BACKGROUND INFORMATION ABOUT THE SITUATION IN RWANDA
Twenty-five years ago, the small country of Rwanda in central Africa was traumatized by a genocide leaving almost 1 million people dead, hundreds imprisoned, tens of thousands of woman pregnant from rapes, and countless numbers of families decimated.
An outpouring of support from around the world as well as an enlightened government have done much to restore safety and economic resurgence to Rwanda.
Still, many individuals and communities remain traumatized, either from their direct experience of the genocide, or as a result of growing up in such a wounded environment. Churches and other religious organizations do what they can to support the healing of spiritual and psychological wounds and to bring reconciliation to communities, but the local clergy could benefit from further training in caring for traumatized people.
Whenever we caregivers work with traumatized people, the intensity of their experiences can easily overwhelm us. I want to bring resources to help local clergy do this difficult work most effectively and safely for both the receivers and providers of pastoral care.
WHY HAS FRIENDS PEACE TEAMS INVITED ME TO RWANDA?
I am trained both in theology/ministry and in integrating spirituality and psychology in ministries of healing. I won’t put all of the details here, but if you want to see my resume, click this link: Bio and Resume
I have practiced as a pastoral counselor for over thirty years. I have specialized in integrating psychology and spirituality in my counseling, particularly in issues around relationship, addiction, and unresolved trauma. I have also been teaching courses and offering workshops in pastoral care since 1995, most recently with the New York School of Ministry, New York Conference, United Church of Christ. (2005- )
In short, it appears that my training and experience can be valuable to local clergy in Rwanda.
WHAT WILL I BE DOING THERE?
I will modify several of my existing courses and workshops into four two-day events over a two-week period for local clergy in Rwanda.
I plan to cover:
- Flexible ways of looking at pastoral care practice,
- Specific pastoral care tools and the opportunity to practice them,
- Integrating spirituality in healthy ways to help people deal with addictions, and
- Integrating spirituality in healthy ways into caring for people with unresolved trauma.
It is not my intent to tell them what to do, rather to offer them some resources and help them figure out appropriate ways to use these perspectives and tools in their work of supporting healing in their ministries.
Watch this video outlining my plan:
WHY DO I NEED YOUR FINANCIAL SUPPORT?
Most of the projects done through Friends Peace Teams are voluntary. I will, therefore, donate my time and expertise to this venture. Of course, it is still necessary for me to raise the funds to cover expenses. That’s where you come in.
But there is more to my request.
I also want to magnify the impact and usefulness of the project. Therefore, I have negotiated a very reasonable price for a videographer to accompany me to Rwanda, film my presentations, and edit them into training videos, as well as produce a short documentary to support the work of Friends Peace Teams.
I need to raise $12-13,000 for this project.