You are on page 1of 19

Wycliffe Bible Translators of Canada

Jan-April 2018

Church leaders use
Scripture-based trauma
healing to treat despair
in the Democratic
Republic of Congo.

Former Wycliffe Canada Leader Dies + Translation Update + Ending Bible Poverty?
Contents Foreword
On the cover: A man prays while
grasping a wooden cross during a
Wycliffe Canada-sponsored trauma
healing workshop in the city of Isiro in
Jan-April 2018 • Volume 36 • Number 1 northeastern Democratic Republic of
the Congo (DRC). Bringing their pain

Praying for Lundi

to the cross is an important ritual for
Features participants in the trauma healing
course, who ask God to replace their
Stories by Nathan Frank • Photos by Alan Hood burdens with joy. Dwayne Janke, Editor
Photo by Alan Hood

6 Healing Hearts Head-On y colleague Chris Coffyn “I just wanted to hug her and tell her Jesus loves her so
Local church leaders battle darkness and death in
the Democratic Republic of the Congo through a In Every Issue has been a filmmaker
with Wycliffe for nearly
much; that she is special.”
Lundi is just one of thousands of people who are suffering in
Scripture-based trauma healing program. 30 years. He’s seen his the war-torn DRC. In response to the widespread trauma there,
3 Foreword fair share of both hope and hardship pastors asked Wycliffe personnel serving in the African country
14 Trauma Healing: The Basics Praying for Lundi | By Dwayne Janke around the world. But travelling with to help them deal with the problem. The result was biblical-
Infographic Word Alive’s Alan Hood and Nathan based trauma healing workshops and resources, translated
4 Watchword Frank to gather stories about trauma again and again into the many different local languages.
16 From Horror to Healing Languages Needing Translation
Drop Below 1,700
healing ministry in the Democratic This trauma healing ministry, sponsored by Wycliffe
After most of her family is murdered, a Congolese Republic of the Congo (DRC) was Canada through gifts from Canadians like you (see back
teenager searches for healing. 33 Beyond Words different than anything he experienced before.
“It was like being in a surrealistic world,” recalls Chris. “My
cover), is a bright light in the dark despair Chris saw firsthand.
“Every crack and crevice of life in DRC seemed filled with
Just Teach Them English—Not!t | By Doug Trick
emotions would vacillate from being what I would call a trauma. I felt completely inadequate to take action and try to
20 Eyes of Sorrow 34 A Thousand Words ‘distant observer’—so I can be objective and do my job as partially remedy the situation,” he says.
A Congolese child struggles toward healing Really on the Edge a filmmaker—to feeling intense compassion and complete “My sure hope is that prayer is my weapon, and I am so
after a brutal assault. inadequacy because of the sheer volume of extremely broken thankful trauma healing workshops will continue to bring
35 Last Word people around me.” hope and healing in very practical ways.”
Ending Bible “Poverty”? | By Roy Eyre`
26 Triple Loss Chris was particularly impacted by Chris keeps a Congolese bill in his wallet as a reminder to
Finding healing from their own trauma, a Congolese
“I just wanted filming an interview with a teenage pray for the DRC and all the precious people he met there.
girl named Lundi, who had been We trust this issue of Word Alive will also inspire you to
couple look to share their newfound hope with others. to hug her raped by her father (see story, pg. 20). bring trauma victims in prayer before God’s throne—and
After the interview, Chris asked to make a financial gift so healing is offered to those who still
and tell her
31 Translation Update: pray for her. desperately need it.
Hearing God’s Word Clearly Jesus loves “I wept as I lifted her to Jesus. In * * *
part, I thought of my daughters—how Did you notice anything different about our logo
Two New Testaments and one Bible completed her so much; they were privileged to be raised by on this issue's cover? The logo has been changed for
with Canadian involvement. | By Janet Seever loving and protective parents. Lundi 2018 because Wycliffe Canada commemorates its
that she is didn’t have that.” 50th anniversary as a charitable organization this
special.” Later, Lundi sat in a chair looking year. You will be seeing this special logo in all issues
numb and emotionless, as Chris shot of Word Alive, including our May-August issue, whose
“b-roll” (extra footage to be used content will focus on our 50th anniversary. Watch for
with her interview in a Wycliffe Canada video at vimeo. other anniversary information and highlights in our
com/245387828. communications, including on our website!
“I knew she had been beaten, and has never experienced
the pure, tender love of an earthly father.

