Hello! My name is Liz and I have been one of the counselors en El Nido since it opened in February. It has been amazing experience and I thank God often for the opportunity that He has given me to touch so many lives in such a beautiful way. We have seen so much evidence of God’s blessing on this ministry as it has grown so fast in the last few months. But not only has the ministry grown, the kingdom of God has grown through it. And that is the most important and exciting part of all.
I have truly grown to love each one of the women that God has allowed me to counsel. Although I will say that some of them have been more reserved and challenging to get to know than others. But God in His perfect timing has been softening their hearts and recently I have been blessed to hear things from them like, “The devotions and the weekly verse are my favorite part of El Nido,” or to see one brought to tears during a prayer asking God to please work a miracle in her family and their living situations as they were at the point of being thrown out of their homes. She had come to a realization that things were out of her control and had turned to God, knowing that only He can save her family.
With her permission, I want to share a little bit of one of my clients’ story. Her name is Scarleth. She came to us on one of the first days that we were open and has been coming consistently since then. Recently Scarleth shared with me that when she first heard about the El Nido she was extremely apprehensive about the whole thing. Her sister, one of our other clients, told Scarleth that some “gringos” (North Americans) had invited her to come to a place where pregnant women and mothers of small babies could receive material help and counseling, and it was free. Scarleth says that her first thought was that those gringos were just going to take her children away from her. Despite her fear she made an appointment and soon saw that she had nothing to worry about. She could feel the love that filled the center, see the sincerity in all of the volunteers, and she knew that this was a safe place.
Since that first day I have been blessed to be able to watch Scarleth change in so many ways. She is a Christian, but she came in feeling far from God and carrying a lot of guilt from her past. Through the time we have spent together God has revealed to Scarleth that He has forgiven her just as He promises to always do. He has helped her to really believe in that truth and she has realized the importance of forgiving herself as God has forgiven her. Today Scarleth is a completely different woman! Her sadness has been replaced with joy, her guilt with forgiveness, her pain with healing, her stains have been wiped clean! She is now free to allow herself to be used by God in her family, church and community. Scarleth often talks about how thankful she is to have found El Nido, or rather for us to have found her, because through it God has truly changed her life.
They are stories like Scarleth’s which show me how blessed I am to have been able to be a part of El Nido. And throughout the last few months God has been revealing to me the purposes of so many situations that have happened in my own life. The things that I have been through have given me a little bit of insight into my clients’ lives and situations, even though they are very different circumstances. God has allowed me to use parts of my past, the wounds that have been healed, my victories, and even my current struggles to be able to relate to these beautiful women on a level that wouldn’t be possible without having walked through it all.
Sadly, May will be my last month working in El Nido. Although leaving is hard I know that I have done my best in pouring truth and love into these women’s lives and I am grateful for the time that God has allowed me to be a part of something so beautiful.