THRIVE is an AIWA project dedicated to highlighting individuals who are doing remarkable things in their personal and professional lives to better themselves and those around them. These individuals are inspiring, dynamic, innovative and interesting. Today, we feature Sona Jamgotchian, Biblical Counselor/Assistant Pastor.
Sona Jamgotchian (She/Her) is a Biblical Counselor/Assistant Pastor
Location: Los Angeles, California.
Occupation: Biblical Counselor/Assistant Pastor
Sona Jamgotchian was born and raised in Armenia to hard working parents whose values and compassion set a good example for her and her sister.
After graduating from the College of Finance-Economics in Armenia, Sona moved to the United States to further her education and pursued a career in the medical field as a biller and coder.
In 2002, Sona married Nazaret Jamgotchian and several years later, they felt the call of God to start a ministry to help people find hope for their lives in Jesus.
As she served people in her church, Sona soon realized the tremendous need in the mental health area and decided to become a Board Certified Biblical Counselor through BCPPC and a certified Brain Health Coach.
In 2014, Sona was ordained alongside her husband and they founded Enduring Hope Church to minister to the broken-hearted.
Throughout her ministry, Sona has witnessed people receiving healing and transformation from various mental illnesses, such as anorexia, depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia, where they find hope again and return to a normal life.
Sona had been doing one-on-one counseling for years before she felt the need to do more than counseling. She felt she needed to teach people about healthy ways of thinking and relating. In January 2020, she started special in-person classes; and during the pandemic, she founded School of Hope where she offers live webinars, group coachings and e-courses. Every day, Sona sees lives transformed through the supernatural power of God.
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was 21 when I moved to the United States to pursue my dreams in the land of opportunity. Instead, I found myself in the midst of painful and conflicting circumstances. Basically, I entered the “University of Life,” and learned how to endure pain and rejection from others. At first I could not understand all the pain and rejection, but, eventually, I learned a great deal about life that no other University could have taught me. I remember, one day I felt so lonely; it was like being an orphan, even though I was not an orphan. Being away from home and family made me lose that sense of safety and security one only gets from being part of a family. At that moment I uttered, “When I get back on my feet, I am going to help orphans.” The rejection I experienced broke me into pieces, and left me in confusion and despair. I cried for days, did not want to come out of my room, and had to force myself to eat and go to work. One day, during my lunchtime, I was sitting in my car crying and asking God the “Why” question. I wanted to know why people had hurt me the way they had, and why I was left alone to pick up the pieces. At that moment, I felt the truth hit me as lightning hit the Earth. I began to utter, “What is wrong with me? What is wrong with me that I allow all these people to hurt me like this?” From that day on, I prayed every morning, “Lord Jesus, change the things in me that need to be changed.” My search began. I was searching for the answer to my “Why” question. The healing journey began when I started taking classes and reading books on healing the mind and emotions to educate myself and grow. I learned about boundaries and was, finally, able to say “no” where I couldn’t before. I feel my dream to help orphans has come true, as I am helping people with rejection issues and orphan hearts to experience healing and restoration. We don’t have to lose our parents to become orphans, but so many people are experiencing an orphan lifestyle, and as a result, are hurting. This is why I founded the “School of Hope.” It is for those who have lost hope, but can come and receive the genuine love and hope that only Jesus can offer.
Q: What is your life philosophy?
My life philosophy is that life is a gift from God, not a burden. Sometimes the difficulties of life make us shift our focus as we start feeling the burdens of life, which causes us to forget that life is a gift. I have had two spinal cord surgeries. After the second surgery, pain became part of my daily routine. I have to remind myself every day that life is a gift from God, so that I do not lose perspective on life and to keep me going despite chronic pain.
Life is a beautiful and precious gift. We should cherish and appreciate life no matter what happens in our lives.
Q: What is your favorite thing about being Armenian/Armenians?
My favorite thing about being an Armenian is our rich history and family-oriented culture that brings two Armenians from different countries together to start a new Armenia as Saroian stated. I like seeing when families come together to eat and enjoy one another as they fellowship together. Family time is a great emotional support.
I like the family dynamics. Children are born and raised with the support of uncles, aunts and grandparents. The sacrificial love parents have for their children is unique to our culture. And let’s not forget the delicious food that is passed on from generation to generation.
Q: How has the Armenian culture shaped / influenced you?
Armenian culture shaped me and made me who I am today. It is difficult to picture myself not being an Armenian. The journey of my Armenian family gave me the determination to search for the way to healing and transformation. Since I have experienced healing and transformation for myself, it is now time to pass on what I have learned to others who are willing to walk the journey of healing and transformation for themselves.
Q: What is your hope for the future?
My hope for the future is to raise awareness of the importance of healing and transformation. For people to learn to navigate through the difficulties of life and to learn to be resilient.
I want to see every Armenian experience healing and transformation from the national and generational trauma of our past. It is important that we remember our past, but our past trauma should not determine our future. Because our past trauma has impacted us as individuals, we carry it with us into our marriages and then pass it on to our children.
My hope is that the ministry of healing and transformation that we offer through School of Hope will contribute to our nation’s healing.
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