Wycliffe Canada is ending Bible poverty by facilitating

Jan-April 2018 • Volume 36 • Number 1 the translation of God's Word among minority language
Word Alive is the official publication of Wycliffe Bible Translators of Canada, communities worldwide. Canadian Head Office 4316 10
informing, inspiring and involving the Christian public as partners in the worldwide St NE, Calgary AB T2E 6K3. Phone (403) 250-5411 or
Bible translation movement. Editor Dwayne Janke Designer Laird Salkeld toll free 1-800-463-1143, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. mountain
Early morning mist shrouds this church on a Senior Staff Writer Doug Lockhart Staff Writers Nathan Frank, Janet Seever time. Email French speakers call toll free
Catholic mission compound in Rungu, northeastern Staff Photographer Alan Hood. Word Alive is published three times annually by 1-877-747-2622 or email For
Democratic Republic of the Congo. In the same way, In Others’ Words Wycliffe Bible Translators of Canada, copyright 2018. Printed by McCallum Printing
Group, Edmonton, Alta. For permission to reprint magazine content, email editor_
people with disabilities, Wycliffe will make written and non-written information
accessible upon request, consulting with the requester
trauma hangs over the people of this African nation. For additional copies, email For to determine what format or communication support is
Fortunately, Scripture-based healing is being spread “The Spirit of God takes the Word of
address changes, email, or use the reply form. For Word suitable, and then providing this in a timely manner, at
by workshops held at churches like this to treat the God and makes the child of God.” Alive online, visit no additional cost.
overwhelming despair.
–Billy Graham (1918-), American evangelist
Photo by Alan Hood

2 Word Alive • Jan – April 2018 • Word Alive • Jan – April 2018 • 3
included in a fish dictionary or encyclopedia (see photo) for use
LANGUAGES NEEDING TRANSLATION restructuring; finished a Calgary head office upgrading project; and is perfect for the San Blas people. They live on islands and in a language community, providing interesting reading material
expanded sponsorship overseas of literacy projects, several of in the rainforest, where moisture can ruin paper. Moreover, and enhancing literacy. Moreover, preserving this information in
DROP BELOW 1,700 which received awards from UNESCO. destructive termites do not eat the waterproof pages. writing is a way to pass it on to the next generation.

L anguages around the world still needing Bible translation to

begin now total well under the 1,700 mark reported in 2016,
says the Wycliffe Global Alliance (WGA).
Newton is survived by his wife Jeannette, as well as two children,
Daryn and Cheryl, and four grandchildren.
“We are very excited and enthusiastic about the advantages
that waterproof (synthetic) paper provides for all people
groups—especially those who live in harsh environments such
Boerger said such information is part of a community’s shared
knowledge, called “traditional ecological knowledge” or TEK. Every
effort should be made to preserve TEK.
As of this past October, the figure was 1,636 languages, JAPANESE STUDENTS as jungle, island communities, and all difficult-to-reach areas
“When we lose language or knowledge about other parts of
spoken by 114 million-plus speakers. around the world.”
WGA’s annual Scripture and language statistics report
CHALLENGED ABOUT MISSIONS The San Blas Kuna believers are excited as well. When the
culture, it is like we have lost the anchor that makes us secure

in who we are, and we drift like a coconut on the sea.”
indicates that Bible translation has yielded God’s Word in 3,312 wenty-eight Japanese junior high and senior high school students Kuna man in charge of distribution took the first copies to the
languages (670 complete Bibles, 1,521 New Testaments and were asked to consider cross-cultural service at Wycliffe Japan’s San Blas Islands, he did a demonstration in front of various
1,121 Scripture selections and stories). About 7,100 languages recent mission challenge seminar. congregations. He spilled muddy water on the pages which COMPUTER FONT RELEASED
are spoken in the world. It was an exciting day for them as they participated in a could easily be wiped off and he tried unsuccessfully to tear one FOR THE “BRIDE OF CALLIGRAPHY”
simulation of crossing cultural boundaries and worked on learning a page—all with no damage.

