Trauma healing is the path to forgiveness in Nigeria

Written by on September 16, 2015 in Uncategorized

A circle of hands at a Trauma Healing Workshop in Nigeria

Is it truly possible to forgive someone who has hurt you so grievously that you can hardly function? Some of the IDPs (Internally Displaced People) in Nigeria have been hurt in ways that most of us can only imagine. To understand the healing process let me begin with a definition of trauma and move through some of the important steps necessary to accomplish this goal. Trauma is defined as any kind of significant loss that is caused by a natural event such as an earthquake, fire, or flood, where multiple deaths are involved and destruction of property usually occurs. Trauma will be something you’ve experienced, that you’ve seen, that you’ve heard, or something you’ve done that wounds the heart deeply. It usually involves threat to life or bodily integrity or a close personal encounter with violence and death. Examples are war or natural disasters.  As the IDPs have been sharing their stories, listeners often find that it is very difficult to listen. Just listening causes images to come to your own mind that are truly awful, and the stories are hard to hear without strong emotion. Our colleague, Jim Mitchell, confessed that tears rolled down his face more than once, and he prayed constantly. The presence of God was there. But, the IDPs need a chance to tell their stories. Just telling their stories helps to start the healing process. This article is written by Janet and Tom Crago who are two of the three current Church of the Brethren volunteers with the Nigeria Crisis Response, a joint effort of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) and the Church of the Brethren’s Global Mission and Service and Brethren Disaster Ministries. The full article is at

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