I have been more active on social media than ever before as I promote my book. While I worry of becoming grandiose by focusing on my own story, I am delighted at the friendships I am forming around the world with people who share the same passions about reaching out to those impacted by brain illnesses with the compassion of Christ and the consolation of the Holy Spirit.
One friend I’ve recently made is Rosette. Rosette is from Uganda and is part of a faith community which takes seriously the call of Christ to engage in healing ministry. She shared a story of a woman with severe schizophrenia who had been left to flounder in isolation. Members of the church visited her, prayed with her, advocated for her to get and take the medication she needed. Now, while not cured, she functions fully in the life of the community. She is even getting married.
I asked Rosette what mental healthcare was like in Uganda and she said it was very poor. She said the few inpatient treatment centers were reserved for those with addictions. Access to medication and therapy is lacking, and in some cases non-existent. Churches often ignore the needs of persons with brain illnesses, focusing instead on more readily understandable ailments of other parts of the body. Rosette is passionate about being with and praying for those of us whose minds betray us.
Rosette has become my most ardent evangelist. Not only does she share my promotional memes across her social media, but she hosts WhatsApp conversations with her friends, her sisters in Christ, about the issues my writing raises. She feeds these questions to me and we carry on a virtual visitation I find both uplifting and inspiring. It encourages me to be more engaged in mental health ministry as I realize what I write is having an impact on persons around the world.
God has blessed me so much on my writing journey. It has become a global mission. With a few strokes of the keyboard, I am able to travel around the world, discover new cultures and make new friends. I’ve come a long way. Just a decade ago, I was alone in an attic apartment, my mind so disturbed that the only thing I could write was to-do lists. Now I am delighting in the Lord as I write and God is meeting the desire of my heart to promote the healing that comes from Christ alone.
Update on When Despair Meets Delight — The book has been proof and is being formatted. It will then go to the printing company who assures me they will have a review copy available in no more than 10-12 business days. If this looks acceptable, books should be in my hands to autograph by the end of August. Those who have pre-ordered books will have a unique opportunity to engage in a virtual book signing, as I will host a series of Zoom meetings where you can meet others who are purchasing the book and discuss with me issues related to faith and mental illness.