Coordinator of Anthropology, Ethnomusicology and Arts training for Africa, SIL International. Now based in Edinburgh.
News Update September 2015
Refugees are very much in the news right now, but the situation concerning those from Southern Sudan has been largely overshadowed by all that is happening in Europe. I would value your prayer for an Arts & Trauma Healing workshop that will be held from September 15-19, 2015, in Gambella province, Ethiopia. I chose that location as Gambella is home to thousands of Southern Sudanese refugees, and huge tented camps dot the landscape, full of people struggling to cope with trauma, malnourishment and despair.
A sobering website (Medecins Sans Frontieres) gives a glimpse into the situation for Sudanese in the Gambella camps. It can be found at:
On top of the Sudanese suffering, 28 Ethiopian Christians were recently killed by ISIS for being “people of the cross.” The Ethiopian Orthodox Church has more than 30 million members, and there are at least 15 million Protestant Christians. "It is a reality that more Christians have died martyrs’ deaths in the last hundred years than in all the previous centuries of Christian history combined. We are living in a time when the words of Jesus “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also,” (John 15:18) are being fulfilled on a more and more frequent basis." (from a blog by Bishop Grant LeMarquand, who will be attending the Arts and Trauma Healing workshop.)
Refugee Camp, Ethiopia
I will be working with a group of Sudanese and Ethiopian Anglican theological students (as well as others) training them to be able to establish their own 'Trauma Healing' activities inside the camps.
I have 3 specific prayer requests:
Please pray for the team – an Ethiopian Trauma Healing trainer from Addis, a medical doctor from the UK and myself – as we have never worked together before.
Pray that in addition to successfully passing the Trauma Healing course, the students will experience ways in which local art forms (songs, drama, visual art, sculpture, story telling and poetry) can release hidden emotions and lead to a journey of healing and renewed hope.
Lastly and the most important, pray the students are able to apply this training in the camps.
Thank you for being part of this vision, and for your support and encouragement to make this a better world!
Ps 46:1 God is our refuge and strength; an ever-present help in trouble.