Having Jesus Conversations: Meet Sydney!

In February 2016, while in Lafayette for a conference, Sydney ate dinner in the home of Nickey Barnhizer, a counselor and the household manager at VOH. In July 2018, Sydney returned to Lafayette and joined our intern team. Hear how the Lord led her here!

My name is Sydney and I am from Greenville, South Carolina. Before coming to Vision of Hope, I was working for a child welfare nonprofit and also a catering company while working on my Master of Social Work degree. When not working, I enjoy reading, writing, horseback riding, and spending time with friends and family. 

Since I was young, I have loved talking with people. As I grew up, and I learned about how tough life could be, conversations and relationships only loomed more important in my mind. God rescued me from my sin and captured my heart and soul at the tender age of thirteen and I began to learn the power of Jesus conversations- ones where sisters and brothers speak life into each other, confront sin, and share encouragement. I began mentoring middle and high school girls in my church’s youth group, spent time with an amazing group of sisters, and my passion was ignited to have as many of these conversations as possible, not just with friends and family, but with those who I encountered in my community. As I made my way through social work school and my first social work job, I found myself overwhelmed with the opportunity to have a front-row seat to watch God use his church to meet physical needs for families in crisis in our community.

How did you hear about the Vision of Hope internship? What are you excited to learn and grow in this year?

In February of 2016, a friend and mentor invited me to my first Biblical Counseling Training Conference at Faith Church, and it felt like a missing piece of the puzzle fell into place. Since then, the Lord has been cultivating in me a passion to share his hope and truth, through biblical counseling, with women and children in Greenville. As I have followed God in this journey to love my city well, I was gifted with the amazing opportunity to spend a year serving and learning at Vision of Hope. I am excited to grow this year in my ability to point ladies back to Jesus through His word, regardless of the struggles they may be facing. I also hope to complete my ACBC certification during my time here.

If you were to plan a fun activity for the residents, what would you plan and why? 

Definitely something outside, like spending the day at a farm or hiking up to a waterfall. The ladies really enjoy being outside and animals, for the most part, and so do I, so it would be fun to experience that together.

We’re excited to have Sydney learn and serve here as part of her journey in learning how to serve others and start more Jesus conversations.

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.