Our people: Healing souls

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Sistar Yancy is a board certified Christian counselor and enjoys seeing lives changed through her work.


• Name: Sistar Yancy

• Birthdate: Aug. 18, 1940

• Hometown: Richmond, Calif.

• Profession: Christian counselor and community organizer

• Family: Four children Will, Vincent, Mark, and Lindagail

Sistar Yancy moved to Clovis six years ago after planning to retire in Arizona. She even bought a house there. But she felt uncomfortable. She prayed and saw her brother in a dream with his hands up in church. The next day, her brother called her. Yancy said it was obvious that God wanted her in Clovis.

What’s your favorite part about your job?

Seeing changed lives. When they come in and say they can’t change I tell them they can do all things through Christ. I love to see that.

What would you like printed on your gravestone?

I Corinthians 15 verses 3 and 4 ‘For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,’ and Romans 12 verses 1 and 2. ‘Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.’ It’s a mind thing. If you have the same mind, same results, If you change your mind, you get changed results.

Who’s invited to your fantasy dinner party and why?

Oprah Winfrey. I’d like to share Christ with her. I understand she was a Christian at one time.

What’s your idea of a perfect day?

Where I can kick back and study my Bible with a group that understands the Bible sharing and talking about it. Watching old westerns. I like my black and white westerns. There is far too much profanity and sex in modern westerns.

What do you think about Clovis?

Coming from California, it’s different. It’s quiet. I’m glad I don’t have traffic.

When you were a kid, what did you think you’d be doing as an adult?

Nursing. I went to school for it.

Tell us about a time you cried.

When my friend, travel partner, buddy, my mom died. She died in January 2009. I had gone to California to visit to take her out for dinner. She started coughing and never stopped. She died of an ulcer. That was a time of crying I’ll never ever forget. In all my adult life, I didn’t know a time when we didn’t spend our birthdays together. We traveled together, we dressed alike, she liked westerns, we would go to church together and we’d celebrate holidays together.

Tell us a story about your childhood.

Growing up in California, I had 10 siblings. Six boys and four girls. We lived in an area called the Canal Project. It was a wonderful place to live. We couldn’t get away with anything. Your neighbors would get on you just like your parents. We had the first TV. It was a little nine inch TV. Everyone in the neighborhood could come to our house and watch TV.

What would your be doing if you weren’t in your profession?

Writing a book about same mind, same result. Change mind, change results. I’d write about all folks I have worked with over the years. I’ve counseled people in the community and different detention facilities.

What did you think about on Sept. 11?

I thought it was shocking. It was more like a movie when I saw it happening. When I saw the couple jumping out of the building holding hands, I prayed and prayed. And I thought on the same day a year earlier I was standing in that spot praying.

Who is your hero and why?

John Perkins. He is a mentor of mine. He’s a community organizer. I’ve seen JP walk neighborhoods that no one else would dare to. High crime areas. He worked with children and the youth and changed it around.

What do you envision your life being like in 10 years?

Writing the book and being able to work with community organizers all over the world.

If money were no object, what would you do to make the world a better place?

Definitely pay for Evangelism to be all over the world. I’d love to see everyone not only fed physically but spiritually.

Tell us about your greatest individual accomplishment.

There are several. My oldest son and I graduated the same weekend. He graduated from high school on Saturday and I graduated from the University of San Francisco on Sunday. As a single parent, raising four kids by myself it was an accomplishment. Second, was surprising even to me. I was working at San Quentin State Prison. I asked if I could take five convicts to the juvenile hall to talk to the at risk youth. Many told me it couldn’t be done. I talked to the warden and we did it. They told the youth a life a crime was not the way to go.

What is your favorite taste?

Louisiana Gumbo.

What is your favorite smell?

Almond scent.