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Training session helps caregivers, pastors minister to children

By Kathy Davis | Holistic Care Lead

World Orphans partnered with Together for Adoption, Crisis Care Training Institute (CCTI), and three educators from Arlington, Texas to bring five days of Grace-Filled Holistic Care Training to 100 Orphan & Vulnerable Children (OVC) team members, pastors and teachers in Haiti.

It has been 16 months since the earthquake and the emotional ‘aftershocks’ continue. Just as recurrent rumblings and shaking immediately follow a large earthquake, the ongoing emotional tremors of many Haitians have resulted in shattered hearts that are still terrified to re-enter concrete buildings.

Caregivers are weary, children are orphaned and families are still reeling in the aftermath with fewer resources and ongoing grief. The foundation that was once under-foot is still on shaky ground in Port-Au-Prince.

Bridging the chasm between suffering and loss resulting from a natural disaster to the love of God can be challenging and is best understood in the context of Christ’s suffering all the way to cross.

The training first established the rock solid foundation of hope we have because adoption was not given to us apart from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. “Adoption is nothing less than the placement of sons in the Son,” explained Dan Cruver, author of Reclaiming Adoption.

The following days were spent unpacking the wonders of God’s grace through Christ in the areas of communication, trauma care and education. We emphasized that as ministers of God’s grace, our personal reliance and continued growth in the knowledge of grace is vital.

Emotional rebuilding and equipping of OVC team members, pastors, and teachers is essential to the ministry of World Orphans as we seek to care for the whole child - spiritually, physically, emotionally and mentally. Even when great loss is suffered during a trauma, there is no loss so great that it can separate us from the love of God.

Staff from CCTI guided the team members, pastors and teachers through a children’s book designed to help children work through the traumatic effects of the earthquake. They drew pictures of themselves and how they felt when the earthquake took place. Taking time to process their personal wounds helps them heal and gives them a greater ability to assist children in trusting God through recurrent fear and sorrow. There was a powerful time of prayer for each other in small groups.

The group was reminded that they are God’s workmanship, created for purpose. Practical suggestions for engaging the children and motivating them to learn were given. The OVC teachers spoke candidly about the daily difficulties they encounter in the classroom, as the children are reluctant to learn and slower to comprehend since the earthquake.

The rumbling continues, yet the time with the OVC team members, pastors and teachers reaffirmed that there is rebuilding taking place, on a solid foundation that will never be moved. The local church is alive and well in the OVC program.  World Orphans is grateful for the U.S. partners who continue to support the work of these churches.

“For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11)

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