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Inspirational is a word that is frequently bandied around and misused by the media. But for local woman, Sarita Jarrett (43), this is a true definition. For nearly thirty years Sarita has had Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, a condition that has made life a challenge for her but has never stopped her making the most of life. This is mostly due to her Christian faith which she feels has given the strength to carry on even through very dark days of pain and depression.

But the progression of her condition has left her housebound, and at times bed bound, and now needs the help of carers three times a day. In constant pain she has to rely on medication, including morphine and steroids, to ease her symptoms but despite this adversity, Sarita has managed to enjoy her life. She learned to drive, did voluntary work with local radio and studied with Open University. In 2012 Sarita was chosen as one of the Olympic torch bearers, being nominated as some-one who brings happiness to others through her passion for Biblical Counselling which is about finding a verse for every problem. She first heard about Biblical Counselling whilst visiting her parents and through mentoring from the North Hills Community Church in South Carolina, Sarita was able to train over five years. At the time she was the first British woman to complete the process in the UK.

Before Christmas Sarita was invited to talk about Biblical Counselling to an audience of Christians in a church in the Algarve, Portugal . This was a great challenge for Sarita but she immediately began planning the logistics of the trip and finding ways of raising funds and had several craft sales to help raise money. But what was astonishing is that Sarita, who cannot walk and relies on a wheelchair, did all the driving to Portugal in her adapted car, accompanied by her mother. This was the first time she has driven abroad and it was a long journey which took 2 days each way. But Sarita is a very positive, determined person and in her own words, “a control freak” so coped well with the trip. She stayed in an apartment above her parent’s apartment and was cared for by her mother.

Her talk went well and as a result has been in touch by Skype and email with people interested in training in Biblical Counselling. The notes she used for her presentation in Portugal will be translated into Portuguese and used there. Sarita said, “The chance to talk to people about Biblical Counselling was well received and I am humbled that God chose me for the job”. “My history with the medical profession has been challenging as it is a condition often regarded as psychological, but it is a neurological condition”. “The trip to Portugal was so much more than I expected and I was so grateful to have the chance to do things that I’ve not done in a long time, including painting, boules and sight seeing”.

Her visit coincided with a special event in Portugal, the ‘Bethlehem Village’, organised by All Saints Anglican Church where members recreated the hustle and bustle of the Bethlehem marketplace in order to tell the story of the birth of Jesus. Spectators were transported back to Bethlehem mingling with Roman soldiers, King Herod, shepherds, wise men, shopkeepers, angels and livestock as they wandered around the town. They were guided town by guides and eavesdropped on conversations with the main characters at each station. In the market square the Salvation Army played carols and stall holders sold gifts and crafts for charity. People travel from far and wide to take part in the event which Sarita captured on video.

Sarita said,”Despite my condition, I am now content and don’t give up easily as I am not a victim”. “I wouldn’t have been able to survive without my faith of which I am truly thankful”.

“I have been invited to be part of a care team with North Hills as a prayer/email supporter of some in crisis even though I am not there in person”. “God is extremely good to me”.