Two of the goals of the SPES project are training Papua New Guineans and partnerships. Currently we are engaged in both of those. Last year, we ran a Healing the Wounds of Trauma workshop in Wewak for people from various churches to get training in how to help others deal with past trauma and find healing in Christ. Earlier this year, we were asked if we would be willing to come and run four of these workshops for the Aitape West Translation Project (AWTP). The AWTP is currently working to translate Scripture for ten languages in the Sandaun province. Each year they run four weeks of workshops related to some type of Scripture Use activity. This year the focus is on trauma healing. Sam Smucker took two of the Papua New Guineans who received training here last year to help run these workshops, along with one other SIL trainer.
God has been doing some amazing things and we are encouraged to hear how the course is helping people. Here are a couple of the testimonies that were shared, translated from Tok Pisin into English.
One man shared:
“In this week long workshop, I learned many things about finding the road to heal pain and trauma in a church setting and in the community. The thing I rejoice in is that God’s Word was in all the lessons. I received and learned in the lessons that I always need to bring my pain and burdens to Jesus’ wooden cross. I really liked this course and I wish that this course lasted longer like 2 weeks.
For me personally, I learned two things that really helped me.
- I need to hear the worries and pain of those who are traumatized. I need to give my time to be with them and feel how they feel inside – it’s really important.
- All the time I need to help them bring all their worries and pain to God and lay them at the foot of Jesus’ wooden cross. God himself is the reason for all good things and he is always ready to hear and take our pain and burdens. So I feel that I need to help them draw close to God and give their pain and worries to God.”
One of the ladies who attended the second course shared:
“There were many things in this course that really helped me because I have carried my trauma for many years and I’ve tried to find ways to heal my trauma. I have great joy to be in this course and I feel that this burden or sore I’ve been carrying for a long time now has a way for me to slowly heal it until it is healed.
Everything taught at this course helped me and now it has opened the door for me to help heal my sore first and later help my brothers and sisters. This week was not in vain and it has begun to produce fruit in my life.
One thing I learned that really impacted me was how we could use God’s Word in every lesson to support all the topics taught. Now I feel that I have lots of work to help others to carry their pain and burdens to the wooden cross. Taking burdens to the wooden cross was a great way to help those who felt too ashamed or afraid to share in a big group.”
Pray with us that those attending would indeed find God’s healing from the many types of trauma they have experienced. As they find healing, may they go and share what they have learned with others who need to find healing in Christ as well.