Short Bio: My name is Fina Kayisanabo, I am married for the last 15 years and mother of three young kids: two girls (14 and 9 years old) and one boy (13 years old). My husband and I are also raising his niece of 18 years for the last 8 years. My education background is on finance and development; I worked for 6 years for a local development bank and credit and risk analyst before joining the US Agency for International Development as an agribusiness specialist. Today, my portfolio has been enlarged to do more trade facilitation work (working to help Rwanda trade goods and services with its neighbors) and support private businesses involved in agro industries expand their market. I live with my family in Kigali for the last 20 more years.
I want to take this opportunity to appreciate the great work of the Living Again’s ministry to Rwanda. I was privileged to be part of one of the 6 months lay counselling course in 2014. The absolute truth about this course is that as you acquire counselling skills, you are counselled yourself. This is why many of us will cherish the course, never stop talking about it and encourage many to join it. I particularly shared my experience with a team of very good friends with who we intend to get more involved in counselling ministry within poor women, youth and children. I hope at least two of them will be able to complete the course in 2016 and we will strategize on how to do it more regularly.
The course had changed so much in my personal mental mindset. It helps me to stop running around, being so involved in church activities to give a sense to my Christian life; to first know myself, understand the impact of my weaknesses, my past and my failures and accept them. I must admit that I never knew it was that important to make such regular healthy short pause in order to release our burdened emotions. I learned how powerful SELF AWARENESS AND ACCEPTANCE is to rejuvenate emotional strengths and be able to serve others more effectively. I am emotionally more balanced and effective at everything I do. My communication and ultimately relationship with closed ones’ improved so much because of learned listening skills, knowledge of type of emotional problems others might face.
The great example is with my husband’s niece who we raise since 8 years now. At the time she was 10. She has been abandoned by her mother at early age before moving around from a house to another, taken care by aunties, grandparents, etc. She has suffered from not being able for long time to identify her-self as part of our family because she wanted- like all of us-to have her mum, dad and brothers and sisters in their own house. As a consequence she was a very difficult person to live with and to take care of and was very aggressive either with me, her uncle and my kids: her cousins. However, I had my first serious counseling session with her for almost an hour at first last year as I was undertaking the course and since then although improvised we had several sessions in between boarding school class time. Not only, relationships improved a lot with all of us, but she has changed herself, she is more hopeful for a better life and shares her burdens more freely than she used to. This has changed our lifestyle at home as we spend more time chatting then spending hours looking movies on TV. Counselling is probably not the only thing that has contributed to the enjoyable life at home but it certainly has been the trigger to her behavior change.
I again thank from the bottom of my heart Kelly JOHNSON and Amos FURAHA for availing themselves to serve the LORD this way. They should never think any single day that this is in vain. Rwanda will know the benefit of counselling because of them and their supporters, even though you do not see it all.
God bless you abundantly!