“As we celebrate the milestone of translated Scripture in more ycliffe’s key partner organization, SIL, has released a digital
than 3,300 languages, we celebrate that God is accomplishing language that was new to them. “The folks were incredulous—and impressed!” report the
Wycliffe Japan is asking for prayer that because of the seminar, Forsters. computer font for a wide variety of minority languages
His mission through His power and through partnership,” says across southwest Asia that use the Nastaliq style of Arabic script.
the WGA (of which Wycliffe Canada is a member). “More the students will have a deeper walk with God and gain a burden There are plans to publish the entire San Blas Kuna New
to cross cultures for evangelism and disciple-making in the future. Testament and hymnbook on the cutting-edge paper. SIL has named the new font Awami Nastaliq. Awami means “of
mission organizations, churches and Christian communities are the people” in Urdu, a language spoken in Pakistan and India.
becoming involved in the ministry of Bible translation.” The seminar was done in partnership with two Japanese Christian
Often referred to as “the bride of calligraphy,” the Nastaliq
This global movement is working on active translation and/or churches. PRESERVING LANGUAGES WITH FISH script is considered one of the most complex and beautiful
linguistic projects in nearly 2,600 languages spoken across 170- Meanwhile, Wycliffe Hong Kong celebrated its 30th anniversary
this past year. The milestone culminated in a thanksgiving on the planet. But it is one of the most difficult to render as a
plus countries. More than 80 per cent of these projects involve computer font because of its right-to-left direction, vertical nature
WGA’s 100 member organizations, which provide staff, funds, ceremony in mid-July, where the organization praised God for
opportunities to partner with many churches and supporters during and context-specific shaping.
training, translation and support services. In creating the new font, SIL font developers have ended a long
Despite the reported Bible translation advances, WGA notes the past three decades.
technical struggle. The challenge was to produce the font with a
there are still 1.5 billion people without the full Bible in their correct shaping, while at the same time avoiding unsightly and
first language. WATERPROOF (AND TERMITE-PROOF) confusing overlap of dots and diacritics (marks by letters that
For complete statistics, visit SCRIPTURES ARE A BIG HIT indicate a difference in pronunciation).

SIL International
A Wycliffe husband-and-wife team, from South Africa and Canada Because the Nastaliq style is written diagonally, some of its
FORMER WYCLIFFE respectively, are among the very first adopters of synthetic paper letter sequences get quite tall, which can result in collisions
with the previous line of
CANADA LEADER DIES for Scriptures translated for an indigenous people group.
text. SIL’s computer font
Keith and Wilma Forster published the pocket-sized Psalms

ack Newton, a former head of Wycliffe and Proverbs in 2016 using waterproof paper made with a PVC
P articipants at the 10th Conference on Oceanic Linguistics, includes a feature to use
Wycliffe Canada Archives

Canada, passed away this past August. derivative—essentially a plastic product. The Scriptures are for the co-sponsored by Wycliffe’s partner, SIL, learned why shorter forms of some of
He was 76. 157,000 speakers of San Blas Kuna in Panama. (The entire Bible documenting names for fish can be a key part of preserving a the letters to help avoid
Jack, with his wife Jeannette, served in the language was dedicated in September 2014—see Word Alive, people’s language and culture. this problem.
many decades with Wycliffe, including Summer 2015). Dr. Brenda Boerger, SIL special consultant for language and SIL has been developing
a stint as executive director of Wycliffe First included in English Bibles in 2005 by Bardin Marsee culture documentation, told linguists, ethno-botanists and ethno- digital fonts for lesser-
Canada, from 1988 to 1994. Publishing (whose Christian founders are outdoor enthusiasts), the arts experts meeting from around the world in the Solomon known languages for
Wycliffe Canada president Roy Eyre remembers Newton as paper is more commonly used for the labels on liquid dish and Islands, about the collection of 240-plus names of fish and nearly 30 years. Awami
someone who was always willing to serve—and did it with

