Master of Arts, Pastoral Counseling, 2012, Columbia International University
Pastoral Counselor & Trainer, Mobile Mission Care Team
I’m Vivian Ochoa from Guatemala.
As a missionary, I have had the privilege of living and seeing God at work in Central America, Peru, Papua New Guinea, South Asia, the United States and now in Ghana. In those places, I have participated in promoting missions, learning new languages, linguistic survey, Bible translation projects, training workshops, visiting the sick in hospitals and evangelistic relationships. It has been an honor to serve the Lord in this way, but not everything has been easy.
Many missionaries today experience stress due to interpersonal problems, lack of support from sending churches or from traumatic events like wars, persecution, accidents or serious illness. Some of them have to go back to their country without completing their work, experiencing added disappointment. But research has proven that the investment of resources in the care of missionaries helps them remain healthy and effective in ministry.
That is why I decided to attend Columbia International University to earn a master’s degree in Pastoral Counseling. I am now working in Ghana, Africa serving in the care of other missionaries throughout West Africa. Ghana is surrounded by countries where there is war, persecution, insurgence, hunger and deadly diseases. Missionaries serving the people of this region are living with these difficulties and are under constant stress.
I am serving with the Mobile Member Care Team (MMCT), a cooperative, inter-agency service that provides training, consultation, counseling, crisis response, and referral for cross-cultural workers. We want to see missionaries and cross-cultural workers thriving in their work, not just surviving it. My personal role is to provide pastoral counseling, co-facilitate training workshops and serve as a point person to communicate with trained crisis responders who provide debriefings after traumatic events.
My hope is that through my ministry with MMCT I can facilitate member care for Western African and Latino missionaries and any others God may bring our way.
It is a privilege and honor to walk alongside God’s frontline warriors.