Following traumas such as fighting, violence and displacement, millions around the world are left feeling wounded, worthless, and without hope. Traumatic experiences can cause people to ask why God allows suffering and whether it’s even possible to forgive your enemies. For more information on why trauma healing is necessary, see this video (warning: some viewers may find some content disturbing).
What are trauma healing workshops? Trauma healing workshops offer a forum where wounded people can begin a journey of healing. The workshops are based on finding healing in God’s word, and focus on sharing Scripture in an oral way. Participants are encouraged to engage with Bible stories – talking about what they liked or found difficult about a story, and sometimes discussing cultural questions relevant to the story, eg whether it is acceptable for men to cry in the local culture. Groups may act out the story, discuss key words and translate the story into their mother tongue (if a translation does not already exist), and compose a song in their mother tongue on the theme of Ecclesiastes 3:4: ‘There is a time for weeping and a time for dances of joy.’
Do they work? Workshop leaders have seen very positive results. Participants are excited to hear Bible stories in their mother tongue, enjoy writing songs on the theme of Ecclesiastes 3:4, and begin to have their hope restored after long periods of hopelessness.
Through well-planned workshops led by caring leaders, God uses Scripture in participants’ mother tongues to speak straight to their hearts, and honours people’s willingness to begin the often painful process of healing. New hope begins to bud.
Workshops take place in countries around the world, and for victims of trauma or refugees in the UK, help is available right here.
The book Healing the Wounds of Trauma by Harriet Hill et al. offers a practical resource for church leaders and those experiencing suffering. Written in a simple, non-technical style, it is now available in more than 150 languages.
For more information on available resources, including books and course outlines, check out this website. For testimonies and more information on how to pray for victims of trauma, have a look at section 2 of our prayer module Encountering God’s Word.