Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ. It has been one year since I stepped out of faith and became the Executive Director of Ministry Care. In that year, I have traveled to 9 countries, 14 cities, and slept in too many beds to count! It has been an incredible year of multiple confirmations of the need for Ministry Care both among the missionaries and the nationals and it is a real honor and privilege to walk side by side with them.
We wrapped up our time in Uganda with one more Initial Equipping for Trauma Healing. Our Jinja group had 39 participants; for a total of 69 (both Ugandans and Missionaries) equipped to facilitate trauma healing groups in their communities. Some of those groups started before we left, 5 have already been completed and 4 are in progress, which is awesome to see the groups already implemented. We praise God for a powerful reconciliation and restoration of relationship between 2 missionaries that occurred during our Forgiveness Lesson. We also learned some valuable lessons as facilitators for the next time we lead these training's, such as 3 days is not enough time to cover the material adequately. We have been asked to return in February and March to lead additional training's. Some of the feedback we received from our final group:
Rumbi came to Uganda, participated in the Trauma Healing and facilitated an all-day workshop at Good Shepherds's Fold with me. The topics for the day included stress and burnout, secondary trauma, and self-care. We had 57 participants who work in a variety of helping professions. It was a real joy to be able to teach with her again and watch her network with other Africans in similar professions. She also shared a bit of her testimony, which had a powerful impact on many of the participants and something they commented on in their feedback. There have been requests for additional workshops on topics such as grief and loss and helping children. I will continue working through email with the social workers at GSF to help them put together materials for these lessons. Rumbi's schedule was packed and we did not have a lot of free time to spend together, though we did get in some sightseeing, taking a boat ride down the Nile river and visiting Kalagala Falls. This was a trip of many firsts for her: first flight, first boat ride, and first time on a Boda (motorbike).
After leaving Uganda, I spent the next month in Ethiopia. The main goal of my time in Ethiopia was to put together the nuts and bolts of a member care plan in partnership with Highland Harvesters. Over 3 weeks and multiple meetings with the missionaries involved, we were able to sort out the details of that plan. I also spent time sharing about the Trauma Healing Training and look forward to seeing what the Lord does in further discussions of conducting the training in Ethiopia at the beginning of 2018. A reoccurring theme in my time with the missionaries here involves the challenge faced on the field with education. There are limited schooling options, which often leaves homeschooling or boarding school as the choice. If the child has any kind of special needs it is very difficult to address those with the resources here. Please spend some time this month lifting up the missionaries you know as the navigate these challenges and make decisions that is best for their children.
In closing, here are two memorable highlights from September 2007! Ten years ago, I had the privilege of being a bridesmaid in Simba and Rumbi's wedding. Happy Anniversary Simba and Rumbi!! May the Lord bless you with many more years together serving Him. My 2nd highlight is when I moved to Zimbabwe in July 2007 I had just been diagnosed with a pituitary gland tumor. In September 2007 I returned to the states to discuss treatment options and learned the tumor "disappeared". Thank you Lord for the mighty work of healing that took place!!!
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Thank you so much! And may God bless you richly with His presence!
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.