As we serve God in this difficult time, a heartening step can be learning from the experiences of people in communities where World Renew is at work who are dedicated to building peace—even in unexpected times and places.
Martha in Malawi is one such person. She is passionate about bringing the peace and hope of God to all of His people—including those living in prison.
In 2019, Martha participated in training through World Renew that was designed to bring hope and healing to prisoners in Malawi. Using the American Bible Society’s “Healing the Wounds of Trauma” material, 57 people received training in teaching about forgiveness and the Gospel.
After completing the training, Martha began visiting prisons in Malawi. In just Martha’s first session, over 200 men showed up for the training. Since then, over 500 people have completed their training through 43 healing sessions, finding a more peaceful way forward.
One participant, Alfred Adamson, says,
“I have been living with trauma of fear since I came to this prison. Thank God that I am no longer the same person. Emotionally I am healed and ready to help others find peace in their hearts by taking their pain to the cross through Christ.”
This trauma healing ministry has brought renewed peace to the hearts of many. In the words of participant Elias Jailos Mpoza, “I am now free from fear, anger, bitterness, stubbornness, and an unforgiving spirit. To God be all the glory.”
Trauma healing is a powerful part of World Renew’s work in many communities around the world. With COVID-19, World Renew is exploring new and creative ways to carry out this work. . In West Africa, World Renew partners are able to share the principles of how to heal from trauma over the airwaves in this physically distant time.
Thanks to World Renew’s collaboration with Trauma Healing Institute and the power of the radio, families in West Africa continue to receive vital training and hope for their healing journey, even as they isolate to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“For those with stories of trauma, this pandemic not only arouses feelings of fear but also familiar sensations from past stories of harm,” said Mary Crickmore, World Renew’s West Africa Ministry Team Leader. “World Renew has made a commitment to keep walking alongside trauma survivors and their families by finding creative solutions to bring God’s peace in a time of social distancing.”
One participant in West Africa described this trauma healing radio program as “exactly what is needed” when people are experiencing violence in addition to COVID-19 pandemic..
“People are afraid, many have fled their homes and are living displaced, people’s assets have been destroyed, and some have been killed,” he said. “When listening to these radio programs we have experienced the blessing of God, we have understood that God loves us. There are people who are asking could this program be translated into more languages, to help other ethnic groups as well. Because this heals the wounds of the heart, we want to have this message always available. Especially because this gives us knowledge of God’s Word.”
As you reflect on these testimonies, we hope you will be encouraged to pray for World Renew staff and partners as they navigate ways to be peace-builders in the current context of COVID-19. We also hope that you will be encouraged to find opportunities to experience and share God’s in your own life.
Pray for World Renew partners around the world navigating plans to continue to bring God’s peace through trauma healing and other peace and justice programs.
Pray for peace in West Africa and for people to continue to be blessed as they are equipped with the principles of trauma healing over the radio.
Pray for peace in Malawi, where there is potential for further political unrest as leaders determine the details of the upcoming presidential elections.