The Profound Impact of Christian Counseling

STCH MINISTRIES BEGAN its counseling ministry in Corpus Christi in the mid-90s. Since then, the counseling ministry has expanded to seventeen locations across five different cities in the state. Since its inception, countless lives have been greatly impacted, and Anjulena is now living proof of that.

In 2016, STCH Ministries expanded its Family Counseling to the Houston area. A few years later, Houstonian, Anjulena, walked into her first counseling session with STCH Ministries alongside her boyfriend at the time to meet with a STCH Ministries counselor. STCH Ministries Family Counseling provides care when individuals, couples and families need help sorting through life’s challenges.

During that time, Anjulena found herself in a relationship she realized was no longer healthy. She and her boyfriend had many ups and downs and began seeking help. Her boyfriend found STCH Ministries Family Counseling online and they started seeing a counselor together. Following a few sessions as a couple, their counselor suggested Anjulena see another STCH Ministries counselor on her own to work through past hurts and trauma in her life. Through both couple and individual Christian counseling, Anjulena sought a better understanding of herself and others. “It opened my eyes to my past, my childhood and my background and maybe how I allowed myself to be susceptible to people hurting me.” Her counselors often recommend Christian books to her to read further. Through each session and her continued reading and researching, Anjulena drew closer and closer to God. As she drew closer to God, she became more aware of how God created her and how He wanted to heal her further and use her to help others.

Anjulena discontinued her counseling sessions after ending her relationship with her ex-boyfriend. Soon after the pandemic hit, Anjulena’s work as a ballroom dancing instructor was on hold, and she began to look inward again, reflecting on her life and the path she wanted to be on. “I knew that I was at a turning point in my life; I was turning 50.” Anjulena admits that during the pandemic lockdowns, “I had more time to ponder these things…where I’ve been, where I’m at and where I’m going.” Anjulena prayed for God to bring people into her life that would help her. She knew instantly she wanted to reinstate sessions with her counselor. Though there was a waitlist to get in, she knew it would be worth the wait.

Anjulena had experienced other forms of therapy before. She had seen counselors through her medical provider and quickly realized they would not give much advice to help guide her. “I always felt like I was running around in circles and couldn’t find answers.” Anjulena felt like her time spent with other non-Christian counselors was leading her nowhere. Her STCH Ministries counselor would share scripture with her and recommend other Christian books specific to her growth areas. Each session ended with prayer, and Anjulena soon began to seek out God more and more.

“I started to change daily habits in my life when I started reading the Bible more,” Anjulena remembers how she would end sessions with her counselor with a desire to pick up her Bible and further read verses and chapters her counselor would share with her. The more she read, the more she gained answers. The more she prayed, the more she could hear God’s voice. “The moment I said, ‘God, I’m ready to commit my life to you 100%…’ everything in my life changed so drastically,” Anjulena said. “There is not a day that goes by that God is not on my mind and that I’m not talking to Him or about Him to others.”

For Anjulena’s 50th birthday, she knew she wanted to do something very special and memorable. God brought baptism to mind; she knew it was the next step she needed to take. Through time in prayer, Anjulena felt God leading her to get baptized in the Jordan River in Israel. “I was not sure how it was all going to happen, but I kept praying for God to guide me.”

Though Anjulena had looked online for tours, groups and opportunities to get to the Holy Land, nothing was lining up. She quickly realized she did not have the money to go, no group or anyone to go with or anyone to baptize her. “I really wanted it to be someone I knew, trusted and loved God and Jesus as much as I did.” Though it all began to seem impossible and very complicated, she could not stop thinking about getting baptized there. Anjulena continued to pray, asking for God’s guidance. “God would not put this feeling and desire in my heart and not help me,” she believed. Then one day, God began aligning Anjulena’s every need.

“A man called me and asked if I had time to do a crash course dance lesson for him to surprise his daughter on her wedding day. He needed me to help him with the father/daughter dance for her wedding. He told me he was driving in from Austin and did not have a lot of time. My schedule was very full, but luckily I was able to fit him in during the daytime.” As their first dance lesson began, Anjulena learned he was a Chaplain for the State of Texas. Through further conversation, the bride’s father shared with Anjulena how he would also be performing the ceremony at his daughter’s wedding.

“As I was teaching him the dance, I would bring up conversations about God. And then I told him I had a wonderful plan to get baptized in Israel during Christmas.” Anjulena recalls he proceeded to ask her how she would do all of that and if she had ever been to Israel before. “I told him I had never gone, but God had put in my heart that I should get baptized there in the Jordan River.” He then looked at Anjulena and said he had a group from his church going around Christmas.

At that moment, both he and Anjulena realized that God had brought them together to answer her prayer. Anjulena shared how God started filling her schedule with work and opportunities that allowed her to save the money needed for the trip. However, she realized she still did not have anyone she knew personally attending with her to witness her miraculous baptism. God left no prayer unanswered, as her childhood best friend, Sarra, and her family were able to go to Israel with her, and they all got baptized together. “I cannot explain all that happened and what a miracle it was!”

Anjulena credits her healing from past childhood traumas and abusive relationships, as well as her newfound nearness to God to the Christian counseling she received through STCH Ministries. “What I have learned and experienced, I now want to teach others.”

Anjulena has implemented much of what she has gained from Christian counseling in teaching dance to her students. Teaching mainly couples, she has been able to share the wisdom imparted to her by her counselors regarding healthy communication, excellent problem-solving skills, working together and the importance of encouragement.

Anjulena began to realize all she had been through had been for a reason and to learn something. Ultimately, she knew all the wisdom she had gained from the lessons learned was to, in return, share with others and help others because most people she comes across are hurting in some way. Anjulena now lives to bring people the truth of God and hope in all she does.