SIL International
laundry detergent containers. related terms for a Natügu language dictionary project in 2015. Nastaliq joins 22 other font
humility. The Forsters say the waterproof paper, which is soft and pliable, Boerger was an adviser to the Natügu language project in the families created by SIL font
“He was not concerned with status or accolades, but about Solomon Islands from 1987-2000. developers.
God and His mission. He was simply willing to do everything he Such fish information can be used by school teachers or
could to further God’s mission,” says Roy.
“To me, he was an informal mentor. Having personally
experienced the rigours and responsibilities of this role himself,
he was always an encourager and willing to talk.”
A native of Calgary, Newton joined Wycliffe in 1966, four years
Active language
after marrying Jeannette. Before his term as Wycliffe Canada’s 60 projects to which
executive director, Newton supported the field work in South
Asia with SIL (Wycliffe’s key partner organization) and then
Organizations, like
Wycliffe Canada, Nations
these WGA
provide staff,
Percentage of all
language projects
Wycliffe Canada, in a variety of financial and administrative roles. GUYANA
who make up the where funds, training, worldwide in which
Newton was known for his friendliness, listening ear and a Wycliffe Global these organizations translation and WGA organizations
vibrant commitment to overseas missions. Under his leadership, COLOMBIA SURINAME
Alliance (WGA). are located. support services. are involved.
Wycliffe Canada experienced significant growth in personnel GUIANA
Source: Wycliffe Global Alliance 2017
and finances; emphasized strategic planning and organizational

4 Word Alive • Jan – April 2018 • Word Alive • Jan – April 2018 • 5
Local church leaders battle darkness and death in
the Democratic Republic of the Congo through a
Scripture-based trauma healing program.
Stories by Nathan Frank • Photos by Alan Hood

A group of more than 40 local church

leaders join together to pray, as their
burdens (written down on paper) burn
at the foot of a cross. The Congolese
culture thrives on this meaningful ritual of
writing their burdens on a piece of paper,
sharing it with others, nailing it to the
cross and burning it. People attending the
workshops are asking God to give them
release from their pain. As the smoke
rises, their burdens are given to Christ.
Word Alive • Jan – Apr 2018 • 7
According to the Council on Foreign Relations,
more than five million people have been killed
there in one of the most deadly conflicts since the
Second World War. A million women and girls have
been victims of rape by armed military groups, and three million
refugees remain displaced—with one million being displaced
from their homes since more recent anti-government uprisings
erupted in 2016.
It’s been more than 20 years since the beginning of the
DRC civil war. The bloodshed and chaos has long passed its
peak—even in the eastern border region surrounding Goma, the
epicentre of the conflict. Today, the nation is still broken by war,
with the impact even reaching 800 km north of Goma to the city
of Isiro. It’s in this city of about 180,000 people that a group of
local church leaders, sponsored by Wycliffe Canada, are facing
head-on the darkness and death spawned by war.
Guided with the Scripture- and psychology-based book
Healing the Wounds of Trauma: How the Church Can Help (see
sidebar, pg. 14), since 2011 this team has trained hundreds of
Congolese church leaders in their province to share the healing
that only Jesus can provide.


Joy was evident during a trauma healing workshop for church
leaders one year ago in a crowded classroom in downtown Isiro.
In the trade languages of Lingala and Swahili, the more than 40
future trauma healing counsellors sang choruses with lines such
as “God is with us all the time, for all the years” and “faith in God
protects us from our enemies.”
Dancing along to the songs, the workshop participants
celebrated their trustworthy God, a stark contrast from the
streets outside, where a reminder of the struggles of daily life is
on display. Residents of all ages walk the streets, with the searing
Congo sun beating down on them. Some are selling goods, but
others walk the streets waiting for a job.
“They have nothing to do,” says Bishop Jean David Awilingata
Modibale, one of four trauma healing master facilitators on the
team. “This trauma healing program came at a good moment in
time. Otherwise there could be a great number of people that
would kill themselves.”
Despair is in the fabric of society here. Cut off because of

