Project – Healing the Wounds of Trauma
In 2019, the World Day of Prayer focus is on the country of Slovenia. This project has begun well with 5 countries from the Balkans (Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia and Bulgaria) attending an initial equipping session in Belgrade in 2018.
From that session, 10 Slovenian facilitators were trained and so far this year, 8 healing groups have been held with 45 participants, women who have experienced a variety of traumas.
The first Community of Practice meeting was held in March 2019 where facilitators and leaders could share group work experience, preparations, challenges as well as cast a vision for the future of the project.
In August there will be an advanced trauma healing equipping session held in Ljubljana, Slovenia. More than 50 applications were received for potential candidates and all were interviewed at length to determine their appropriateness. Out of those 50, 22 were identified as candidates and will participate in the advanced session in August. These facilitators come from all denominations present in Slovenia.
From Slovenia: We would like to thank all the supporters, donors and individuals who have made possible the establishing of the trauma healing program in Slovenia through which the facilitators will be able to mediate the healing power of Christ to wounded people. God bless you!
Please pray with us for Slovenian women to receive God’s medicine into their hearts and to live in His loving freedom. Help us to be instruments in this wounded world and pray for God to speak into the hearts of committed people to join this ministry and serve others following the example of Jesus Christ.
Project – Children at Risk
This project aims to distribute 1,000 school bags per year filled with school supplies, Scriptures and a Bible to children who have been identified as being “at risk”. These children are living in situations that are not ideal for their development such as group homes, foster care or difficult family environments.
The gift of a school bag filled with supplies as well as Bible and Scripture items, helps to motivate the children and encourages them to stay in school. On the day of the distribution, the children are invited to a special “Fun Day” where they participate in activities, enjoy special treats and listen to speakers who teach them about hope in Jesus, God’s love for them and His plan for their lives. This is an incredibly rare opportunity for these children and one they delight in.
The distribution has recently taken place in 3 areas of Suriname with 500 school bags given to children in Marowijne, 200 school bags distributed in Kwamelasemoetoe (by airplane!) and 300 in Para.
Project – Bibles for Trauma Healing
This project aims to train facilitators to lead trauma healing sessions to women who have been affected by traumatic experiences. An example of the sorts of experiences that could lead a woman to require trauma healing is family and domestic violence. In 2017, a national survey showed that 26% of women aged between 15 and 49 have experienced physical, sexual or emotional violence by their partner or spouse. Other forms of trauma include childhood assault, natural disasters such as typhoons and the deaths of loved ones.
Each woman who completes the trauma healing course will receive a Bible which will be their companion as they go through the healing process. Introducing all the women to the Scriptures as their ultimate source of comfort, hope and peace is one of the major goals of this project.
The Trauma Healing program ministered to a further 23 individuals who joined two healing group sessions from January to February in Manila and Marikina. Most of these participants are church leaders who are very thankful that they gained knowledge and understanding about how to receive true healing from trauma. Seven of the participants also attended the first initial facilitator equipping training for this year as they expressed their desire to adopt this program in their own church ministries.
So far 900 individuals have been reached through this project.
Bible Society Australia
The goal of this project is to help children who are living in circumstances that are not ideal for their growth. Most of these children are neglected by their families and come from one-parent homes. With this project the Bible Society is aiming to reach a helping hand towards these children by providing them schoolbags with school supplies a snack and a bottle of juice. The distribution of the schoolbags is part of a special day of celebration program where the kids are encouraged in a child-friendly way to keep on doing their best in school. As part of the Bible Society’s strategy, children’s Bible are also distributed to these children so they can receive and hear the message of God’s hope and love.
