Zambezi River, Zimbabwe, Africa 2011 (I am the front person on the right)
Have you ever been white water rafting? I stumbled across this gem and I thought it was a good representation of where I am at. This picture evokes a variety of thoughts and feelings for me. You have to work as a team to navigate the rough waters and it's even better when you work in unity. There is smooth water and suddenly turbulent rapids and you may not know what is coming next. You try to listen to your instructor who is giving you directions and encouragement but sometimes over the wind and water, it is hard to hear. And when someone falls in, you work to give them a hand and pull them back into the raft. It gets your blood pumping and pulse racing. It is exhilarating while at the same time terrifying. You suddenly wonder about crocodiles in the still water....wait, now I am digressing. When the day is over, you are exhausted.
This quarter has felt this way. As the Healing the Wounds of Trauma online activity has nearly tripled, I am now navigating working more with a team of many facilitators (instead of 2 or 3) and taking on more of a coach role-hopefully not shouting instructions at them though. Communication and unity help us work together to navigate the rough and bumpy waters of pain and trauma. At times we go around the bend and do not see the rapids that are coming. And in the chaos of this season and flurry of activity, I am trying to listen to my Instructor but sometimes I find it hard to hear Him over the noise. It is also scary not knowing what lies ahead, especially when considering traveling again. Certainly, I am exhausted after a long day online. Yet, I feel such joy and exhilaration over what the Lord is doing and the testimonies I am hearing. And I am thankful He commands both the still and the rapid water.
"The Healing the Wounds of Trauma Group far surpassed my expectations of how deeply I would be touched. Everything spoken about was very real and compassionate, and not just theoretical. Therefore, delving into the topic, I didn't even realize how much trauma has affected me - even things I hadn't thought about for a long time. The biggest gift is to realize my desire to be able to bring my pain to the Lord, which I hadn't been able to do. I was given practical, biblical tools and have been able to begin to really release my hurts. I continue to heal and hope to help others do the same. I am so grateful for these sessions. Thank you!" Testimony from one of the healing groups this quarter
During this quarter, I was involved with facilitating 5 healing groups, 3 Scripture Listening groups, 1 initial training, and 1 advanced training-all online. I have enjoyed working with a variety of facilitators and making some new friends along the way. Missionary care visits and team meetings are now also occurring online. Sometimes I miss good ole fashioned phone calls (and certainly face to face) but I am finding that zoom seems to be a place of safety and community. It has reminded me for many just how isolating this year has been. It has been great being involved internationally still; for example, one of our healing groups had someone waking at 3:30 am EST and joining in from Pakistan.
Speaking of international, we had a great Advanced Equipping a few weeks ago. We had 15 participants total with some zooming in from China, Spain, Canada, and the UK. Because of the high number of participants, we had to divide the training into two. The two facilitation teams did a phenomenal job as we navigated using new material, people who had varied experiences of in-person activity versus online, and differences in materials that were used. It was a long training online and it made me really miss the energy and fellowship of face to face. But, I continue to go into those deep and rough waters as we move forward with online activity: trusting the team to work together to make it as safe an experience as possible for our groups and to continue to apply what we have learned this past year.
This next month, I will actually be facilitating two more Advanced trainings: one occurring in Scotland and one occurring in Ethiopia. They will just be zooming me in!! That takes me to the question that many of you may have wondered. Or at least, one I have been wondering. When does international travel resume? It has now been 13 months since I left the US. My tentative plans are a trip to Ethiopia in July and to Central Asia in September. I hold all plans loosely at the moment, asking the Lord to show me the next steps. Please continue to pray for wisdom and discernment.
Blessings to you and I look forward to sharing next quarter what the Lord has been doing!
Love and prayers,
Praises and Prayers:
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Misty Bodkins has a Master's degree in clinical psychology. She has worked both stateside and internationally doing counseling, training, teaching, and research. Her passion is working with people who are in crisis.