November brings Thanksgiving, and with it, a season of gratitude. This month, our Director of Counseling, Krista, shares what she’s thankful for at Beacon of Hope.

“We began 2018 with our first annual staff retreat. As our team was growing, and we had just expanded to our fifth site in Muskegon, we saw the need to spend time together, solidifying our shared mission and vision for the organization. We took time to listen to feedback from all parts of our team, from our Executive Director to brand new interns. Although we had a variety of background experiences, everyone agreed about the core principles of what makes Beacon of Hope unique. As I reflect on our journey as an organization over 2018, I am grateful for the ways that I’ve seen these principles in action.

Obedience to God. Staying in step with God. It’s a blessing to watch each new intern experience and learn how to lean on God for how He’s working in the lives of our clients. Over and over I see a new intern’s anxiety be calmed and tremendous change happen in clients lives when our staff is reminding each other to invite God to be in charge of the counseling process rather than trying to save a client from our own efforts.

Investment in people. We see a ripple effect as our organization invests in clinical supervisors, our supervisors invest in interns, our interns invest in clients, and our clients invest in their families and the community. We started two new groups for probation mandated clients this year and have seen the participants build accountability and a support network for one another.

Belonging to a team. While individual counseling sessions can feel like solitary work, I cherish our weekly staff meetings where we can share in each other’s joys and struggles and pray for each other and our clients.

Exhale in a safe space. Creating a welcoming environment for clients and staff. There is no “regular” Beacon of Hope client. I am grateful that our waiting room is a gathering place for people from different backgrounds with different stories and each person has an opportunity to feel heard and connected, often in a way they had never previously experienced.

Build the model to spread the model. Know our mission and keep it focused on what we can do well. Increase to more sites and cities. In our first six months in Muskegon, we offered over 500 no cost counseling sessions! I am grateful for how spread Beacon’s reach across the state is and look forward to what next year will bring!”

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