People of faith often refer to their work as a “calling from God,” reflecting God’s invitation and initiative to include them in God’s redemptive work in the world. Joyce Golian is one of those who understands her daily work as being a divine calling. Joyce has been an Emmaus Direct Support Professional for just over a year, and her “road” to Emmaus involved faith, trust, and assurance in God.
Before Emmaus, Joyce was unemployed, and she found herself looking for a new career. One evening, after once again getting rejected due to being overqualified, Joyce was driving home. The Emmaus Homes office happened to be located on Joyce’s drive home. Although she knew about Emmaus at the time, she did not fully understand the work of our organization. As she was praying to God, asking him for a sign, she accidentally turned in to the parking lot of Emmaus.
“Or was it an accident?” Joyce exclaims. “I would usually pass the Emmaus Homes office on the road between my sister’s house and my house. As I was praying for guidance, instead of turning on the usual road home, I happened to turn into the parking lot of the Emmaus office. After doing some research, I found that they were hiring, and I applied for an open position. One week after my interview, I got a call, and I was accepted to become a Direct Support Professional at Emmaus.”
When Joyce first walked in the door to meet Barbara, Margie, Deborah, and Laura, the ladies she would learn to support, she never expected to make everlasting friendships. However, an inseparable bond quickly developed, and they soon found themselves forming a sisterhood. “We respect, listen, and show kindness to each other,” Joyce says. “The ladies are just like everyone else. They have their own opinions (trust me), and they have their own way of doing things. I made four new friends for life.”
The women always look forward to seeing Joyce walk through their door because they know it will never be a dull day for them. When they see Joyce, they know they are about to have a fun day of cooking, crafting, roasting marshmallows over a bonfire, or going for a walk at the local park. Not only do the women enjoy having fun with Joyce, but they also learn from her.
When Joyce first came to Emmaus, Margie would always walk with a cane. One day, Joyce asked her if she would like to leave her cane behind and something incredible happened: “She said yes. We walked together arm and arm. She eventually started taking one step by herself, then two steps, and now to this day, she can walk independently all by herself. I am so proud of her accomplishment.”
You can call Joyce’s journey to Emmaus an accidental turn into a parking lot. On the other hand, you can call Joyce’s journey to Emmaus a sign from God. Either way, Joyce has forever changed the lives of others, and she has four lifelong friends to prove it.