Deborah* is using her life experience and personal benefit from counseling to help others through the same process. Currently she is working on her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology at the Caribbean Graduate School of Theology (CGST) in Jamaica. She says her courses “have equipped me to help people…[with] advice and guidance and to share in their life challenges.” She has had plenty of those herself. She grew up in a single-parent, non-Christian home; her father has never been involved in her life. At 20 years old, she was pregnant out of wedlock. A year later, she and her boyfriend came to Christ and were married. After 12 years of marriage, Deborah discovered that her husband was having an affair. Despite individual and marriage counseling in an attempt to reconcile, the couple separated and will ultimately divorce. She says she doesn’t think she could have coped with the demise of their marriage “without the knowledge, resources and assistance that God provided for me through CGST.”
Now she raises their three sons on her own. Her mother, now a Christian, is unemployed, so Deborah supports her as well. Thus the Overseas Council scholarship has been a real blessing to her and her family. “It has enabled me to continue with my studies, and it…further confirms that the Lord provides for His children. Through this scholarship, I am being empowered to carry out God’s work and to take better care of my family.” Despite her trials, she has remained faithful to the Lord’s work. She counsels inner-city students, teaches adult Sunday school and leads worship. “I feel very privileged and blessed to have had the opportunity to participate in my courses….The Lord has given me the gift of teaching, and I am using my gift to honor Him.” After completing her degree, she wants to offer voluntary hours of counseling to people who cannot afford to pay for sessions. She’d like to teach adult literacy classes and may pursue doctoral studies as well. “I believe that what I have learned from the challenges and experiences that I have had will equip me to help people who have undergone or will undergo similar challenges.”
*Name has been changed for security purposes.