Several South Sudanese men and women have established themselves as the “TRAUMA HEALING NETWORK ORGANIZATION FOR SOUTH SUDAN & NUBA MOUNTAINS” in Nairobi. In August, after our Basic TH training with them, eight of these new facilitators put their learning to the test and lead a week-long session of healing groups in the South Sudanese refugee community of Juja in Kenya. Twenty six people attended and were overjoyed to receive this care from their fellow Sudanese! This is what they said…
“The (Trauma Healing) training was meaningful in our lives and we love it so much! We therefore ask your organization to kindly come for us again, and we truly thank God for the good work you people have taken upon yourself to help your own and restore the hope and the joy that were destroyed by the stress and the circumstances we passed through.”
One of the participants commented: “We were so lonely with no one to encourage us to see through life and have positive thinking, but now we feel that there are people who are thinking about us and truly you have come to us when we were not thinking anybody would one day do so.”
You might be surprised to find that the cost of the entire week of healing groups for 26 people was only $85US! With this small investment, our brothers and sisters were able to able to be the hands and feet of Christ to their hurting community.
Recently two BBC and VOA articles detailed the lack of mental health care in South Sudan. Both mentioned how deeply hurt the people are by many years of conflict and war. Everyone has been personally affected in some way by the violence. Yet, there are not enough facilities or caregivers to attend to the mentally and emotionally wounded. The Trauma Healing program is a Scripture-based way for hurting people to experience hope and healing in Christ and at the same time be trained to minister to others. In a very real sense, they are receiving and then giving pastoral care.
In January, we (Mark and Stacey) will be returning to Nairobi at the request of the SIM South Sudan team. We will provide Chaplain ministry as the missionaries come out of South Sudan for their annual Spiritual Life Retreat. Also during this time, Stacey will be co-leading a five-day Advanced Trauma Healing Training Session. There are at least 30 South Sudanese who attended our earlier Basic session in July and are now ready to move forward and complete their training! They have been busy in Juja and other South Sudanese communities leading healing groups. Now, we would like to see them certified to actually train other facilitators. However, as refugees, many of our students have difficulty raising conference fees. They are generally focused on basic life necessities. We try to keep the cost as low as possible and everyone pays a commitment fee of 500ksh (about $10US) as well as their own transportation.
The total cost for this training will be $35US per person. This provides for the venue fee, basic materials, and a snack and simple lunch each day for five days. The cost for the entire training of 30 people total will be about $1000US. If you are interested in sponsoring one or more of our South Sudanese students for this training, please click the word SPONSOR below and leave a note in the comment box for us. Remember, your gift will multiply as each student goes on to train others!