In the preparation phase of this project (February-April), the Bible Society has selected schools in the different districts of Suriname. Based on this selection, the Bible Society sent a permission letter to the head of these schools for permission and also to inform them about the implementation of the kids at risk project. The head of these schools are asked to select a number of children from their schools that are living in circumstances that are not ideal for their growth. The Bible Society purchased the schoolbags and school supplies locally. Therefore, requests for quotations have been sent to different suppliers and also letters for donation to various companies in Suriname. It is worth mentioning that 2 suppliers were willing to offer discounted rates for the schoolbags and the school supplies. Only 1 institution reacted positively on our request for donation. The institution donated 250 lunch bags for this project. The Bible Society decided to purchase the schoolbags and the school supplies at these 2 suppliers because they are sold for a reasonable price and their offer for the discounted rates, this compared to other suppliers. At some point the suppliers did not had the requested amount of schoolbags and school supplies in stock so the Bible Society had to wait for their order. In May Suriname was surprised with heavy rains were streets, schools yards were struggling with waterlogging. Despite the disadvantages, the Bible Society was able to implement the project in May with God’s grace and wisdom. The children were very excited about the day of celebration and were very happy when they received their schoolbags with school supplies and their children Bible. The teachers were also happy and thankful to the Bible Society for this kind gesture. In some cases, children went to school without having a decent schoolbag, so they have to put their school stuff in plastic bags. After the celebration day, these children went home with a happy face, a thankful heart and a new schoolbag. For many of the children they never had their own children’s Bible. Receiving their own Bible was for them like receiving a present for the first time. When the Bibles were given to the children, you could read the joy from their faces. It went on these to toddler and child Bibles which were given to children from the toddler to the fourth grade. The pupils of the fifth and sixth grades were given the Bible in plain language. They flipped enthusiastically in the Bibles. With permission of the teachers and parents, the Bible Society took pictures and testimonies of the children who received schoolbags and a children’s Bible. All the schools have extended their gratitude.
At the end of each celebration day, testimonies were taken from children. At Sunny point 1, Sunnypoint 2 and Clarkeschool, each 3 children were interviewed for testimonies.
- Name: Ligium
Ligium is 14 years of age and is a pupil in the 4th grade of Pontbuiten. He lives with his grandparents together with his 2 brothers and 1 sister. He goes to church with his grandmother. In church he learns songs, how to pray and to be obedient. He is very happy with his new schoolbag because it was time to replace his torned schoolbag. My grandparents are retired, so they are financially dependant on the money of their retirement. It is very difficult for them to raise 4 children on their own. Ligium is also very happy with his new Bible. He will bring his own Bible to the church and he will share his testimony with the children from the church. On the celebration day, Ligium had nothing to eat at school. He was very happy and thankful to receive a snack and a bottle of juice to consume.
- Name: Cheniva
Cheniva is 12 years and goes to Ephramzege (6th grade). She lives with her mother and 3 sisters and 2 brothers. She is happy to receive a new schoolbag with school supplies because each year she had to bring the same old schoolbag to school. It motivates her to do her best in school. She does go to church with her mom but not very often. Receiving her own Bible motivates her to go to church frequently so that she can listen to God’s word and read out of her own Bible.
- Name: Fanara
Fanara is 15 years and goes to Marowijne 2. Fanara is very happy to receive a new schoolbag and her own Bible. She is thankful to be selected to receive these because she does not get a new schoolbag every year. She will make good use of the schoolbag an the Bible with special care because it is for the the first time to receive a Bible.
- Name: Joel
Joel is 10 years of age and also goes to Marowijne 2. Joel does not go to church very often. But by receiving his own Bible and a new schoolbag he wants to go to church fequently to thank God for the schoolbag and the Bible. He will tell his family and friends about the celebration day so that they will also go to church with him. He will make good use of the schoolbag and the school supplies because schoolbags and supplies are very expensive in Suriname.
- Name: Cedric
Cedric is 16 years and goes to Sunnypoint 1. He lives with 7 people in one house. He has never visited a church. He is very happy to be selected to receive a schoolbag and a Bible. He has to repeat classes over and over again. With this gesture, he is inspired to and will do his utmost to get excellent grades.
- Name: Angela
Angela is 9 years and goes to Clarkeschool. She lives with her mom and 4 brothers in one house. She goes to church with her mom if her mom is free from work. My mom is the only breadwinner in house and she has to take care of 5 children. My mom works very hard to buy school supplies for all her children. Due to the economic situation of the country, everything has become very expensive. Angela was not sure if her mom is able to buy new schoolbags and school supplies for all her children. Angela is very surpirsed and happy to receive a new schoolbag with school supplies. She will tell her mom about this celebration day and will read the Bible with her housemates and friends. She will make good use and with special care of the new schoolbag and the Bible.
- Name: Siarra
‘I’m happy with the new schoolbag. I am also very happy with my own Bible because I have never had a Bible. I will tell all my friends about this day’.
- Name: Marches
‘I’m happy with the new schoolbag, this is a very good inspiration for me to do my best in school.’
- Name: Usher
‘The schoolbag is very nice. I am thankful to receive a schoolbag and a Bible. It is for me the first time I have my own Bible in my hands.’
- Name: Tadjeirio
‘I’m very grateful that the teacher selected me to receive a new schoolbag and a Bible. My parents will be very happy that they don’t need to buy me a schoolbag this year. I find the Bible very nice, now I can read out of my own Bible.
