Returning to Canada
After her return to Canada, Christabell became responsible for many of the people in her life. Besides her two children, she was also assisting her parents, her brother and sister, and members of her husband’s family as their sponsor. The cost the family incurred to get her out of Sri Lanka burdened the family, leading to tension. It was a difficult time.
Throughout this period, however, she continued her studies, and worked as a mental health research assistant at the University of Toronto for four years. Christabell is currently finishing her PhD with her focus on studying the spiritual therapeutic impact of storytelling, artistic, and musical expression on Tamil women. Unfortunately her father passed away just two months before her ordination as a pastor. Christabell turned her grief into a chance for personal growth, and and she became a certified grief counsellor so she could help others with similar experiences. She applied for jobs throughout the city, and eventually a one-year job at the Church of the Nazarene became available, where she has now worked for the last 27 years. Christabell is a licensed family and grief therapist, and is planning on starting her practice to help newcomers in need.
Christabell in 2018 as an ordained Minister of the Church of the Nazarene. Image courtesy of Christabell Selvalingham.