Archive for the ‘Trauma healing’ Category

Wholeness and healing

Thursday, May 25th, 2017 by Jo Johnson

We love the word of God; not least because it brings wholeness and healing. Everybody has a time in their lives when they’ve experienced emotional pain and need God’s healing.

In some of the countries in which we work where people have experienced wars, natural disasters, banditry, rape and other severe traumas, this healing is even more meaningful. We help churches work with the emotionally wounded through trauma healing workshops which apply the word of God to these deep wounds.

On 29 May – 2 June and 5-9 June, trauma healing workshops will be held in Ukarumpa, Papua New Guinea (PNG). The first will be taught in English and the second in Melanesian Pidgin, a language of wider communication in PNG. Participants will learn basic biblical mental health principles related to trauma care, explore their own heart wounds and bring them to Christ for healing, and learn to help others heal from trauma.

Trauma healing specialist Sam Smucker explains that these workshops are not isolated but part of a strategy to support the church and help it to engage with Scripture well:

‘I’ve been running several trauma healing workshops here in PNG. I’ve run four Pidgin workshops already and we are planning two more workshops in June, one in English and one in Pidgin.

During these workshops  I have been teaching and training a few PNG people who have a heart for helping people heal emotionally. I want to continue running these workshops so that the people I’ve been training feel comfortable teaching and running the workshops. I would love to have a group of trained people who could go throughout PNG and run these workshops for different churches and villages. That’s my vision.

Other workshops being run in PNG include Oral Bible Storytelling and Culture Meets Scripture. Together with Trauma Healing, they are making significant contributions in equipping the Church and helping Scripture come alive in peoples’ everyday lives.’

Please will you pray:

  • for the workshops, that each participant will have a significant healing encounter with God and understand the principles well so that they can help others
  • for the people that Sam is training to be well equipped to run these workshops throughout PNG
  • that many others will encounter God’s love and healing as the principles of the workshops are shared in churches and communities

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What language do soft toys speak?

Monday, September 19th, 2016 by Camilla

Jesus talks to people in lots of different ways. Until recently, I wasn’t aware that Jesus sometimes speaks very clearly through animals (apart from that talking donkey in Numbers 22:28).

So the question remains: what language do soft toys actually speak?

Turns out they do talk – and there’s no limit to the number of different languages they could be speaking. A great new sub-species of soft toy called the Wildlife STORY TELLER comes in the shape of tigers, elephants, lambs, lions, and teddy bears, with an audio Bible inside. Wildlife STORY TELLERS provide vulnerable, hurting children (or adults) with a soft, furry, tangible way to engage with the Bible.

toy-with-audio-bibleThese soft toys arrive ready to tell Bible stories as well as play the audio adaptation from the JESUS Film in the recipient’s heart language. These amazing furry friends are the result of a partnership between the JESUS Film, Global Recordings Network, MegaVoice and Simply the Story.

Though soft and furry, the impact these animals have is not inconsequential. Read what MegaVoice say on their own website:

‘Susan, the visionary behind the partnership, describes the effect the Wildlife STORY TELLER had on a disabled boy in Guatemala: “The second the child felt the tiger’s soft fur, his face lit right up. When he pushed the little audio button, the tiger began to tell him a Bible story — in his own language.”

In South Asia, Latha, a child bride whose husband sold her into prostitution, faced daily abuse. One morning Christian aid workers found Latha badly beaten lying in the rain beside a road. They quickly took her to the hospital along with a bag of supplies — including a Wildlife STORY TELLER bear with audio Bible.

Day and night, Latha clung to her bear and listened to the stories about Jesus—including the audio adaptation of the JESUS film in her heart language. By the end of her stay, everyone in the ward knew the stories. A non-believing doctor remarked that the presence of prayer and truth in that dark place changed the lives of everyone at the hospital.’

I take my hat off to those involved in making these talking furry friends, whose gentle presence and delivery of God’s word will come to be treasured by many.

Read the original story on MegaVoice’s website and watch a video about Wildlife STORY TELLERS.