(TOP, LEFT) During a trauma healing workshop in Isiro, a group of

men sing Psalms in their local language. In the trauma healing
program, expressing one’s self through both thanksgiving and lament
is stressed as crucial to healing. (TOP, RIGHT) Wycliffe Germany’s
Bettina Gottschlich (left) and Bishop Jean David Awilingata Modibale,
a married couple who are both master trauma healing facilitators,
provide important leadership to the trauma healing work happening in
northeastern DRC. (RIGHT) Trauma healing facilitator Fransisca Duabo
leads a group of more than 40 church leaders through lessons based on
the book Healing the Wounds of Trauma: How the Church Can Help. One
of the key goals of this workshop is that the participants are equipped to
teach the lessons in their churches in their mother tongues.

8 Word Alive • Jan – April 2018 • Word Alive • Jan – April 2018 • 9
of the Congo
AREA: 2.34 million sq. km (about
TONGUE AND EXPRESS THEM IN one quarter the size of Canada)
northeast of Angola
GEOGRAPHY: Vast central basin
is a low-lying plateau, mountains
in the east; largely dense tropical
POPULATION: 81.3 million
CAPITAL: Kinshasa (11.6 million)
PEOPLE: More than 200 ethno-linguistic groups, of which the majority
are Bantu
ECONOMY: Endowed with vast resource wealth and immense
diamond, mineral and agricultural potential; slowly recovering
(ABOVE) A young man writes out his experience of torment and pain.
after decades of decline
United Belarus Russia
Kingdom Neth.
Germany Poland

poor roads, the region is in economic disarray. Public services (OPPOSITE) The workshop that is based on the book, Healing the Wounds of RELIGION: Roman Catholic 50%,Lux.Protestant 20%,
Czech Rep.
Kimbanguist 10%,
Trauma: How the Church Can Help, establishes a theological understanding Muslim 10%, other 10% (includes syncretic sects
like hospitals and prisons are not supported by the government. Hungaryand indigenous beliefs)
Austria Moldova
Switz. Liech.
of suffering. Before bringing their burdens to the cross (trashing and then France
Slovenia Romania
Medication that could stop preventable deaths is unaffordable burning their written or drawn thoughts), participants are encouraged to LANGUAGES: 211 languages, including French

Herz. (official); Lingala (trade

Bosnia &

to a population that lives in crippling poverty. The nation’s life openly lament to Christ. As their pain is let out, they become ready to heal. language), Kingwana (a
Italy Mont.
Kosovo Bulgaria
Spaindialect of Kiswahili or Swahili),
expectancy rate of 58.9 years (2016 est.) is one of the worst on Kikongo, Tshiluba, and many tribal languages Greece Turkey

the planet. gives participants the space to process and discuss this difficult
Military groups in the region, such as the Lord’s Resistance question. BIBLE TRANSLATION STATUS: 25 languagesMalta have Bibles; 25 have
Lebanon Iraq

Army (LRA) are weaker than they once were, but still cause “It is pointed out that we are not alone, but God is close to us New Testaments; 45 have New Testament
translation underway Israel
havoc in the surrounding rainforest (see “From Horror to even if we do not feel it in our suffering,” explains Pastor Calliste Literacy: 64% Algeria
Healing,” pg 16). The LRA survives by operating mines where Duabo, the co-ordinator for the trauma healing project. Libya Egypt
Sources: Ethnologue, SIL and World Factbook
rare minerals are abundant—and by pillaging villages and “We study the story of Joseph, who was hated by his own

stealing produce from fields. LRA soldiers often murder and rape brothers and sold into slavery. But God used that so when Mauritania

innocent people. finally the famine struck Egypt, he could reconcile with his family FREE UP MY Mali

and help" them survive.

