A simple web search shows evidence of the refugee crisis that is currently happening in many countries around the world. Germany is one of the countries that has opened its’ doors to hundreds of thousands of refugees who are fleeing places like Syria, Eritrea, and Afghanistan. Though cultures and languages may differ greatly amongst the refugee population, a common thread is the shared experience of profound loss, as well as physical or emotional trauma.

Refugee Camp Opportunity

When one of our ITEC volunteers brought up the possibility of starting a trauma counseling training in some of these refugee camps, we started pursuing possibilities. Dr. Trina, who has been the director of the I-MED program and also has a Biblical Counseling License, was eager to explore this possibility as a way to use all the skills that God has given her for His Kingdom.

In December of 2017, a team of five (in partnership with All Nations) flew to Germany to get some first-hand experience of the setting, cultures, possibilities, and challenges that would be involved in this new venture. The refugee camps they encountered were filled with thousands of people suffering, without resources to process or heal from the pain of their experiences. Since that trip, the program has continued to develop. Trina and a few other counselors have been working together to compile trauma counseling materials that are available through multiple organizations. Working together, these materials could be used as a means to train former refugees who have become Christ-followers to bring mental, spiritual and emotional health to the refugee population through basic trauma counseling.

Huge Need, and Challenges

Though there are many challenges that are unique to this type of training when compared to training such as medical or dental training, the need is very tangible and God continues to provide the people and materials to move ahead with this program one step at a time. Please pray for discernment, wisdom, and direction in this new endeavor in which God has opened the doors. This is not something we could have anticipated, though it is continually exciting to see what God has in store for us! 

2 Comments

  • Marilyn Goerz Davis says:

    I saw your Facebook post about trauma healing and wonder if you are aware of The Trauma Healing Institute (thi.americanbible.org) which has a program designed by Wycliffe/SIL members in Africa. It is based on Scripture as well as established mental health principles and is designed for use by lay people with some training. The program has expanded and progressed over the years and is currently being used worldwide with great results. There is a version specifically developed for refugees, and facilitators already in Germany with whom you may want to connect. It may be something to consider rather than developing your own program from scratch. Please let me know if you’d like further information.

    Blessings on your ministry,
    Marilyn

    • Daniel Kandel says:

      Hi Marilyn,

      Thanks for reading and for sharing this information. I’ll pass your information onto our medical training team!

      Dan – From the ITEC Team