I have the opportunity to travel to Zanzibar 2 Feb - 12 Feb 2024 in partnership with Tributaries, Sowing Seeds of Joy SA, and Africa Capacity Building.
Everyone experiences suffering during their lives. Physical suffering is often visible and more noticeable. Mental and emotional suffering is invisible. Yet it hurts as deeply (or perhaps more deeply) as any physical injury. This pain cripples the lives of the people around us or perhaps our own lives are crippled.
The earth and the people who inhabit it groan in response to disaster, global accidents or war. Somehow we have great compassion for these bigger than life events. Understandably, individuals and nations rise to the challenge of stabilizing a crumbling world. These events are called catastrophes, and the people who experience them may become traumatized.
Many other situations produce suffering, but they are experienced by only one person or one family, rather than by a community. Sometimes suffering is caused by poverty. Often it is caused by rape, gang violence, human trafficking, child labour, or other kinds of abuse or neglect. Sadly, suffering may even be inflicted by the people we love the most—our parents, spouses, or children. Perhaps we are the ones who hurt those around us.
Suffering may also be the result of genetic defects which cause physical, mental or emotional challenges. Conditions such as epilepsy, intellectual disabilities, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, sub- stance abuse, dementia or other disorders may dramatically affect a life, a family or a community. Misconceptions and confusion about common mental disorders, severe mental disorders and trauma may lead to prejudice, stigma and fear. As a result, countless people stumble along in the dark, facing their struggles alone.
So what can we do? How can we help? Where can we turn?
The workshop will help equip church leaders / service providers with a greater understanding of people, mental health, and trauma. The second goal is learning how to have positive impact through safe, compassionate, and coordinated care. Topics are covered from medical, psychological, social, and spiritual perspectives. This is called whole person care or holistic care.
As a follower of Jesus, I know God’s heart breaks for those who suffer. God is the ultimate healer and He longs to heal the broken hearted. In addition to all of the practical things we can do to help others, we can invite God into the healing process. Whatever your cultural and spiritual beliefs, God desires to join you in the journey.
We would love you to join us through prayer support and if you are able to support financially you’re welcome to give financial support through this website and designate the donation is for missionaries serving in South Africa.