Guided By God
When Peggy looks back on her long career in social services, she can see how the Lord has guided her throughout. Her sensitivity to that leading took her through a long, diverse career in America and eventually brought her to Vancouver Island and Communitas Supportive Care Society. She remembers that it began with a walk and a little bit of soul searching.
“I was just out of college and searching for God’s plan for my life,” she recalls. “I wondered, should I join the peace corps? Should I look for work in another country? Where do you want me, Lord?”
It was during that soul-searching walk that she clearly heard God speak to her and say: “Peggy, you have a mission field right before you. Go forth and serve Me well.”
That was all the encouragement she needed. She had completed her degree in Human Services and already had experience working in a nursing home in Wyoming in the early 80s. During her time in college, she worked in a group home that served people who were coming out of institution and into community – a similar shift in care was also taking place in Canada at that time. It was a formative time for Peggy.
“I think I could write a book about that time,” she says.
After graduation, she managed a different group home for the next 20 years and also raised her two daughters. She then moved into administration at a new job in Montana, where she worked as a case manager for 5 years. She also met her husband during this time and after a one year, long distance relationship, they agreed that she would make the life-changing move to Vancouver Island. It took three years to complete the immigration process and Peggy is now a proud permanent resident. Once that was complete, she decided that it was time to look for work – but in a different field.
“The people I served were and still are near and dear to my heart but the work was often extremely difficult,” she explains.
But it seemed that God, who has given her direction thus far, had more for Peggy to do this this field. She spent 6 months looking for work in other areas but she wasn’t at peace. She decided that she would look for a job where her experience lay, and was determined to find something where she would work directly with people.
“Direct care is my favourite part of working in this field,” she says. “And then, lo and behold, I came across an ad for Communitas.”
She was immediately drawn to the organization’s mission statement: “Inspired by Jesus, Communitas will be a place of belonging, growth, and contribution.” As she continued her research on Communitas, phrases like “spirit of gentleness” and “embracing God-given creativity” leapt out at her. She knew that she would love working for an organization that was guided by these principles. She has now been working for Communitas for 5 years and loves it.
“The staff at the home where I work are led by our manager Stacy, who allows each staff person to bring their gifts and strengths into the lives of the people living here,” she says. “I have been so blessed by the women living and working here.”
Stacy Waffle-Rennie manages the home where Peggy works, a home that serves three women living with developmental disabilities. She is proud of her staff and says that Peggy brings many gifts to the team and the residents, including gentleness, honesty, and loyalty.
“The biggest and most special quality that Peggy has is that she is always person-centred,” Stacy says. “On every shift, Peggy focuses on the the specific needs of each resident at that time. We are very blessed to have Peggy on our team!”
Peggy says that anyone considering a career with Communitas should apply and discover for themselves what she has found: a job that you look forward to going to each day.
“When I come to work, I feel like I am at home,” she says. “At this point in my career, I don’t believe that I will have another job after I leave here, so I thank God for allowing me to finish my long and satisfying career in an environment that is guided by God’s hands.”
She recognizes that one does not have to be Christian to work at Communitas but is grateful that she works for a place where she is allowed to bring her faith perspective to her work.
“That is rare in this field and I am so, so grateful.”