By Kathleen Fry-Miller
Along with Paul Fry-Miller, John Kinsel, and Josh Kinsel (John’s son), I returned this week from a trip to Nigeria. While John Kinsel and I presented a new training program on trauma healing for children, on behalf of Children’s Disaster Services, Paul Fry-Miller and Norm Waggy presented medical training to 16 community health workers.
In the meantime, 10 CDS volunteers have been responding to the spring storms and flash flooding in Houston, Texas. They have cared for 154 children as of Thursday morning, April 28. The American Red Cross videotaped an interview with the CDS team in Houston, find it at www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQVf5lVZrpE .
Fourteen women theologians including our host Suzan Mark, Women’s Ministry Director for Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN), attended the two-day training on trauma healing for children.
Day 1 of training was spent learning to know each other and learning about how people respond to trauma and how to support resilience. The group was then presented with the Healing Hearts Curriculum that consists of nine sessions based on the Beatitudes in Matthew 5, with accompanying Bible stories from “Shine On: A Story Bible.”
Participants received a small version of the Kit of Comfort that CDS volunteers use with children who are affected by disasters, with art materials, bean bags, and beautiful hand-made dolls and animals that Church of the Brethren congregations and individuals across the country created for this work.
Day 2 was spent completing the nine sessions and planning for the afternoon practicum at Favored Sisters school and orphanage. The practicum work was enthusiastically received by the children, as well as the trainers. A trainer shared, “One boy said he grieved before and God comforted him. Our coming also comforted him.”
Our time with the people of EYN was rich and full and our hearts grew bigger.
— Kathleen Fry-Miller is associate director of Children’s Disaster Services. For more information go to www.brethren.org/cds .