by Tito Iranga, country director in South Sudan
In African Continent, we are faced with wars, social strife and natural disasters every year that left thousands of people traumatized as lives and properties are lost and people living in hopelessness. These calamities affect peoples’ life and belonging and this in turn affects their spiritual, social, and moral life. In such a situation, healing the wounds of people heart giving them hope is needed. If healing is not taken seriously, many lives will continue to be lost as many people resorted to suicide as a means to solve their problems in life. Trauma healing is seen as a way of bring people to the saving knowledge of Christ.
In my interaction with children in Goma, destitute children were healed from the past wounds. Some of the children lost either both or one of the parents. They might be living either with their grandparents or in the orphanage. They witness how their parents or either sibling died in the hands of angry armed men. Some of them experience wounds as they showed us their scars. Some wept as they expressed their pain. Yet some of them have stories similar to that in the materials leading them to cry as they remembered how they were treated by their enemies. The children came with their anger, but at the end of the training, they were helped as they expressed forgiveness to those who harmed them and their parents. During the training some of them gave their life to Christ.
The material was developed to help pastors of the local churches to respond to the need of the people affected by any disaster. The tool is developed from a biblical point of view making it easy for pastors to use in helping people who are traumatized. Since pastors are leaders serving their communities, they are the visible and available leaders who are anointed by God to provide pastoral counseling that leads to healing. Therefore; as we engage in pastoral training, we need to include this training to help equip the leaders to help members in trauma healing.