Thrive: To Blossom, Flourish, Develop Well, Going Strong, Healthy,
Romania and BulgariaThe second half of September was spent in Eastern Europe. This was my first time to this area of the world. It was very eye opening. Growing up, I had a lot of thoughts about communism and it was interesting to gain perspective from those who lived through the fall of communism. It was bleak to still see the communist bloc type of housing and to imagine what it would have been like to have lived there. My thoughts about this extend far beyond a newsletter so feel free to reach out to me for further discussion. I am super excited though to see the Lord opening up doors in this area. We held a Convening Session for Trauma Healing in Brasov, Romania and Sofia, Bulgaria. The purpose of a Convening Session is to give top leaders enough of an exposure to trauma healing so that they can decide if they want to integrate it into their ministry, The benefit is it helps those who are not familiar with the model to gain awareness. As well, when a group of leaders gathers and decides that they want to integrate trauma healing into their ministries, this provides a strong foundation on which to build the trauma healing program. The downside for us is there was enthusiasm and commitment but now we are trying to determine when to come back and hold the Initial Equipping. It is ideal to hold an Initial Equipping about three months after the Convening so that the interest aroused can be channeled into action before it disappears. Due to other obligations we are struggling to find the right time to return in that 3 month window but trust the Lord's timing is always greater than ours.
We had the chance to meet with the Romania Bible Society. This was beneficial as it continues to foster relationships with the local Bible society on the ground. We were able to make sure we were not stepping on any toes either so to speak by proceeding with planning an Initial Equipping. The Bible Society has been actively engaged in equipping both the Orthodox and Evangelical communities so it gave us the opportunity to sit in as learners as well as there are distinct differences between these communities.
Outside of these Convening Sessions, we also met up with Rhonda, who is the European Regional Member Care Director for Global Outreach. Sharon, Rhonda and I had the opportunity to engage actively with member care for those missionaries with Global in Bucharest, Brasov, and Sofia. We also had the chance to encourage a missionary outside of Global in Bucharest, And it was a treat to get to spend time seeing some of the local sights, such as Dracula's Castle, with the missionaries. Again we want to be used by God to encourage, love, listen to and serve those He has called to ministry so that they know they are loved, supported, heard, valued and understood. If they know these things, they will thrive not just survive and we feel like we were able to fulfill this in our time in Eastern Europe.
Stateside Training's: Omaha, Indianapolis, Orlando
The month of October has been back to back training's for Trauma Healing. I arrived back to the states on October 2nd and headed off to Omaha for an Advanced Equipping. We had 17 participants (maximum is 20) in attendance and 4 Training Facilitator's that we were intentional about coming alongside to train well. The model that Good News is using to train the trainer's is very exciting to be a part of and has made me realize some of the gaps I had in my own training. Advanced Equipping Sessions are also fun as it is much more participant led and it is awesome to get to be a part of their action planning as they prepare for their own trauma healing ministry roll out.
I went from Omaha to Indianapolis for an Initial Equipping. We had this one planned since April and it is a testimony of how God is the best net worker. The host of the event has a daughter who attended one of our Initial Equipping Sessions in Uganda while she was there as an intern. Her daughter is originally from Greenwood, Indiana. As a result of her daughter's attendance and enthusiasm about the training, conversations began about holding one in Indianapolis. We ended up having 34 participants (maximum is 36) attend, with many of them being from Indianapolis. What is exciting for me is to get to be a part of training in the area that I use to call home when I worked in the states. We had quite a few also serving in cross-cultural missions and 16 of those participants work in the mental health field.There was a group of them also part of the Catholic faith and they had many ideas of how to implement Trauma Healing Groups into their community, especially among those who have experience trauma at the hands of the church-an unfortunate consequence of the fallen world we live in.
Finally, I went from Indianapolis to Orlando for our 2nd Advanced Equipping this month. In Orlando, we had 19 participants and 2 Training Facilitator's who moved on up as Master Facilitator's-the highest level you can achieve in Trauma Healing. The Advanced Equipping helps to provide clarification as to what the program model is all about. It gives the participants a chance to go deeper through the material-especially at the review of each lesson during practice facilitation where they have a chance to ask questions, gain clarification, and discuss any challenges they faced. Many of them gained an appreciation of the participatory model during the advanced and often state they wish they could re-do their first groups.
One of the challenges I have personally faced though is a heavy travel schedule with minimal time to recoup before moving on to the next event. This is how the next few weeks will go as well, leading up to Thanksgiving. I knew this would be a full schedule so I am trying to be intentional about a time of rest at the end of November. As I am often speaking to others how they are no good pouring out if they do not have a chance to be poured into, I am reminded to take my own advice and am thankful for those in my life who are holding me accountable.
To end on a praise report: We are thanking God in that it was reported that 4 people committed their lives to Christ during the healing groups and 1 rededicated their life to the Lord. We know how trauma creates a barrier to the Lord and we see the impact healing groups have had on removing that barrier.
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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.