“And the LORD turned to him and said, ‘Go in the strength you have. . . Am I not sending you? ” (Judges 6:14, NIV)
Today I am standing on the threshold of an adventure. And like many adventures, I do not know exactly how it will turn out–but I do know where it will begin–and that the LORD, and a good partner, will be going along with me! In just a few short hours I will be taking off for one of my favorite countries–Nepal.
Yes! After two years, I’m returning to this tiny country just above India, to reconnect with some of my old friends and to make some new ones.
Since the terrible earthquake that hit several months ago in Nepal, people there have been overwhelmed with intense fear and many losses. Tremors still quake at unexpected moments and fear that their homes will topple down again, leaves many filled with dread. This horror in the face of death, injury, financial loss, and exhaustion as they go about trying to rebuild their lives has left many feeling hopeless. First response teams have delivered their aid and are gone. Behind remains traumatized men and women–reliving their nightmare over and over again.
Dr. Harriet Hill, Program Director for the Trauma Healing Institute, a ministry of the American Bible Society, is one of the authors of a highly effective course that addresses this issue for Christians. It is titled: Healing the Wounds of Trauma, How the Church Can Help. She says this:
“Trauma manifests itself as symptoms such as:
- intrusive thoughts in which people re-experience the event;
- avoidance of things associated with the event;
- being on alert all the time.
For traumatized people to find healing, they need to express their pain. They need a safe place to express it, where they will not be attacked physically or verbally. They need someone who will listen.”
I am a trained facilitator/instructor for this course, originally written to help Pastors and Church leaders learn how to help their parishioners to express pent up pain, caused by trauma, getting it out in healthy, healing ways and to restore balance to their lives emotionally and spiritually.
I have been invited to come to Nepal, where I will begin facilitating this course with my partner, Mrs. Carol King, a professional counselor.
We will be arriving in the capital city, Kathmandu, where we will be met by the Vice Chair of one of the leading denominations in Nepal, to lead an Equipping Session, for 70 pastors in his denominational network, including church workers and missionaries from around Nepal. These session will be done in two, five-day workshops, covering nine topics that are considered basic to helping traumatized individuals get the pain out and begin the healing of their wounded hearts.
The course is very interactive. We will be using new skills of careful listening, art/drawings, written and sung laments, poetry, and reenactments of their pain in the form of skits. At one point in our training we will bring all these expressions of pain reverently to the cross of Christ, because He died not only to forgive our sins, but also to carry our sorrows.
Doing this in a special ceremony is part of the healing process; acknowledging Christ as the One and only One, who truly can bear our burdens and heal all our pain, bringing His healing to our wounded hearts. (see Isaiah 53:3-4 and 61:1-3) This picture below was drawn by one of the participants in a Trauma Healing workshop in Vietnam, a number of years ago.
As part of my blog for the next two weeks, I want to share with my readers some of my experiences first hand, in journal form. I will make these short and add some pictures of Kathmandu.
Come along with me to Nepal–if not in person–then through your prayers and by reading about their experiences.
The dates for the workshops are:
Week 1: August 17-21; Week 2: August 24–28
If you are a praying Christian, please pray for my partner and I as we join our Nepali brothers and sisters in bearing their burdens.
Pray for us to be effective in presenting the material in such a way that they not only find relief from their own pain, but that they will also desire to teach what they are learning to those back in their churches–helping the body of Christ to be healed and restored from the effects of the trauma of the last days, weeks and months after the earthquake.
Thank you for stopping by my blog today.