Thank you to everyone who has been praying for our trauma work in Nigeria. We are very happy to announce that a trauma centre run by Open Doors partners in Nigeria is now open, and has welcomed its first visitors.
The launch had been delayed for a year because of the deteriorating security situation in northern Nigeria, but the doors have now finally opened, and already the courses are transforming lives.
Peter*, a pastor from northern Nigeria, attended one of the first courses. He said, "Suddenly, I saw the Scripture in a new light, clearly indicating how God understands my pain and brokenness and how He has always been in my situation. He understands it and offers hope and healing."
He added, "[This training] led me and my brokenness straight to the foot of the cross and I'm willing more than ever to be made whole."
The centre is intended as a place where trauma victims can come for extended care to find peace and to start out on the road to healing. But the centre also trains Christian leaders and teachers in trauma care and response. Already, 15 institutions have sent representatives for training. These leaders are crucial, as they will refer survivors from the field to the centre and will also receive them back home for long-term care and support.
One of the courses was a clinic for survivors of attacks by Muslim Fulani herdsmen. These victims were driven from their communities and have been living in camps for internally displaced people, so this was the first time for months that they had had a good meal and a bed to sleep in.
For one participant, who lost his daughter in an attack, it was a sad but powerful moment: "I have been feeling numb since then. I have not been able to grieve and process my pains. During the programme I broke down and cried for the first time. That night I slept well without any bad dreams for the first time."
The trauma centre has also held its first women's clinic, welcoming 15 women who had experienced terrorist attacks.
"Prior to the programme, they were quiet and reserved," said a trauma care trainer. "However, after going through the healing sessions and each woman sharing her story, there was tremendous change. They sang and danced every evening for about an hour before bedtime! Many of them said they thought all hope was lost, but their hope was rekindled at the programme."
- Thank the Lord for the generous support that has enabled the centre to open, and for the impact that it is already having on people's lives
- For wisdom and patience for the centre workers as they bring God's love to the wounded and the broken
- For protection for the centre, staff, volunteers and visitors. The situation in the area remains volatile.
*name changed for security reasons