Mental Health Professional
Specialty: Mental Health
Location: United States
*Name withheld for security reasons
Call to Missions

I am motivated to be a missionary and share the Gospel with the unreached because God has a heart for all nations of the earth.

This can be seen throughout Scripture, but especially in Revelation when the great multitude worshiping the Lamb includes people from every tribe and language (Revelation 7:9). It can also be seen in Jesus’ final instructions to his disciples to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19).

I believe that all followers of Christ have a role to play in this task by going to the nations, supporting those who go, or reaching out to the nations who live among them.

I felt called to missionary service at a young age.

I first heard about missionary work through family friends who were workers in South America. As I heard about their ministry, I was inspired by their stories of the unreached hearing the Gospel for the first time. In junior high, I felt a personal call from God to become a missionary. After praying, seeking wise counsel, and receiving a confirmation of this call, I began to pursue this type of service.

God’s direction for my ministry has been clarified as I have developed my gifts and skills.

After personally benefitting from counseling and seeing the great need for counseling among refugees, I began to pursue professional training in marriage and family therapy.

Currently, I feel called to continue to use my skills as a therapist to serve the unreached in Chicago. Specifically, I feel that God is leading me to use Narrative Exposure Therapy in order to bring about transformation and healing to refugees and immigrants who have experienced trauma.

I anticipate serving in my specific role in Chicago through the fall of this year and then transitioning to an international role in the next year, with the hope that I will continue to serve with my current organization in both roles. I feel called to long-term missionary service and hope to be on the field for twenty or more years.

Healthcare Mission Work

I currently serve as an Associate Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist at a Christian non-profit organization that exists to provide excellent mental health services, training, and research, locally and across the globe. I provide direct psychotherapy services for individuals, couples, and families four days per week.

My specialties include trauma, family conflict, parenting, adolescence, and couples counseling. Approximately nine of my clients receive free or reduced-fee services.

In addition to 1-hour psychotherapy sessions, I also conduct 2-hour Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET) sessions for clients with post-traumatic stress disorder. NET is an evidence-based model of therapy that treats post-traumatic stress disorder among refugees and immigrants. In the coming months, it is the hope that my role will include developing relationships with workers in the Middle East who desire to receive training in NET.

Each week, I also support the mission of our organization through writing grant proposals, facilitating a teen group and couples’ workshops, and developing relationships with local churches. I also help to support international work through researching the mental health needs of future service areas and creating training programs for pastors in Africa.

My work is deeply integrated with evangelism.

First, I pray for my clients on a regular basis, as I can do nothing apart from the Holy Spirit. I also participate in our monthly prayer meetings and a prayer group text for more urgent needs.

Second, I maintain sensitivity to spiritual matters in sessions. Even with non-religious clients, spiritual questions arise where seeds of the Gospel are planted.

Finally, the Gospel is proclaimed in how I interact with all clients as made in the image of God. As I convey hope and compassion to my clients, regardless of their past, the light of Christ shines.

Anticipated Impact

I hope to make an impact in the following three areas:

Increased mental and relational health among individuals, couples, and families here and abroad who have little access to mental healthcare: By providing excellent mental health services, regardless of one’s ability to pay, I anticipate an increase in mental and relational health for clients who are generally underserved in my community. Through my work, I aim for these clients to experience a portion of the holistic healing that Christ offers through the Gospel.

Reduced symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder among traumatized persons here and abroad: Over the next 10 years, I will aim to utilize Narrative Exposure Therapy and principles of trauma-informed care to provide healing to persons affected by war, violence, and abuse. More specifically, I will focus on the provision of these services among war-and conflict-affected populations here and overseas. As these persons experience a reduction in symptoms, it is also my hope that they will experience the holistic healing that Christ can bring.

Increased mental health of pastors and community leaders here and abroad: Through psychotherapy sessions, training, and supervision, I aim to equip pastors and ministry leaders in mental healthcare so they are resilient, protected against burnout and compassion fatigue, and able to continue in their work. I also anticipate that my work will support these leaders in their ministry to refugees, immigrants, and other traumatized persons. As a result of this support, I hope that more unreached people will hear the Gospel for the first time.