“We had a big loss in our family (now I call it Trauma after the training) my 20 years old son died in a car accident 8 years ago and it was a big shock for all the family especially my husband. After the accident, he didn’t share his feelings with anyone, he didn’t even talk about his son.
As an oriental man he kept it all in his heart, but it was obvious he was in a very bad situation. I can’t find words to thank you it was the first time that my husband shares his feelings, his story and pain. Now we can feel at home that he’s more comfortable with himself.”
“There are 3 components that characterize the trauma healing training and make it so effective:It combines biblical and psychological approach, it helps the trainees to start their first step in healing because it’s a practical training and not only theoretical, it creates a community for all the trainees to connect and develop even after the training… This training is a necessity for every person to themselves and others.”
“Throughout the various lessons during the training we could see that stories of tragedy were changed testimonies into victory. Stories of sorrow were transformed into testimonies of a living hope; breathing encouragement and desire for life to continue. All these stories are witness that healing is a process that will bear fruit.”
“The way the training is given is a mixture of explaining theoretical materials and sharing practical experiences.”
“I was eager to do this training and was pretty sure that it will have a big impact on my community. I even started to prepare small groups with refugee families after the first day of training.”
“We could notice changed behavior throughout the lessons.
One of the participants had an aggressive attitude in expressing her sadness.
She had lost her son 8 years ago, she was still wearing black, crying all the
time and even holding feelings of guilt and self-blame.She expressed: “How can I believe that God loves me when he took my son at the age of 6! How can I believe that God loves me when I’m fighting depression, sadness, despair, and loneliness? I always pray for my kid but my life has no sense anymore; I lost a part of myself. I’m unable to pray for my husband and my second son who needs me next to him”.
During the sessions, she was able to talk, express and acknowledge
the effort she has to make to walk the road of grief. At the end of the sessions,
she thanked us for the amazing work and effort that we have done and said: “new
small steps will be taken, I will start praying for my husband and son and
thank God they are alive, I will start choosing few colors to wear other than
black, and for the first time from 8 years I will put the Christmas tree and
will decorate it with my family”
Refugee children are often traumatized from resettlement experiences. They may have been exposed to violence and combat, home displacement, malnutrition, detention, and torture.
Many have been forced to leave their country and cannot safely return home. Some may have come without their parents and without knowing of their health or safety. Psychological stress and traumatic experiences are often inflicted upon these children over months or even years.
That’s why our trauma healing group targeted children from 8 to 13 years old so we can help them as much as we can heal the wounds of Trauma through the 10 lessons that are based on a biblical and psychological perspective. Many challenges were faced throughout the implementation.
First, the lack of expression. Some children participated and loved to play but
when it comes to personal expression through drawings or questions their
motivation and participation level decreased. Second, we faced a lot of aggressive behaviors! Here I have to mention that in order to remain patient and friendly with them it is very important to interpret their behaviors as an outcome of life circumstances rather than willful disobedience or intentional behavior. The latter kind of mindset helped us achieve many successes. We were able to maintain a well-disciplined class that doesn’t exclude an environment full of love, friendship and trust. Letting the kids set the ground rules of the group helped them self- regulate their behaviors, their attention, and their respect to one another.
Moreover, the story in their book and the story of Joseph from the Bible, helped the kids to think about their circumstances and about the importance of God in their lives. Story of one of the children, Annie:In a drawing exercise, kids were asked to draw themselves and God on the same page. Some of them drew God in their hearts, and others drew God on top of the page. Annie insisted on not drawing God. She was pretty
sure that he doesn’t love her because of all what she faced. (She didn’t even
open up so we can know more about the challenges that she is facing).
At the end of the healing group, Annie came to me and asked me if we can go back to
one of the lessons. When I asked her about the reason, this is what she
answered: “I want to draw God. I want to draw him all over the page because his love is bigger than everything!”