Gulnoza* lives an hour-and-a-half away from Isfara in the ‘big’ city of Khujand. She is a lay counselor who normally visits Isfara for a few days once per month to meet with the mothers of children with disabilities for counseling. Sometimes, she also has other requests to talk with social workers, families, or even neighbors with difficult circumstances. We are glad to be able to partner with her to support our work in Isfara, building a holistic focus, while getting her into the community where she is most needed.
Gulnoza has been able to engage with moms and listen to them in a way that is only possible for someone from their own linguistic and cultural background. We have had numerous requests for her support these past months.
She has a unique ability to speak directly to the problems people face in this community. She shares that having a child with disabilities is not a curse from God, but that He loves them. She helps men and women deal with broken relationships such as divorces or in-family fighting. Mothers often recommend others to go talk with her. They have been known to suggest “[if you talk to Gulnoza] then your hearts will be lighter and not so heavy anymore” or “I went to her and now I feel better.”
One day, one of our local coworkers brought a relative to meet with Gulnoza. Many of her family members thought this relative had developed a mental illness of some sort. After three or four talks with Gulnoza and a few adjustments within the family, she is now doing much better.
Gulnoza truly brings sustained hope to the people she meets with. By caring for struggling individuals in this society, she is helping bring about the heart change that leads to life transformation. She helps everyone she counsels find a reason to have hope.