Finding hope again

Monday, April 11th, 2016 by Camilla

We’ve all heard stories of the terrors that many who live in the Middle East have experienced. It’s sometimes hard to even believe that God is at work when we hear about the atrocities people live through. Allow your faith to be strengthened by reading this uplifting story about Rajiya* and how she found hope again after being torn apart inside.

Rajiya, whose name means ‘hope’, is a Chaldean Christian living in the Middle East, where many of her people have been driven from their villages, kidnapped, raped or killed. Rajiya herself had no visible scars, but felt torn apart inside.

heart-1491403-640x960She heard about trauma healing and was put in touch with a lady called Mirah who was running a group intended to help people like Rajiya to find hope again after experiencing horrible things.

Once on a workshop, Rajiya and the other participants were surprised to learn that Mirah and the other leaders used the Bible as their main textbook, and really took it seriously. The workshop combined psychology with Scripture, and looked at questions such as, ‘If God loves us why do we suffer?’, and how the wounds of our hearts can be healed. Discussing carefully selected Bible passages in groups helped participants to move forward.

One particularly moving experience for Rajiya was where participants were given little pieces of paper and invited to privately write down wounds they were carrying. When they were ready they could tear up the pieces, put them in a box and leave them behind.

‘I realise I am once again becoming Rajiya; my hope is returning.’

*For security reasons, Rajiya is a composite of a number of women who attended the trauma healing workshop.

Read the full story here.

Finding healing through the word of God

Monday, April 4th, 2016 by Camilla

One reason we believe that everyone should have access to the word of God in their heart language is that God’s word addresses and can bring healing to even the greatest traumas experienced in life. Simon, a Bible translator in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, became separated from his family when his village was attacked. Simon found his wife and children again, but their meeting wasn’t all happy tears.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a country that has suffered years of conflict leading to mass displacement and atrocities. During a Bible translation workshop in the late 1990s, Simon’s village was attacked and he became separated from his family. Two weeks went by with no news.

‘Then one day, as he was walking along the road, he saw them coming in his direction.

As they met, his family immediately began sobbing uncontrollably. Simon could not understand whether they were happy to see him or were mourning the state of affairs they found themselves in. It took hours for him to calm his wife and daughters, and when he did, he was shocked at what they told him.

His wife and oldest daughter had been raped by the militia.

The guilt and anger Simon felt caused the worst pain he had ever experienced. How would he be able to forgive his enemies and himself?’

Simon and his family were recommended to try a trauma-healing seminar — and ultimately found healing through the Scripture-based programme. Today, Simon is helping to translate Scripture to make God’s word, and the freedom it brings, accessible to others.

Read the original post here, and find more great stories about what’s going on in the world of Bible translation!

Update on CAR

Friday, February 5th, 2016 by Camilla

We last posted about CAR on Boxing Day with a call to prayer in the face of forthcoming elections. We’d like to report back that the elections went amazingly well, and there were no major incidents during the election period. Praise God for his protection over the country during this time!

Bangui streetWill you pray for the next round of elections, which is planned for mid-February, and will be between just two presidential candidates? Prayers for peace are still critical, and pray for widespread acceptance of the result – and most of all that the new president will be God’s person for the job and seek the best for the country in the months and years to come. The legislative elections have been declared void because of various irregularities, and so that process needs to start again.

Another prayer item on our hearts is a trauma healing workshop currently taking place in Bangui, for six different Central African language groups. Trauma healing workshops deal with some of the effects of violence and unrest that countries like CAR have seen over the past few years. We will be praying about potential communication issues, unity among the teaching team, and stamina for teaching staff and participants alike – will you join us?

Pray for CAR!

  • Praise God that the last elections went so well, and ask God for his continued peace during this next round.
  • Pray for clear, unadulterated, undisputed election results that ultimately lead to lasting change in the country.
  • Bring the trauma healing workshop before God and ask for unity among the teaching team, clarity in communication, and that God would bring deep healing to each participant.

If you want to keep praying this Lent that God would bring lasting change in CAR, there’s a great prayer calendar available to print out to guide you day by day. More ideas for prayer, getting into the word of God and being generous this Lent will follow on Monday.

Trauma healing resources

Monday, November 23rd, 2015 by Camilla

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).

hope-heroWhat 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.