Years ago, my friend Ed and I were idly talking about how God has been leading us in similar directions and how He has given us the compassion and gifting of working alongside pastors and church/ministry leaders in supporting families with mental health needs. We both share a strong conviction that the process of healing through counselling can feel lonely and that, in fact, it need not be so. We believe that healing with community can happen but only with intentional and purposeful efforts.
For him it meant leaving his work as an associate pastor at Faith Community Christian church in Vancouver for a second stint of grad school in at Fuller Theological Seminary’s Graduate School of Psychology. And for me, it meant pursuing a second Master’s degree in Counselling from UBC while working as Vice Principal and Counsellor at Carver Christian School in Burnaby.
Personally, I began this journey slowly and cautiously. It was not easy to discern a shift in vocational while I was in mid-career. As a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a teacher, a school administrator, a counsellor and a disciple of Christ, I was challenged to live a more integrated life.
It was because of this journey, I learned that God calls ordinary people like me to trust him. As I trust in Him, he blessed me so I might be a blessing to others. God promises to be with us in our failures and our faithfulness. He continues to work through us to redeem this broken world.
Recently, we are feeling the timing of God’s call to move forward as a team to work with churches in the Vancouver area and supporting mental health needs in the community. What is exciting is that the vision that we discussed now seems to be in actual physical development. Providentially, I was connected with a previous student who worked with us to help brand, design, and create Soma Counselling and Family Resources. The research completed gave us confidence that we were on the right path. We hear God’s heart and love for the people, for the churches and for the city of Vancouver.
The beginning of 2016 marks for us a new journey in which we are hoping to walk with pastors and churches in education and training, providing resources for family development, and individual and group counselling/psychotherapy.
Soma’s mission is to bring healing into faith communities, by partnering with and equipping churches to administer Jesus-centered counselling to Vancouver’s South Main district.
We desire to see individuals and families thrive in their own communities. Too often, counselling and healing have been seen as processes that take place separated and isolated from authentic communities. We desire to see healing happen with communities.