Life-Long Disciple: Meet Ashley!

As we continue in our blog series introducing our wonderful group of interns, I ask that you take time to pray for our interns and their time here.  Would you please pray that the Lord strengthens them with His power as they sacrificially serve staff and residents? Would you please ask that God give our interns teachable, humble hearts to learn all the Lord has for them here and to be ever sensitive to ways He would have them change? Pray that their love will be sincere as they minister to the women of Vision of Hope.  We deeply desire you to lift up our ministry, including our interns, in prayer.  Now, let Ashley share with you how the Lord brought her to VOH:

My name is Ashley Beaman and I am 27 years old from New Castle, Pennsylvania. Before coming to Vision of Hope, I directed a parachurch organization called the Greater Waynesburg Christian Outreach. Through this organization, I ran an after-school program, youth drop-in center and summer day camp, among other community ministries. In addition to enjoying Bible studies, organizing events, and working with children and youth, which I had the privilege of doing as part of my job, I also really enjoy spending time with friends, trying new restaurants, coffee, thunderstorms, bonfires and fall!

I came to know the Lord at a summer camp when I was 12 years old and began to take my relationship with God seriously when I was in high school. At another church camp during my freshman year, I heard the Gospel in a fresh way and was convicted that I could not continue to live as a lukewarm Christian — I wanted to be “all in.” When I returned home, I talked to my mom and my youth pastor about recommitting my life to God. My mom and I were baptized on the same day in 2004! My years following high school, attending Waynesburg University, were very formative in my Christian walk. I became a part of a church family who poured into me. It was here that I learned true discipleship, devotion to prayer, commitment to the Word of God, living righteously and full dependence in Christ! I grew in holiness through these godly relationships, the preaching of God’s Word and wise counsel. I was equipped to disciple others and I began investing in other women and children around me. As I worked with the Greater Waynesburg Christian Outreach, God continued to use me to proclaim Himself to the people of West Waynesburg. As He gave me more responsibility and eventually moved me to the position of director, I was given new opportunities to minister and I grew exponentially — both in my personal walk with the Lord and as a servant leader. As I look back on my testimony, one thing rings true above all else — God is faithful! He has given me a passion for helping those who are hurting and for loving people. I desire to serve Him and to make Him known! I desire to see hearts truly transformed by God’s Word. I yearn to grow closer to the Lord and I am so thankful for His goodness in every season! 

How did you hear about the VOH internship? Why were you interested in coming here to serve for a year?

I was first introduced to Vision of Hope through the Biblical Counseling Training Conference (BCTC) at Faith, which I have been coming to for 4 years with members of my church family in Pennsylvania. Our group was connected with two VOH graduates whose lives had been transformed by Gods work within these walls. My years of attending the BCTC became personally applicable as my church family and I rallied around a woman and her young family as she started her journey at VOH. It was here in Lafayette that the Lord began to stir my heart for the hope found in biblical counseling done well. As I ministered to my neighbors in Waynesburg, I was met with the numerous needs, hurts and often hopelessness of the people. My greatest desire was for them to find hope in Jesus, yet there was often a disconnect between meeting their practical needs through community-based ministries and truly knowing the God these ministries were anchored in. This vital seed-planting ministry was often falling onto “heart soil” that was unprepared, due to the deep, unresolved sin and suffering that took root in the lives of the people. The Lord began to connect my passion for helping people with a realization that intensive counseling using God’s word produces lasting change. I deeply desire to see people become life-long disciples of Christ, even when faced with the hardest of circumstances. At VOH, I believe the Lord will continue to equip me for His service, while I, myself, continue to grow as His disciple.

What are you excited to learn and grow in at VOH?

I am most excited about a full year to learn and grow, under such astounding leadership!  I believe my experience serving at VOH, compounded with my prior experience leading faith-based community ministry, will equip me for God’s service in years to come. I will also be working towards my ACBC certification while I am here.  

If we had a fun themed day at VOH, what would you want the theme to be and why? 

I would choose a “Back to Childhood” theme so we could enjoy things like coloring, sidewalk chalk, freeze-pops, puddle jumping, and Saturday morning cartoons with cereal.

 God is faithful! We are confident that Ashley will continue to witness His faithfulness to her and others as she serves at VOH.

Jennifer CantuJennifer Cantu
Jennifer Cantu works as a counselor and Shift Supervisor at Vision of Hope. She received her biblical counseling certification from ACBC in 2014. In addition to working at VOH, Jennifer counsels women through Faith Church’s counseling ministry. She is very thankful for ministry opportunities to help, teach and encourage women with God's Word.