Fighting in the Central African Republic (CAR) has been intermittent for the past decade. This unrest has resulted in the loss of many lives, rampant destruction of property and countless other travesties. Thousands have suffered emotionally devastating wounds from being involved in, or witnessing, the fighting and its results. These wounds are often deeper than any physical ones and are much more difficult to heal.
In an effort to help some of the people affected by war in the CAR, Wycliffe Bible Translators held a five-day trauma healing workshop for twenty-nine participants. Wycliffe is a global ministry that is dedicated to translating and delivering Scripture to people around the world in the languages and forms they understand best.
The trauma healing course - which is a cross between a healing group and an equipping seminar - consists of Bible-based lessons that guide people in how to use good mental health principles to deal with deep wounds in their lives. Lessons equip participants with verses of Scripture translated by Wycliffe. As participants meditate on these Scriptures, and pray and talk with others about their hurts, God uses those experiences to bring healing to their lives. And because of the calming atmosphere of the workshop, participants feel comfortable processing those experiences.
According to the staff, the class, which was held at the Central Association for Bible and Literacy, was a resounding success. Staff reported that the participants seemed to receive a degree of healing, and they are hopeful that the experience will help those participants deal with the continuing problems in the country. A participant named Jean-Noel said, "After we had taken our pain to Jesus, I felt healed. That night when I started to think about the things I had written down, I found I couldn't worry about them or feel hurt anymore!" Elvis agreed, saying, "Because of this workshop, finally my wife and I have started sleeping deeply at night. I'm spending time going over every lesson with my older children. This workshop has really changed my thoughts and feelings for the better."
A large number of course participants were enthusiastic about starting healing groups of their own, leading others toward health. Mathuin, one of the participants, said, "First, I have been healed of my own inner hurts. Now I feel very strongly that I have a special capacity to help others, and I really want them to receive healing, too." Francis, a fellow attender, shared, "This seminar has helped me be freed from my fear that was caused by the violence I experienced at the hands of soldiers. It has also helped reinforce my confidence that God is hearing me. Now I have a great desire to share this with others."
A number of participants said that they were encouraged to know that people from outside the country cared about their plight enough to make this seminar possible. Previously, they thought they had been forgotten. Wycliffe Bible Translators is grateful for all who take part in supporting translation and Scripture use projects like this one, including those who give through the Combined Federal Campaign.