PRINCIPLES IN HEALING Through studying several Scripture passages—in the mother EMOTIONS, Senegal


Despite the immense scope of trauma in northeastern DRC, tongue if they’ve already been translated—the God of the Bible EVEN THROUGH Guinea
Burkina Faso

surprisingly there is still hope, thanks to the trauma healing is revealed. In Scriptures such as Romans 8:35, traumatized
program. The group gathered for the January workshop were people see that God is all-powerful and trustworthy no matter
Leone Cote d'Ivoire Ghana

Liberia Central South Sudan
among the workforce of counsellors that will share the 11 how difficult the circumstances. Cameroon
African Republic

Scripture-based lessons from the trauma healing book with

their communities in workshops and one-on-one. They know
As Romans 8:35 (GNV) puts it, “Who, then, can separate LAMENTATIONS, Equatorial Guinea
us from the love of Christ? Can trouble do it, or hardship or DEMOCRATIC
intimately the material that has so far been translated into the persecution or hunger or poverty or danger or death? . . . No, in ACCORDING TO Gabon

local languages of Lingala and Swahili and have all found some all things we have complete victory through him who loved us!” DAVID AS WE SEE Kinshasa

healing themselves from their trauma.

“When you have really understood what trauma healing is all HEALING HEARTS IN THE PSALMS.” Tanzania

about, then it touches you,” explains Modibale. “And you are With an understanding of God’s character, healing of deep heart
able to translate the concepts into your mother tongue and wounds can begin. Depending on the severity of the trauma, Zambia

express them in your mother tongue, even if we do not follow a though, it can be a long process. Crucial to healing is letting your Mozambique

word-by-word translation of the book.” pain and bitterness out. The traumatized person is encouraged Zimbabwe

The first lesson that counsellors share with those traumatized to mourn and lament to God however much it is necessary. One Namibia Botswana
in their communities is about why God allows suffering. The way to do so is through art. Duabo, who lost three of his children
lesson presents a theological understanding of suffering and in one week (see "Triple Loss," pg. 26) found this to be helpful. Swaziland

South Africa
10 Word Alive • Jan – April 2018 • Word Alive • Jan – Apr 2018 • 11
from all earthly suffering and torment takes place. “Children have a totally different conception of the world. So
“It’s really by His total love and compassion that He made it they need to be approached and ministered to differently, so
possible for us to be reconciled with God,” says Modibale. that they can be healed,” explains Modibale. “The impact is going
For this reason, a key focus of the trauma healing program is to be tremendous. . . . They will build the society of the next
for participants to take their pain to the cross. They do this by generation.”
writing down their most painful burdens and memories on a As Modibale and the rest of the trauma healing team expand
piece of paper and nailing it to a literal cross, or dropping the their training, hope is placed in long-term healing. It doesn’t
papers into a box at the foot of the cross and then burning its happen overnight. The torment their nation has experienced is
contents. (If someone is illiterate, they can still participate by deep, and transfers from generation to generation. Yet, Christ’s
bringing twigs to the cross to represent their burden). love is powerful. He doesn’t abandon the weary.
Afterward, participants are given the opportunity to share “Love overcomes evil,” says Modibale. “We do not give up hope,
their burdens with others. It’s important that every person has even if the night is very, very long. We see that the day is coming
the space to empty their soul and let any emotions they feel when Congo will be governed by a righteous new generation.”
“THE TRAUMA about the pain come out.
Lastly, before burning the papers at the foot of the cross, the
HEALING REALLY participant repeats, “I’m handing over my suffering to Jesus who
HELPS PEOPLE died on the cross for me.”
TO FORGIVE ONE The burning of the papers shows that God can turn suffering
into ashes, replacing it with joy (Isa. 61:3).
BEHIND THEM.” In the coming years, the Isiro trauma healing team plans to VERY LONG. WE SEE THAT THE
continue to grow the trauma healing program by training more
and more pastors to share the lessons with their communities. DAY IS COMING WHEN CONGO
Currently nine language groups in the region are receiving WILL BE GOVERNED BY A
trauma healing care. Future plans also include translating the
Healing the Wounds of Trauma manual into 10 more languages.
The next step for the team is to train facilitators to counsel
“The drawing that first came to me was a tomb and a casket,” Healing is a process. However, there is power found in sharing burdens children, through unique “children-focused lessons” from the
he explains. “This was because the spirit of grief was controlling out loud with God and others. (ABOVE) That’s why prayer and openness is book Healing Children’s Wounds of Trauma.
me. So through this drawing, I started to free up my emotions, built into the trauma healing program. Prayer creates community with God
and each other (BELOW), and allows those that are hurting to admit that
even through worship songs of lamentations, according to David
they can’t find peace on their own. Ultimately God is their healer.
as we see in the Psalms.” Trauma is a part of the fabric of
Equally important in the healing process is forgiving those who life in the DRC. As trauma healing
spreads across the country, there
wronged you. In the Isiro region, forgiveness is especially difficult
is hope that the next generation
for the many ethnic groups who have feuded for generations. will inherit a much different nation.
“There are always people looking for trouble because
something in the past has happened,” explains Duabo. “The
trauma healing really helps people to forgive one another and
put things behind them.”
Forgiveness, though, isn’t always immediate. But it’s crucial in
the process of healing. With such hideous acts of violence and
sexual abuse, sometimes the victim may not want to forgive the
perpetrator because they don’t want to condone their behaviour.
But by not forgiving, the victim can’t be set free.
“Even if they will never come and ask for forgiveness, or if they
are no longer there, if we hold something against them, we are
chained up,” says Modibale. “It is very important for the people
to see that we ourselves, too—even Christians—are profoundly
bad and we have really nothing to bring to God to negotiate our
salvation with Him.”


