It is with excitement and more-than-a-few butterflies, that I introduce to you the newest members of the Isaiah 61 Ministries family!!! Meet Deborah, Karen, Natalie and Sandy! These ladies are coming on board officially May 1 as Volunteer Peer Counselors.
I have always known God would add to our I-61 family, I just didn't know who or when. As I began to pray and seek Him, it became clear He already knew both the who and the when! He brought each of these ladies to my personal attention through various ways and means. Applications, references and background checks only confirmed what I already knew and we began training last January 2020. We were hitting it pretty hard, then...COVID! We kept waiting for life to get back to "normal" so we could resume with the training. That, of course, didn't happen, so it was on to plan B...training via Zoom. We have since been able to reconvene in person to finish the training and are now ready to launch these wise, godly women as our very first Volunteer Peer Counselors!
What is a "peer counselor" exactly? I'm glad you asked! A Peer Counselor is simply someone who loves the Lord and has personally experienced God's presence and working as each has walked through various difficulties and trials and, as a result, has developed a heart and desire to come alongside others and help them do the same. Our Peer Counseling program includes extensive training in people-helping skills with a Biblical foundation but with strict and firm guidelines as to the parameters of our ability to help people in a non-professional manner. We maintain a very comprehensive referral list for those who need more than what we are equipped to give. However, we also recognize many people just need someone to listen, to care, to pray and to encourage. And these ladies absolutely fit those qualifications to a tee! Though a tad bit nervous themselves, they, too, are excited to get started walking out this new path the Lord has laid before them and to see His transforming handiwork in the lives of others!