Alumni Newsletter – April/May 2021

Peniel Alumni Newsletter

Here is a sample article from our new Monthly Alumni Newsletter developed and edited by Peniel Staff member Whitney Botts, BS. Check out the full newsletter in PDF version here:

Peniel Staff Spotlight: Emily Cooper, BS

When Emily Cooper initially stepped through the doors of Peniel as a client, she had no idea what God had
in store for her. Emily states, “The day that my parents brought me to treatment, I remember driving past
the one railroad track down the road, and I remember hearing the Lord say, ‘This is your new home.’ And I
thought, ‘okay, yeah, for 13 months.’ But I didn’t know it was going to be forever.”

Shortly after Emily completed the program at Peniel, she became a volunteer staff member who worked
in reception while also serving as staff on the ladies’ dorm one weekend a month. During this time, she
was simultaneously going to school full time to obtain her degree in Human Services at Penn Highland.
While she was finishing up her degree at Penn Highland, Emily became able to serve as a counselor’s
assistant, which meant that she could serve as a counselor and be supervised by the clinical supervisor
at that time. After doing two years of supervised counseling, Emily became a primary counselor, but God
didn’t stop there. He had even more in store for her.

Even though it would seem that Emily already had a full work load between serving on the ladies’ dorm,
as well as serving as a primary counselor, God decided she was ready for another challenge. Within a year
of becoming a full time staff member, she was also appointed to be the ladies’ dorm supervisor, and then
later on in 2017 she was asked to take over the intake department and oversee the admissions of new
clients.

Emily, recalling her time as a client at Peniel and as a counselee of Ms. Larmond, says, “The interesting
thing is that my office now, was her office. So, when I say to my clients, ‘I know where you’ve been. I’ve
sat in your chair. I’ve literally sat in those chairs. These were the same chairs. When I was going through
the program, I didn’t know God was preparing me. As I was sitting in this office gettting help, I didn’t know
God was preparing me to then sit on the other side of the desk to give help.”

Speaking about how Peniel has transformed her life Emily goes on to say, “Peniel really helped me to just
be honest about myself. About where I was at, what I was going through, and how I felt. It really helped
me get to some of the core issues that were driving my addiction. Then being on staff, I feel like I was
given the grace to be able to tackle all of the jobs that the Lord presented me with. I feel like those times
when I have had to step in and fill in the gap, God was raising up other people to help in other areas. I feel
like God is always raising someone up, so I don’t stress about it, because I know that it is going to get
taken care of. God has always been faithful in supplying and providing what is needed. I have grown so
much as a person in the different roles I’ve served. I just count it a privilege to be able to work here, and
to be able to be effective. From Peniel, there’s a deeper maturity in my relationship with God. I think
there’s more of hearing God’s voice and obeying when God says to do something. It’s also just
establishing a history with God. From the time I’ve been in the program until now, I’ve built a history with
God. That has deepened my faith in him.”

*In order to maintain confidentiality, only first names will be included in Peniel testimonies

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