Breaking News: BOW was able to give away not just one, but two $500 seminary scholarships for the fall semester to deserving women students when a generous donor designated funds for a second scholarship.
Today we introduce our first recipient, Jing (Marie) Woods, so you can meet her and learn how our funds will help prepare her for the ministry to which God called her—reaching hurting people.
In coming days you’ll be able to meet our second recipient.
Marie, describe how you came to faith in Christ and began to grow in that faith.
I grew up in an atheistic family in Mainland China and came to know the Lord at age twenty-seven when for the first time a Christian lady took me to a house church. I trusted in Jesus Christ the first time I heard the Gospel. My faith in Jesus brought great change in my life when I was facing a lot of challenges spiritually and psychologically. I studied the English Bible, sermons, English literature on my own and eventually became a translator for many foreign missionaries who came to China.
What experiences led you to seek a degree in Christian counseling at Dallas Seminary?
In 2011 my husband and I got married in China and moved to Texas where I graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary with an M.A. in Christian Education. But after receiving that degree, I came to realize that sometimes people have a hard time applying Bible teaching because they need healing spiritually, emotionally and psychologically.
Through these eight years of life in America, I have benefitted from Christian counseling. In China, people mostly receive “counsel” from the church that suggests more Bible reading, more praying, more trying, and having more faith in God. All of those are good, but people often are left with feelings of confusion, inadequacy, shame and condemnation.
With that in mind, I thought about people in my life, especially those close to me who need help with their mental, moral and psychological issues.
I feel deeply in debt because of the help I have received, and thus I cannot ignore others’ needs spiritually, psychologically, and physically. My deep concern to care for a hurting world brought me on this journey to develop the knowledge, values, and skills for effective professional counseling. My focus has always been on Christ and His finished work, integrating and educating people within a framework of grace and truth. I am excited and passionate for this work to be unfolded by God.
What can you share about your past trauma and the help you’ve received?
I grew up in a family which was emotionally and mentally dysfunctional. By God’s grace I chose to forgive my dad and repay him with God’s love. But the wounds and trauma in my childhood affected me later in life situations and relationships.
In the shame based culture of the ethnic minority of Han in mainland China, many women are suffering from domestic violence, sexual abuse, abortion, depression and anxiety. I was one of them. Five hundred women per day commit suicide according to government sources. I know how great the needs are for counseling in China.
My own background and traumatized life brought me to counseling in Texas. I have been helped by group therapy for childhood trauma, sexual abuse, and healing from abortion; the Regeneration 12-step program; marriage counseling; and mentoring. Those experiences have grounded my faith in Christ Jesus, grown me in stability and maturity—mentally and emotionally. My life is in a much better place today through counseling. I am very grateful for it.
What are your plans after graduation?
I think it’s time for me to contribute my life experiences, biblical teaching, and education in Christian counseling to serve others.
We are thrilled to provide you with this scholarship, and we pray that God will mightily use you according to his will by his great power.