Tonight's special guest is Dr Regina (Gia) Marie Baldwin from Elk Rapids, Michigan, a returning NAASCA family member. Gia is a survivor of child abuse, a recovery councilor and Pastor (please see : Hope4HurtingHearts.org). Dr Baldwin says, "Aside from dealing with domestic violence, I also have and have had many sexual abuse clients. I, personally, am a survivor of both." She explains, "The pain of child abuse followed me for many years. My self esteem was shot which brought about rebellious teen years, a teen pregnancy, rape, domestic violence, and failure after failure. I wrestled with depression, suicidal thoughts, and was void of any hope. I desired to know and live for God but my view of Him was distorted, I saw Him as an extension of my father .. unavailable, impossible to please, waiting to punish me at every turn." After her second marriage failed due to Domestic Violence, Gia's husband alienated he children from her. Gia left the Catholic Church, but started getting to know God in a very personal way. He showed her He was big enough to handle her anger. "My life was a train wreck but He kept putting broken people in my path showing me that: (1) I wasn't alone, (2) my pain didn't have to be in vain and that there could be purpose in all of it, and (3) that I had value." She goes on, "Today, not only am I committed to helping survivors heal but feel called to equip churches to better assist their members and communities for healing and purpose through different programs." Gia is a uniquely qualified professionally, spiritually and personally, to help those affected by the trauma of child abuse. She can personally identify with their deep pain.
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