Last May 6-10, 2019, we welcomed 15 participants to the Philippine Bible Society (PBS) Ministry Center for the Trauma Healing Advanced Equipping Session.
These participants from Metro Manila, Muntinlupa, Laguna, Tacloban, and Cagayan de Oro underwent a five-day training session to become more skilled as facilitators in the Trauma Healing Program. This batch has already completed the Initial Equipping Session, a prerequisite to the recent training. The Initial Equipping and the Advanced Equipping enabled a shift in mindsets and a transformation of hearts for many of the participants.
Pastor Jonard Lansang from Cagayan de Oro thoughtfully expressed this transformation by comparing what it was like for him in both sessions. He said, “During the Initial Equipping Session, I was able to express and release years of hidden emotions that were only between me and the Lord. I feel relief and a deeper appreciation for life.” Later, he added, “In the Advanced Equipping Session, I was able to really process things. I feel ready now to share with others. The first session was about personal healing. The second session made me excited for others to experience the same freedom and release.”
He wasn’t the only one who felt this way.
Norma Trinidad from Manila shared, “I appreciate the training. Now, I have confidence. I have something to offer to help the ministry in my community—something systematic and concrete. At the end of the day, I hope people will see the power of the cross and see what Christ has done. There is always hope after the cross.”
Ruth Tomicos from Cagayan de Oro also talked openly about her personal realizations. She said, “I learned so much that I can use in the ministry to help those in pain and those who can’t release their emotions. I asked myself, ‘How will I help others if I am not totally healed?’ Before the seminar, I didn’t know how to unburden my pain. But through this training, I learned to process from the beginning. I now know myself. I feel light. I was able to forgive those who hurt me. To others who are interested in the Trauma Healing Program, ready your heart and mind if you want to learn how to process emotions.”
This kind of training is a very challenging endeavor, especially since it begins with all the trainees exploring their own trauma and giving it to Christ for healing. Processing painful memories of grief, abuse, loss, and hurt involves much preparation on the part of the trainer and much openness from the trainee.
On the topic of “training,” Pastor Larry Macabante from Manila shared, “For facilitators being trained, the training is not just for us. It’s also for the people we’ll help. People who have the potential to become facilitators need to overcome the fear of training. The impact of training is bigger than your fear. There are so many people who are hurting and so few who are able to help those who are hurting. We need to meet the need.”
The common thread that binds nearly all of the participants together is their desire to go back home to their communities, churches, and families to begin the application process. They want to share what they have learned.
One will be heading back to Tacloban—a city that was forever changed by one of history’s worst natural disasters (Typhoon Yolanda). But by God’s grace, we believe that it will be a garden for growth and healing.
One will be going back home to minister to the next generation and to cultivate a safe environment for the youth who have been bullied and sexually abused.
The others will be busy applying what they’ve learned in PBS to their communities and churches.
“The process of healing is a big help in my life. I feel calm, at peace, and relieved. I can share this experience with others back home. I want them to feel relief too and see that there’s a solution to everything—that life is beautiful. As a pastor, this is one way that I can minister deeply—to lead them on the right path in life. There may be problems but they’ll know how to handle it. Through the Trauma Healing Program, others can have a strong foundation and appreciate life,” said Pastor Jonard.
Praise God for this diverse set of participants who are truly determined to bring about healing in their homes and hometowns. At the end of their five-day training, during the graduation ceremony, we looked on at these 15 men and women with a deep sense of gratitude.
We are excited for how the Lord will use them to be a blessing to others. As they bring the lessons they’ve learned and the knowledge they’ve acquired home, we pray that their efforts in growing this ministry of healing will bear much fruit.
“This is worth sharing and worth experiencing. This is a good ministry.” -Pastor Larry Macabante
Special thanks to our friends from the American Bible Society!
Ms. Pat Kempf of the American Bible Society (ABS) was the main facilitator for this five-day training. She was also the one who officially certified PBS Associate General Secretary Perry Cartera as Master Facilitator in Classic Trauma Healing (Healing the Wounds of the Heart). We are overjoyed by this news and congratulate her on this incredible milestone! Her journey began almost 3 years ago when the Trauma Healing Program was introduced to the Philippine Bible Society by ABS in November 2016.