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5 minutes with Tita ...

Tell us a little about you

My name is Tita Cook, I was born in Mexico but have had the privilege of living in 5 different

countries in the last 30 years. I am the very proud mother of two amazing sons who are 26 and

24 years old.

I originally studied dentistry, specialised in paediatric dentistry and worked lecturing under and post graduate dentistry students as well as worked in my own surgery. Having married a

South African man, his job took us around the world and this meant the end of my dentistry career due to the difficulties with re-qualification in different countries.

I have never been someone who can sit around doing nothing so I managed to use other skills I have and taught languages at different universities, schools and business companies in different countries. I also worked as interpreter translator and worked in the charity world in Portugal for 5 years helping a group of 5 nuns reach out to women in prostitution ( forced by parents or partners to earn money in turn used to buy alcohol or drugs, or forced into this lifestyle due to extreme poverty and lack of skills) to offer them the opportunity to have a total reintegration into society for them and their children, to have medical, dental help, schooling for all children, and to learn a new skill that would allow them to earn money in a dignified way.

I don’t have the time to share this experience with you here because then it would become not 5 minutes with Tita Cook but a much longer time, but what I can say is that this was a turning point in my life. I can honestly say that God put me at the right time right place to connect this charity with the government in Portugal and as the work unfolded I saw many lives transformed ! Through this work, God lead me to discover my ability and passion to share Jesus with others

using my natural public speaking ability. He opened doors to begin equipping me through studying Bible and Theology and he began opening doors for me to minister in different countries, languages and cultures and in Australia too.

We have now lived in Australia for the last 12 years and this is now our permanent home.

My life changed dramatically 5 years ago because sadly my husband at the time chose to ask me for a divorce. This was not my choice but I had to accept it. God is good and carried me, my sons and my former husband through the darkest time of our lives.

He has helped me to learn much about myself and especially about his faithfulness . He has never left nor forsaken me and I believe that I am now a better, stronger person able to use my painful experience to help others. He has also brought healing to us all and I can happily say that I have a very good relationship with my former husband which was something crucial for me because he will forever be the father of our sons and therefore part of our lives.

What's your favourite bible passage & why?

This is a hard question to answer because there are many scriptures that are special to me but I

think that Isa 41: 10 has played a very special part of my life in the last 5 years.

“Fear not (there is nothing to fear) for I am with you; do not look around in terror and be

dismayed, for I am you God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you,

yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My (victorious) right hand of rightness and justice.

(Amplified version)

I clearly remember the first morning after my former husband asked for the divorce, waking up

and feeling totally terrified. All of a sudden my life had changed and I was going to have to start living and thinking as a single 50 year old woman. I had to consider finding a paid job because the church work I had been doing for all the years was probono. I had to find a new place to live, I had to consider how to emotionally support my sons and myself and face a legal process that I knew nothing about because divorce had never been a thought I had entertained.

That particular morning as I began praying I felt strongly led to read Isa 41:10 from the Amplified version of the Bible. I still remember how as I began reading this verse it was almost as if I could hear a soothing voice slowly saying each of those beautiful things to me. I cried, cried and cried out of a combination of fear and relief because I knew that this was just the beginning of a hard journey but Jesus was telling me that I was not alone, he was there with me and was going to help me overcome all the obstacles and pain.

Those first years were the hardest and darkest time of my life but I can honestly say that Jesus

came through for me every single day and was constantly fulfilling that scripture.

I also clung to Jer 29:11 “For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, they are to

benefit not to harm you, to give you a hope and a future”.

I knew that regardless of the sad end of my marriage God had plans for me and I had to just fix

my eyes on Jesus, go through the process and allow him to use this time to help me grow and

teach me what He knew I had to learn about myself, about life and about him in preparation for a new stage in my life.

How do you keep your eyes fixed on Jesus?

The thing that bothered me the most when I had to give up my ministry work in order to have a full time paid job was the fact that I knew I was not going to have the privilege of spending as many hours each day studying the Word and praying. But working for a living was not optional it was a reality in my new life.

But our Lord is sooo good that he has given me a job that requires a 45 minute train ride each way every day and this has become my daily quiet time.

