On May 11-14, GELCU ministers Vladislav Tsekhanovych (Shostka) and Yuriy Rykov (Berdiansk) took part in the training program, organized by Ukrainian Bible Society in Kiev with the support of American Bible Society. The training was based on a classic program “Healing the Wounded Heart”, developed by the Trauma Healing Institute. This unique program has been taught for 20 years in more than 100 countries around the world.

There is a held view that anger, refusal to accept an existing situation, disappointment, grief, and similar emotions do not belong in lives of Christians. However, the reality of life shows us quite the opposite: wounds of the heart are strikingly similar to physical ones and can be as painful and bring as much suffering. A trauma of the heart robs people of strength, destroys relationships, hinders from moving forward, trusting God, and following him. Under such circumstances people usually feel confused, do not see a way out of the existing situation and can think that God abandoned them.

All traumas require healing, and this process may be quite lengthy. Healing is not a momentary act, but an ongoing event. A purpose of the “Healing the Wounded Heart” programis to help the Church provide holistic and qualitative care to people, who experience pain, and facilitate their healing. There is always a way out, and we find it in the Word of God that reveals Jesus Christ to us. He himself went through suffering and pain. He understands what we are going through and wants to help us. We can always give him everything that burdens and destroys us, and instead receive relief, freedom, and hope for the future.

Upon the completion of the “Healing the Wounded Heart” training program, participants learned important milestones of working in healing-groups:

  • Do not do anything that can harm those you are helping or yourself.
  • The healing effect in a group is inherent in the phenomenon of group work itself. That is where activities and individual efforts of participants are joined and enhanced.
  • Combining Biblical principles with principles of psychological health.

Facilitator Module 1 Certificates given to the participants signify the completion of the beginner level. Practical activities in healing-groups come next with subsequent training at Level 2 of the program.

Organizers and teachers created wholesome, comfortable, and creative atmosphere that allowed everybody to reveal themselves in a new way, establish relationships of trust and effective interaction.