Two years of hard work finally came to fruition as 8 students from the inaugural Christian Counseling class held at Belize Bible Center graduated on Saturday!
Diana Shaw and N.T. Dellinger
Diana gave an inspiring charge to the graduates!
Pastor Craig and Bethany looking on...
Rosa and her family...
Rosa, an elementary school teacher, is able to use her skills to impact her students and their parents in the Spanish speaking community of San Martin.
Jose and Tina
Jose was the only male student to finish the course. He faithfully rode in each Saturday from Belize City on his motorcycle. An hour ride one way...sometimes in the rain! Jose is with for Youth For Christ and is able to use the skills he has learned in his work in Mexico, Belize and Guatemala.
Johanna and her daughter...
Johanna is a nurse and worksat the University of Belize, Central Farm Campus. She is using what she has learned to enhance her interactions with the students she comes in contact with.
Marlene and Alvina
Alvina is one of the volunteer counselors working at CDF. She also sees clients in the Mennonite community of Spanish Lookout.
Alvina, Johanna, Alida, Jose, Marlene, Tina, Rosa, and Jadine
Of the 22 students who took the first class these are the 8 faithful souls who persevered until the end!
This candle holder made of Belizean wood is Tom's gift from the graduates!
We enjoyed a meal together after the ceremony...of course!
I am so grateful to be finished with the course!
Below is an excerpt from my speech:
I have learned a lot over the past two years. I've learned how to listen more effectively. I've learned about the importance of being a safe person and how to provide safety to those who are brave enough to come into the counseling office. I've learned the importance that God places on relationships and how He designed and created us to need one another. We cannot grow and heal in isolation...we grow in loving and safe relationships with others. I've learned about emotions and the role they play in how we cope with life. I've learned about family dynamics, defense mechanisms, healthy boundaries, and I've learned different theories and methods for helping others. I've learned about our brains and how they develop and function.
It is not easy to sum up six semesters into one neat little package and get you all to understand what this course has meant to me. Over the past two years I realized that a new avenue of ministry was opening up for me. And that I could use the comfort and healing that I've received over the years to help others find comfort and healing as well. I feel more confident in providing help to others because of the skills and understanding I've gained from this course.
One of the verses that Tom used several times as he was teaching is Isaiah 42:3...
A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
Our healer is gentle. He is compassionate, faithful, and patient. He allows each one of us the grace, truth, and time needed to bring healing into our lives. And I'm excited that myself and the other seven graduates are on the same path...to continue to grow and heal ourselves, and also be available to help others in their journey of healing and growth with the same compassion, gentleness, patience, and faithfulness that God has shown to each one of us.