“It’s terrifying,” says a woman whose husband faces serious legal problems.
“It’s not fair,” says a mom battling her young son’s leukemia.
“I hate my own bitterness,” says a woman who’s in the process of divorcing her abusive husband.
The other women share similar feelings about their unique circumstances.
And Lizeth*? She is silent.
Trauma Healing in Bolivia
It’s the first of several Trauma Healing Group sessions led by Wendy,* a SIM worker ministering among mothers of students at Carachipampa Christian School in Cochabamba, Bolivia.
As different as their experiences are, each participant is burdened by the trauma weighing heavily on their hearts, minds, and souls.
They long for freedom from the pain.
The Trauma Healing Group sessions go deep as Wendy leads the women through the process of taking their pain to the foot of the cross. Soul tears flood from their eyes. Laughter bubbles from within. Locked-down emotions find release.
But through each step of the Trauma Healing Group journey, Lizeth says nothing.
Imprisoned by shame
“Lizeth had participated very well in all the sessions and seemed content with what she had learned,” says Wendy. “But one day after the course ended, she came to visit me at my house. With sincerity and a trembling voice, she told me her story.”
Lizeth had transferred her 14-year-old daughter from another Christian school to Carachipampa, looking to secure a better English education for her. Lizeth had always wanted the best for her daughter, Carly,* perhaps because she knew the horrors Carly had experienced. When she was only three years old, Lizeth’s nephew, Carly’s cousin, sexually molested Carly.
Lizeth knew, and kept the secret well hidden. Days and months turned into years…
Consumed by fear and lacking the courage to confront the issue, Lizeth hid the incident deep within herself, choosing silence as her tool.
Feelings of insecurity, blame, and incompetence as a mother haunted her. As Carly grew up, Lizeth remained unaware of the soul-crushing ramifications of keeping such a secret.
With the claws of unforgiveness and bitterness gripping her heart, as they had for years, Lizeth had joined Wendy’s Trauma Healing Group. By the last session, she could scarcely comprehend the freedom washing through her and spilling out in the form of joy and love. She’d been suffocating inside, and the fresh air of forgiveness made her alive again.
That would have been enough. But God had more in mind.
One day, when she least expected it, Lizeth ran into her nephew, the man who’d harmed Carly.
“I couldn’t just pretend I didn’t see him,” Lizeth told Wendy. “I’d changed. I didn’t need to hide from him, or anyone else, anymore.”
There on the street, Lizeth confronted her nephew. Shame clouded his face. He’d not forgotten what he’d done.
“In that very moment, I was able to offer my forgiveness,”
says Lizeth. “I could see how badly he needed it, too.”
“I am witness to a miracle of God in Lizeth’s life,” says Wendy. “Through His immense goodness and grace, He healed Lizeth’s heart and returned peace to her life after such a long time.”
Strengthened and hopeful
The other moms and Lizeth are changed women today. Having found true healing from their trauma, Wendy sees each of them, Lizeth included, willing and able to “laugh at the days to come” (Proverbs 31:25).
“We learned that no matter where we find ourselves or where God puts us,” Wendy says, “He is ready and able to heal the wounds of our hearts and be the good Father each of us needs.”
Thank you for sending SIM workers, like Wendy, to help hurting people, like Lizeth, experience forgiveness and true healing through SIM’s Trauma Healing Groups.
Please join us in prayer:
- PRAY for Lizeth and Carly, that they will continue walking in freedom from the past, and that God will use them to bless all they encounter.
- PRAY for the many people in Bolivia and around the world whose souls have been wounded through trauma and ache for true healing.
- PRAY that God will raise up more SIM workers, like Wendy, so more hurting people who have never experienced true healing in Jesus will be reached for His glory.
Your generosity today reaches survivors of trauma—like Lizeth—so they can forgive themselves and their perpetrators, and free themselves from the past and become conduits of God’s great love for all people.
Please prayerfully consider giving a gift to further impact the kingdom of God.