Shrewsbury mother finds, gives hope and healing
By Sue Wambolt, Contributing Writer
Shrewsbury – For Sabina Terrades, 47, life has been an extraordinary journey. Terrades was born and raised in France in a home where religion was thought of as a “one of the best man-made scams.”
“We celebrated Christmas and Easter as fun holidays, but without any real connection to what these holidays actually meant. We did not have a Bible in the house and we did not go to church except to attend weddings, baptisms and funerals.”
As a child, Terrades suffered child abuse in what she calls a very dysfunctional environment. Still, she was able to focus her attention on her studies and pursue a successful career.
In 1988 Terrades received a law degree from Nanterre University in Paris and, in 1992, earned her MBA at Ecole Superieure de Commerce, also in Paris. She moved to the United States in 1994 and, in 1995, married New Yorker Carl Bongiovi. The couple moved to Shrewsbury in 2000.
When Terrades became pregnant in 2001, she began to feel God’s presence in her life. After the birth of her son, Lucas, postpartum depression set in and flashbacks of child abuse started.
“I was broken and God was there to meet me in my brokenness,” said Terrades. “I became increasingly aware of His love and support.”
In the spring of 2002, in Faneuil Hall, Terrades was sworn in as an American citizen. Later that year Terrades received a flyer in the mail about a candlelight Christmas Eve service hosted by Wellspring United Methodist Church, 440 Main St., Shrewsbury.
“The people there were amazingly welcoming, the service was moving and the rest is history,” said Terrades. “We started attending the Sunday worship services regularly and got involved in the church activities quickly.”
In 2007 Terrades became chair of the Abundant Life Team at Wellspring.
“My role as chair is to try to empower people interested in mission work and outreach to ‘step out of the boat’ and take the lead on projects.”
In the years that followed, God continued to work in Terrades’ life.
“As time went on, ‘signs’ kept being thrown my way,” she said. “People started sharing what a wonderful pastor I would make.”
Terrades took a basic lay speaking class in 2012 then completed an advanced class as well. She is now certified to preach all over the New England Conference (of the United Methodist Church).
While attending the New England United Methodist annual conference this past June, Terrades felt compelled to come forward when the Bishop called forward those interested in going into ministry.
“What an amazing experience! I cried, prayed, was prayed upon,” she said. “I have since moved forward with formally declaring my candidacy. I do not know what it will mean. Maybe being a local pastor. Maybe a chaplain in a hospital, hospice or prison.”
Last year, Terrades teamed up with Pastor Jennie Thrash-Crichlow to start a Hope and Healing ministry at Wellspring. The ministry consists of monthly services which focus on different themes, such as grief and addiction, and different styles of music each month. The services are proceeded by a free meal of soup and bread.
“The services cater not to the crowd showing up on Sunday mornings in church, but to the ‘un-churched,’ the broken and the seekers, from all alleys of life,” Terrades said.
In September Terrades took over as “lead” of the Hope and Healing ministry. She said that she is excited to minister to those who, like her, are broken.
“I am a survivor of child abuse, a recovering addict, a person suffering from severe depression and chronic pain,” she said. “I know that life can be tough and unfair. I also know that God is our only hope. Only through Him can we deal with our suffering. Only through Him can we move forward with our lives.”
Terrades works as part-time operations manager at the First United Methodist Church in Westborough. There, she said, she has found Pastor John Taylor to be an amazingly spiritual man who has been a blessing as a sounding board for her faith and her questions.
For Terrades, the journey continues.
The next Hope and Healing Service will be held on Sat., Nov. 9 at 7 pm. For more information on Wellspring United Methodist Church and the Hope and Healing services, visit wellspringumc.net/.
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