Peace be with you and may God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you love with faithfulness. May God's grace be eternally upon all who love our Lord Jesus Christ. This update comes from Uganda and covers the 2 Initial Equipping Training's we have done for Trauma Healing. It is very difficult to put into words all that has occurred in the past month. It is an honor, privilege, and very humbling to be a vessel to be used by the Lord-to equip others who can be a light shining brightly in the darkness for those who are hurting and to also be a catalyst for healing and change in our participants lives.
Our Ethiopia training started off with 3 participants when I arrived in country. Sharon, a co-facilitator, prayed for 20 participants. Early in the morning of our first day of training, we added 2 more participants for a total of 20! God is so faithful and brought together the group who would best benefit. The attendees were from five countries and a variety of ministries; elder care, street children, orphan care, nursing, international school and a few already in the counseling profession!
We knew there was an openness already in Uganda for this training so we were not surprised that we certified 22 apprentice facilitators and had to add a 2nd initial equipping in March due to the interest. The attendees represented 4 countries, included a participant who traveled from the Congo to attend. Several of them work in the refugee camps in Northern Uganda, some are pastors, and we even had a few participants who had been taken as child soldiers during the LRA-it was incredible to hear what the Lord did in their hearts through the training! Across both training's there were plenty of opportunities for us as facilitators to bear burdens. There were many times of praying with and for our participants, one on one time during breaks and lunches, and hearing powerful testimonies of what the Lord was doing in their lives through the lessons we covered. As a reminder, the Trauma Healing program combines best mental health practices and the Word of God to bring people to a place of recognition of their wounded hearts and taking that pain to the Cross for healing. We were equipping these participants to lead those they care for and work with through the healing group experience. We are thankful for the healing journey the Lord has started in these participants lives and we trust He will continue the process.
One of the routine comments in our feedback forms is for the need to have a national facilitator with us, especially as we often look at what culture says and compare it to the Bible. We are excited to offer two advanced equipping training's in March because that is one of the goals: to certify those who will then go on to become trainers (the other goal is for those who will continue the vital task of offering healing groups by becoming Healing Group facilitators). Because of the Advanced Equipping's, we will in the future be able to add those national counterparts and that is what the goal is for all 4 of us as facilitators. Pray that the Lord continues to direct our steps in this regards.
Testimonies from our participants in Ethiopia and Uganda
For many years, I did not attend training's because I found them to be boring and nothing new, but when the Holy Spirit woke me at 3 am to the importance of attending, I am glad that I did. I learned a lot that I can use in ministry along with personal insights.
I uncovered that the emotions I couldn’t express had a name and some of the things I used to do, thinking it was only me, is actually a known pattern of behavior. It gave me hope. It opened me up to take it to God too. It was also breathtaking for me to see this many people being of the same mind, flowing together. It was beautiful to see and makes me believe that God is the one who put it together.
I feel I have tools in my toolbox to help others: tools that are culturally appropriate, appropriate for different levels of education and scripturally rooted.
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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.