Healing Begins Within: Three-Day Trauma Healing Program Training for PBS Staff
The Philippine Bible Society conducted an in-house Healing Group Session and Initial Equipping Session under the Trauma Healing Program (THP) for 15 PBS staff members from July 29-31, 2019. The group was composed of PBS care group leaders and their assistant leaders, supervisors, and Management Committee members. Their whole-day training–from 8 AM to 7 PM–took place at the 3rd Floor Worship Hall in the PBS Ministry Center along UN Avenue, Manila.
PBS Associate General Secretary Perry Cartera, who was recently certified as Master Facilitator by Pat Kempf of the American Bible Society, led the three-day training activity alongside her assistant facilitators: Dr. Nora G. Lucero (PBS General Secretary), Vilma P. Salvio (PBS Executive Consultant for Leadership Development), and Pastor Mel Cartera (Certified Training Facilitator for Trauma Healing).
Having accumulated numerous training and facilitation experiences under the Trauma Healing ministry since 2016, Mrs. Cartera expertly led the group through various individual and group activities.
When asked about which part of the experience was her favorite, Sharon Napalang (PBS BibleHouse Supervisor) shared, “The one-on-one sharing–most especially if the one you’re sharing to is a friend or someone you really know. You will really be able to open the contents of your heart. There is a moment when you are releasing all the pain, even when you originally thought you had none.” She continued, “Some people fake being okay and others get sick in the heart because they keep things inside. But when people release these emotions, they feel better, lighter, less stressed, and are able to move on from those experiences that caused the pain in the first place.”
Lhen Catanghal, PBS Publishing Admin Assistant, said that one of the most meaningful exercises for her was the part where they brought their pain to the cross. She thinks that this is the most important thing we all need to do. She recalled her experiences two years ago when her dad passed away. She learned that it was normal to go through those grieving life stages. She said, “We need to bring our pain to the cross and let God take control of those things, so we can be released from those pains and the bondage; we can have a peaceful life. We will do better in ministering to other people too.”
This three-day training activity served as both a Healing Group Session and Initial Equipping Session.
The Healing Group Session’s main objective is to help participants with wounded hearts, so that they can process their pain, find healing, and become more resilient–all while engaging with the Scriptures on a deeper level. On the other hand, the Initial Equipping Session aims to teach and equip these participants to become facilitators of their own group healing sessions. We want them to learn basic biblical and mental health principles that are related to trauma care so that they too can help others heal from trauma.
JB Paguirigan, PBS MIS Infrastructure Specialist, revealed that he was hesitant about joining at first. But after those three eventful days, he realized it was worth it. In a post-training interview, he could not help but exclaim, “Grabe, sobrang ganda.” The closest translation of this would be: “It was insanely good!” or “Wow, it was super nice!”
JB has been inspired to move and act. He shared, “I now understand others better. Before, I would be offended–wondering why people would be so angry with me for certain things. But, not anymore. Also, when a person is angry over a simple thing, I will no longer judge him or her. What I thought wasn’t trauma before was actually trauma for other people. Now that I have undergone this training, I get it.”
Praise the Lord for all of these insights and realizations!
Moving forward, if any of the participants hope to be invited to the next training, which is the Advanced Equipping Session, they are required to facilitate at least two group healing sessions of their own.
We invite you to continue praying for the Trauma Healing Program. May the Lord continue to send us men and women who have a heart for this healing ministry. One needs a lot of emotional resilience to face people who carry so much pain each day and to hear their traumatic experiences. We also pray that those who are currently serving in this ministry will find each morning to be a refreshing start and each night to be an opportunity to give thanks.