life” so the Lord is showing me over and over again the great need for this in our ministry.
He is also showing me something incredibly beautiful. I have had 2 women, who I have worked through the Celebrate Recovery small group with and who are now growing as leaders in the ministry and who have a great passion to serve other women in their community. These women have shared with me that God is putting on their hearts to help the women in their community on an even deeper level than what we offer in Celebrate Recovery but they don’t know how. One day I was being very vulnerable and sharing in our small group about how God was putting it on my heart to study for a counseling degree and the women were so excited because if I had more knowledge I could teach them what I learned and then they could help the women in their community. So not only would I be able to help others but I would be able to raise up Guatemalan women who would be able to help the women in their community on an even deeper level than I ever could.
So God was starting to answer my questions and show me this really was something He wanted and it would greatly benefit the ministry here. Again I am going to stop in the interest of keeping this post at a reasonable length and I will pick up next week with “Don’t give up on the dream part 3.” Again I ask that you would continue to pray with me about this and next week we will see how God answers the rest of the questions.