TRAUMA TRAINING FOR CHURCHES AND WOMEN'S GROUPS
- Trauma is the biggest mission field of our time. It is not just abroad it is right here in our midst. So many seem to have normal lives but have experienced deep emotional hurts and yet not many in our churches are trained to help people who’ve experienced trauma and heart wounds.
- The American Bible Society Trauma Institute’s Healing programs equip local church leaders with biblical and mental health resources so traumatized people can experience the life-changing message of the Bible.
- The core program’s core workbook was developed in 2001. It provides basic mental health concepts within a biblical framework, using Scripture passages and composite real-life stories to help people connect the teaching with their circumstances. It has been used with thousands of pastors, counselors and traumatized people.
- The book has been translated in part and full in a 150 languages. It is field tested globally from rural Africa to first world churches.
Marguerite was invited by the Middle East Women’s Leadership Network to receive this valuable training with a group of Farsi speaking media producers. She was later invited to be part of the behind the scenes team producing TV shows taking this vital message to the Farsi speaking world.
As a facilitator with the American Bible Society Trauma Institute Marguerite has trained groups of men and women together and also women’s groups in the US. The maximum number of people per group is 30 people.
The attendees have been people with a variety of backgrounds; writers, missionaries, physical therapists, counselors, licensed counselors, accountants, hospital workers, nurses, special ed teachers, pregnancy center counselors, grief counselors, interior designers, ministry leaders, community leaders, moms, homeschool moms, teachers, nannies, emergency responder coordinator, professor, church leadership, entrepreneurs, artists, dancers, musicians, graphic designer, care-givers, encouragers, hope builders, lovers of God.
The participatory style training helps people to process any of their own hurts and receive training to help others. Some of the attendees have already received healing for hurts from the past and for some it was their first time able to process. They all were equipped to help others.
The training is practical and each lesson starts with a story that leads to big group and small group discussions, reflecting on what culture teaches, what we believe and what God’s Word says. There are different kinds of process, reflecting exercises and quiet time with the Lord.
People are traumatized when they are overwhelmed with intense fear, helplessness and horror in the face of death or the threat of death.
Trauma can come by direct experience (as victim or perpetrator), by witnessing someone else’s suffering, and even by hearing of someone’s trauma.
The material also equips people to process and help other dealing with heart wounds.
The statistics are overwhelming and make us feel helpless. But statistics are made up of human stories, experienced one by one. While turning away is an understandable response, we know that Jesus never took that path, and neither can his followers.
Traumatized people would also like to turn away from their pain. But not only can they not forget it, often they are unable or afraid to speak of it, leaving their wounds to fester. Each person experiences the pain of trauma in their own way, but we can recognize and even predict some of the ways they will respond when trauma is left untended.
• If God loves us, why do we suffer?
• How can the wounds of our hearts be healed?
• What happens when someone is grieving?
• Response: Taking your pain to the cross
• How can we forgive others?
• How can churches minister amidst various causes
of trauma (domestic violence, suicide, etc.)?
• How can we live as Christians amidst conflict?
• Looking ahead