VOLUNTEERS STORY WALL
B.A., M.A. Counselling, CPC
Graduate Cert. CH. Spirituality
Role: Counsellor – Trainer
Posting Period: Jan, 1 – Mar. 12, 2020 (2.5 months)
Reported to: Kelly Johnson-Gahaya, Managing Director
Prof. Skills: Counselling (Trauma, PTSD,
Teaching and Coaching
Delivery Partner Services
- Counselling and Psychology
- Personal Identity and Transformation
- Emotional Wellness
- Healing and Recovery
- Employee Assistance Programs
- Professional Therapists
View of the capital city, Kigali
Training Centre Facility
Team of International Counsellors
Welcomed into Kelly, Celo and Jubilee's home
Applied Counselling Skills Class
Training classes held Monday eve's and Saturday morn's
Life is a challenge for many Rwandans
Enjoying a hug with Jubilee, Kelly & Celo's daughter
Women selling bananas and avocados
Jordan’s Story of Volunteer Service
Shortly after early retiring, from my full-time day position, I was approached by my friend and colleague, Kelly Johnson, founder and director of Lighthouse Counselling and Training Centre located in Kigali, Rwanda to consider volunteering with her organization for a period of time. Kelly and I had been in graduate school together and had been on our very first mission trip to Rwanda together in 2009. In 2012, I returned to Rwanda on another short-term mission to work and train military psychologists in the treatment of PTSD and self-care practices. As a counsellor and spiritual director, and in my new retired freedom, I had been praying for a way to serve God that would utilize the skills I had to offer.
Lighthouse Counselling and Training Centre provides both professional and lay counselling services to both Rwandans and expats living in Rwanda and a 6 month Applied Counselling Skills course. Their mission is to provide quality professional counselling and training, empowering and equipping individuals, families and organizations by restoring emotional wellness and renewing and rebuilding relational and personal difficulties in the individual lives of their clients and students.
The whole opportunity to return to Rwanda and work with this organization unfolded in a very purposeful way. Connecting with Hands and Feet International was a Godsend, all of the logistics were so very well thought out, there was good direction and I felt supported in so many ways. Through HFI I was able to secure funds for the trip from family, friends and supporters. I never felt like I was ever on my own, I was emotionally spiritually and logistically supported every step of the way.
The trip was very meaningful and purposeful. I was actively involved in counselling individuals and co-facilitating the applied counselling training course thus supporting the ministry and mission of the centre. Going for a longer time allowed me to actually enter into the lives of those I encountered, relationally and spiritually, a sense of actually doing life together for a time. Volunteering with Lighthouse gave me the opportunity to freely and with open hands share what I had to offer and in turn be enriched by their presence. Staying with my hosts Kelly, her husband Celo and their daughter Jubilee was also a lovely gift of friendship and relationship and a taste of living an authentic Rwandan everyday life.
Seeking opportunities to share the skills that you are trained in enriches the lives of those who may otherwise not have access to those services. Caring to do this enriches the lives of those who say yes to the adventure. It is an invitation to encounter God in a different way, in relationship, in others, in circumstances, in culture and in nature. In each person that I meet, I encounter a different expression of God within them. It has caused me to wrestle, cry, laugh, sing, be broken and in some small way become more like Christ. It is a great privilege that is meant to be shared and I would encourage others who are able and inclined to seek out ways in which they could share the gift of who they are and the skills they have which could benefit the lives of others. HFI is a great organization that works to equip those for meaningful volunteer work and be supported in seeing it successfully actualized.