(Children of Marowijne 2 with their new schoolbags and Bibles)
|Month||District||Number of selected schools|
“All God’s Creation is Very Good!”
WORLD DAY OF PRAYER REPORT 2018 – SURINAME
In March this year, across our wide country of Australia, more than 965 prayer services and events were held, with approximately 30,000 praying participants in churches, schools, hospitals and homes. What a fantastic celebration of God’s creation and great love for us all!
Reports so far have all been extremely positive, with those in attendance learning – some for the first time – about the tiny country of Suriname in South America.
The theme for the year – All God’s Creation is Very Good!” – had us thinking carefully about our impact on the world. We were challenged to consider how we might change the future by changing our habits of waste and thoughtlessness. Many of us made commitments to reduce, re-use and recycle. We also joined in prayer for children at risk, domestic violence and poverty within the country.
Prayer venues were decorated in a colourful, tropical theme, and a highlight of many services was the reading of the poem “One Tree”, written by a member of the writing team in Suriname:
so many leaves
so many creeks
all are going to one sea
so many thoughts
thoughts among which one good one must be
so many ways of worshipping
but one Father
so many hair types
so many skin colours
so many tongues
Many of our States have elected to send their offerings to the Bible Society for the support of their “Kids at Risk” program in Suriname. A number of other respected Christian ministries across Australia will also receive support as a result of the generosity of our praying communities.
However, as positive as our State reports have been, they also share their universal concern for the future. Sadly, World Day of Prayer is often perceived to be only for women, and only for the elderly. Neither of these is correct, but we – along with the rest of the world – are struggling to find ways to engage younger people on our State and local Committees. Without their support, World Day of Prayer will not survive for many more years.
I urge you to be praying with us about the future, and if you are interested in serving on a Committee, or becoming involved at a local level, please contact your local State office through our website: www.worlddayofprayeraustralia.org.
We look forward to praying with you in 2019 for Slovenia, under the theme: “Come, everything is ready!”
Jan Peddersen, National Liaison Officer, World Day of Prayer Australia
The sixty-second session of the Commission on the Status of Women will take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 12 to 23 March 2018. Women of faith are present to affirm the rights of women and girls and to advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals. Let’s send our prayers to them!
The theme of this Commission is “Empowering Rural Women and Girls.” It reminds us of the theme for World Day of Prayer 2018, “All God’s Creation is Very Good.” Women and girls are part of God’s Creation and those living and working in the rural areas of the world are more likely to be negatively impacted by climate change, land grabbing, forced migration and economic inequalities.
If you would like to learn more about the CSW62 2018, please visit their website: http://www.unwomen.org/en/csw/csw62-2018
Representatives of Member States, UN entities, and ECOSOC-accredited non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from all regions of the world are welcome to attend the session.
Challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls;
Participation in and access of women to the media, and information and communications technologies and their impact on and use as an instrument for the advancement and empowerment of women (agreed conclusions of the forty-seventh session)
The World Day of Prayer 2018 is soon to be celebrated around the world on Friday the 2nd of March.
Suriname as the theme country is very excited and also humbled to be the center of all your prayers.
We enjoy and thank you all for your interest in our country, culture, music, artwork and the service. It was very beautiful to see and hear about all of your preparations for the different services. The Suriname committee is very proud and enthusiastic as well, and we have also brought this celebration to the attention of our government.
However, along with the enthusiasm to celebrate we must also reflect on the fact that we have to take better care of our environment and of God’s creation. God prepared and created a world for us that was very good. Unfortunately we did not appreciate what we got as a gift, and treated it very poorly. Today we, and also the whole creation, suffer from the damages that we have brought to it mostly because of our greed and strive for comfort and/or convenience.
The earth where we have to live in is suffering. Our rivers, oceans and air are polluted, the ozone layer is damaged, and many countries suffer from terrible disasters such as hurricanes, tsunamis and so on. Even the animals in the rivers and seas get wrapped up in our plastic waste. Beautiful creatures go extinct because we do not care enough to stop hunting them. Many children are born with disabilities because of the pollution in the rivers and the air. In the various visits we brought to the government we also expressed our concern for our environment.
Today and every other day, we the women of the Suriname World Day of Prayer committee want and will take a stand to plead for God’s creation.
We will confess our shortcomings before God and ask Him to forgive us and to help us be better care takers of His very good creation.
“All God’s creation is very good” (Genesis 1:31)
WDP Suriname Chairperson