Back in the US
Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ. I finished up my time in Ethiopia and headed back to the states this month. It has been a pleasure to work with the missionaries in creating a member care plan for them. We are putting together a tentative plan to hold an Initial Equipping session for the Trauma Healing training the first week of February in Ethiopia. Finally, I spent a few days with Compassion Family International where I continued to help them develop documentation for an income generating project they are conducting with their parents and guardians. And in my spare time I have been working on some promotional materials too; look for a brochure and prayer card coming your way soon!
Trauma healing groups continue in Uganda and we are seeing the fruit of our training's there. A group has been held this month with South Sudanese refugees. There were 25 women who attended. The importance of training nationals? One main reason is they can hold the groups in the local language. We had several testimonies from this group. I will share a portion from Tabu:
Tabu's husband was killed in the war by rebels and she also lost a child. She moved to a refugee camp in Uganda but was struggling to find work and to send her kids to school. She made her way to Jinja, along the Nile river, where there is another refugee camp. She started selling mukene (little fish) from the river and making tablecloths to be able to provide for her children and send them to school. This is what she says, "I called out to God, if you are really there, why am I suffering? My husband, my brother and my father have all been killed by the rebels. God, show me a way I can work and provide for my children. And He did. I thank God that you came here and fed us with God's word. Now we must tell others in the camp that God is there; that He is faithful and though you suffer God will bring something good. Thank you and God bless you for coming."
The facilitators of the group shared the following: "We experienced many successes while leading this trauma healing group. Our greatest success was seeing the women we were leading open up about the trauma in their lives and come to the realization that God is still with them. It was a huge blessing seeing the Lord work in their hearts. We had quite a few challenges while facilitating this trauma healing group. The women in the group were refugees from Sudan and many of the women were not able to read or write but we were able to altar some of the activities to fit the groups personal needs. It was incredible to see the Lord work through these challenges and reach the hearts of people. It was a huge reminder that when we are faithful and obedient to show up He will work through our weaknesses." As the mentor for these facilitators, it is a joy to see them putting into practice what they have learned and being obedient to what God has called them to do. I look forward to sharing more in the future of how God is using Trauma Healing groups in Uganda.
I have jumped right in to a full travel schedule since my return to the US. I spent a week in Omaha, Nebraska. I had an opportunity to co-facilitate an Advanced Equipping session for Trauma Healing. We had 9 participants who work in various ministries, including jails, a homeless ministry, mental health, and a nursing school. This was the next step in my own training and as a result, I was able to earn my Master Facilitator status, meaning I can now lead both initial and advanced training's internationally and this will allow us to plan an Advanced training in Uganda in March. It was an honor to serve with my co-facilitator, a chaplain with Good News Jail and Prison Ministry. We really worked well together and our strengths and weaknesses complemented each other. The suicide lesson we presented was very challenging, due to the level of experience in the room but the openness of the group and their willingness to be vulnerable was insightful and inspiring. One of the participants shared how the training impacted him: "I have gained new info, become more confident, realized and addressed my own traumas, and have a renewed 'gas tank' of energy/motivation toward facilitating the material." It was a great week!
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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.