My colleague Chris Coffyn has been a filmmaker with Wycliffe for nearly 30 years. He’s seen his fair share of both hope and hardship around the world. But travelling with Word Alive’s Alan Hood and Nathan Frank to gather stories about trauma healing ministry in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) was different than anything he experienced before.
“It was like being in a surrealistic world,” recalls Chris. “My emotions would vacillate from being what I would call a ‘distant observer’—so I can be objective and do my job as a filmmaker—to feeling intense compassion and complete inadequacy because of the sheer volume of extremely broken people around me.”
Chris was particularly impacted by filming an interview with a teenage girl named Lundi, who had been raped by her father. After the interview, Chris asked to pray for her.
“I wept as I lifted her to Jesus. In part, I thought of my daughters—how they were privileged to be raised by loving and protective parents. Lundi didn’t have that.”
Later, Lundi sat in a chair looking numb and emotionless, as Chris shot “b-roll” (covering footage to be used in the related Wycliffe Canada video, Healing Trauma.
“I knew she had been beaten, and has never experienced the pure, tender love of an earthly father.
“I just wanted to hug her and tell her Jesus loves her so much; that she is special.”
Lundi is just one of thousands of people who are suffering in the war-torn DRC. In response to the widespread trauma there, pastors asked Wycliffe personnel serving in the African country to help them deal with the problem. The result was Bible-based trauma healing workshops and resources, translated again and again into the many different local languages.
This trauma healing ministry, sponsored by Wycliffe Canada through gifts from Canadians like you, is a bright light in the dark despair Chris saw firsthand.
“Every crack and crevice of life in DRC seemed filled with trauma. I felt completely inadequate to take action and try to partially remedy the situation,” he says.
“My sure hope is that prayer is my weapon, and I am so thankful trauma healing workshops will continue to bring hope and healing in very practical ways.”
Chris keeps a Congolese bill in his wallet as a reminder to pray for the DRC and all the precious people he met there.
We trust this issue of Word Alive will also inspire you to bring trauma victims in prayer before God’s throne—and make a financial gift, so healing is offered to those who still desperately need it.
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In 2018, Wycliffe Canada commemorates its 50th anniversary as a charitable organization. You will be seeing a special logo in print issues of Word Alive, including our May-August issue, which will focus on our 50th anniversary. Watch for other anniversary information and highlights in our communications, including on our wycliffe.ca website!