It has really been a joy to be in France for the past 10 days. It has been a pleasure meeting new people and seeing others that I met last year. Working with people who have been abused emotionally, verbally, and/or physically is a calling, and I am happy to meet each person where she is, knowing that whatever walk of life she is from, I have a connection with her because I have been where she is. No matter what she tells me about her situation, I know that I will be able to relate to it in some way, being a survivor myself. For those of you who received updates last year, you may recall that I was unable to tell people I counseled that I myself am a survivor of domestic violence. This year that barrier has been removed, I am happy to say, and so now I am free to share with each person that comes before me that I am a survivor and that gives us a connection to one another right away. I am still learning French laws regarding domestic violence and will continue to learn more and do more research as I am here in Saint-Raphael this summer. Last year I only counseled women who were victims or survivors of domestic violence. This summer I am happy to say that I have started counseling family members of domestic violence victims as well. This has been very rewarding, as I am teaching people how to help their loved ones who are victims.
I am also finding that this year I have several French friends who are going through some very difficult personal situations, so I have been doing a lot of unofficial counseling as well. My training in counseling has helped me in every single part of my ministry here and it is truly a joy to see others feel relieved of their burdens.
Thank you all for your continued prayers.