And of course as only Jesus can, he orchestrated a job where he is using me ,the natural gifts and talents he has given me, as well as my personal experience to help others.

For the last 5 years I have been working as a relationship educator and couples’ counsellor

delivering psycho education programs to individuals, couples or groups with the objective of

establishing or maintaining healthy relationships. My biggest passion is to help couples and

families to have healthy successful relationships.

My experience has confirmed the fact that Jesus never wastes our experiences and can use them to grow us and then benefit others.

Another way I connect with Jesus daily is because prior to any client work I pray for Jesus to use me to bring help and healing to those precious people that he has prepared in advance for me to work with.

I can see divine finger prints in the way I was led to this job and it confirms the fact that He can

use us and needs us in different areas of influence so now I gladly say that this job is my ministry and it helps me pay the necessary bills to live a beautiful and dignified life.

What would you like the next generation of Christian women to know?

I strongly believe that each of us has a God given purpose for our lives and that wherever God

plants us, we can influence the lives of those around us through the way we live our lives.

As a young 18 year old when I had to choose what to do with my life after finishing school, I chose to study dentistry. I know I loved medical stuff, I love working with people and am good at working with my hands, so this was a logical good choice that would use my interest and skills. So I studied dentistry and then specialised in dentistry with children.

I loved this work but after only 3 years of having my own surgery and lecturing at university, my

dentistry career went down the drain when as a married woman we moved from country to

country for many years due to my husband’s job and I was not allowed to work. I became more

and more frustrated in different countries not being able to practice dentistry and it was only when we arrived in Portugal that in my anger and frustration I said to God “ I am tired of doing nothing much with my life, I want to do something meaningful so I will not look for anything myself, if you have something for me I will do it but you have to lead me to it”

Well I think this is what Jesus had been waiting to hear from me because within the next 2 weeks he led me to be thrown into doing charity work in Portugal. This experience is what opened the doors that eventually led me to discover an ability and passion for public speaking, studying Bible and Theology and was the beginning of an amazing Christian ministry in different countries, cultures and languages.

Proverbs 16:3 “commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed” is a scripture

that the Holy Spirit highlighted for me in the early years of studying Theology and it has become one of the principles I live by since then. Before making any decisions I bring them to Jesus because if they are according to his will and plans for my life they will succeed but if not he will align my desired to his will and I can let go of them until I find what his will is for my life.

This has been one of the best decisions in my life because I have been able to witness how Jesus has used me as a speaker, a fund raiser, preacher, women’s ministry leader, educator, counsellor, mother, daughter, sister ,friend and much more.

So girls, my best advice is remain close to Jesus as you make life choices and this way you will

know that wherever he takes you is wherever you need to be and can be his powerful instrument to touch the lives of those around you.

What's one thing that you love about your local church?

I love being part of New Community Ringwood because it is a dynamic, vibrant church with a

passion to present Jesus and the real meaning of Christianity in a relevant 21st century manner to those outside the church that may consider Jesus and the church of no value in their lives.

It has been a privilege to see how God has been blessing the leaders and the enormous growth that has happened in the last 14 years as many come to understand Jesus and invite them into their lives!

What did you learn about God at a time in your life you found hard?

As I mentioned before God was faithful to his word and carried me through the darkest time of my life 5 years ago. He is a loving, caring, compassionate, present, healing God.

He helped me to forgive my former husband with whom I have a very good relationship.

But I have also learned that he is a God of second and many other chances and has allowed me to meet a beautiful Christian man with a beautiful loving family. I feel blessed with another

opportunity to love and be loved as we plan to get married next year.

What are you passionate about?

I love dancing! I suppose my Latin blood and genes have a huge part to play in my love of music and dancing. Latin rhythms, ‘salsa’ especially is a type of dance that I have now convinced my fiancé to learn with me!

I have always been a sporty person (I swam competitively for many years in my younger years).

For most of my life I have tried to keep fit at the gym and continue to do so.

Cooking for special occasions is something I like to do too! I enjoy preparing garnishing and

eating yummy food especially when shared with my loved ones.

What do you enjoy doing when you rest?

I like reading, walking on the beach, listening to music and since my job can be very emotionally charged sometimes watching some ‘rubbishy’ TV shows helps me unwind.

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