Church offers counselling

2018-03-13 06:00
Members of Grassy Park Methodist Church. From left are Ivan Pieterse, Chairmaine Pieterse, Martha Alexander and Isaac Arendse, and sitting is Reverend Michael Lambaatjeen.PHOTOS: AISHAH CASSIEM

Members of Grassy Park Methodist Church. From left are Ivan Pieterse, Chairmaine Pieterse, Martha Alexander and Isaac Arendse, and sitting is Reverend Michael Lambaatjeen.PHOTOS: AISHAH CASSIEM

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Grassy Park Methodist Church is calling on the public to make use of their weekly counselling sessions held at their premises in 2nd Avenue. Members of the church first opened their doors of support to the community in March last year when they launched the Jars of Clay Counselling Centre, this after realising the need to help church attendees who are facing hardships.

Ivan Pieterse says the counselling sessions have been a huge success and there have been major improvements in the lives of attendees, but there are still a few people in the community who are unaware of the church’s services. “We want to spread the message across the community to inform them that there is help at our church. We have four qualified counsellors who are available daily who can assist them through their journey of hardship. The idea of the counselling sessions came about after we realised that some of our church congregation members were seeking help at an organisation that one of our current in-house counsellors had worked at previously. We then decided to establish and offer our own services to our members first, and later leading to the community­.”

Pieterse says it has been quite a challenge getting members to come forward to benefit from the programme. “Many were faced with an ego and not wanting us to know their or their children’s issues, despite us providing them the platform of benefiting from our confidential six-week sessions to help them through the journey. People from the church were also a bit sceptical and scared to come forward at first, but eventually they realised that here is help, free of charge.”

Reverend Michael Lambaatjeen says the community continues to be faced with many challenges, including poverty and crime, and the church tries to help in whichever way possible. “The community needs us. However, one of the challenges for us is to minister these needs of the people. This church has different focus areas that reach out to the community and this continues to be a struggle for many other churches too.

“We seek to involve the community in assisting us. We have identified a number of areas that we have done outreaches in, where people live in major poverty. We herewith don’t only aim to minister God’s word to them but also to assist them with food and clothes. The church’s vision is to bring healing in transformation and the only way we can do that is through God’s word and by implementing programmes like Jars of Clay.”

Lambaatjeen says all male and female counsellors at the church are professionally trained and work on a voluntary basis.

“They have been very committed to serving the community and members of the congregation. As our cases arise, we would need more volunteers and would appreciate the public’s assistance in making our community better.”

Counselling sessions take place from Mondays to Thursdays from 09:00 to 12:00 and 14:00 to 17:00.

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