Along with forgiving those who wronged them, those
traumatized also need to accept the forgiveness offered by Christ
through His crucifixion. It’s there, at the cross, where true healing

12 Word Alive • Jan – April 2018 • Word Alive • Jan – April 2018 • 13
United Belarus
Neth. Russia
Germany Poland
Bel. Kazakhstan
Lux. Czech Rep. Ukraine
Austria Moldova
France Switz. Liech. Hungary
Slovenia Romania
Croatia Uzbekistan


Bosnia &
Italy Mont.
Kosovo Bulgaria Georgia
Macedonia Azerbaijan Turkmenistan
Spain Armenia
Greece Turkey

Malta Syria
Cyprus Iran
Tunisia Lebanon Iraq
Morocco Israel

Libya Qatar

Saudi Arabia U. A. E.



Chad Eritrea

Burkina Faso Djibouti


Sierra Nigeria
Leone Togo Ethiopia
Cote d'Ivoire Ghana
Liberia Central South Sudan
African Republic
Equatorial Guinea

UMA DEFINED The psychological and emotional effects on human beings of disruptive

Congo REPUBLIC Rwanda

essions are held to train church leaders to become



events like war, genocide, criminal activity, sexual abuse, human trafficking, facilitators so they can lead healing sessions in their own


communities. The program uses a four-stage process to equip



Namibia Botswana

urban violence, abandonment and natural disasters. Swaziland

caregivers and provide them with accountability and support

–American Bible Society.
South Africa

People who so they can help hurting people. Using the trauma healing
have received book, facilitators lead traumatized people, both in small
REACHING THOSE TRAUMATIZED ABOUT THE AUTHORS trauma healing groups and one-on-one.

W ycliffe staff member Margaret Hill and Harriet Hill

(a former Wycliffe member now with the American
Bible Society) began developing the Healing the Wounds of
T he four authors of Healing the Wounds
of Trauma have trained hundreds of
trauma healing facilitators with these
Trauma healing
groups who
have met
Participants understand the basic biblical

Trauma workbook and program in 2000, after witnessing the materials since 2002. Facilitators and mental health principles in the lessons.
trauma caused by the civil war in the Democratic Republic trained They translate the lessons into their own language.
of the Congo (DRC) in the late ‘90s. They responded to a HARRIET HILL, program director

clear need for resources and programming by church leaders, for the Trauma Healing Institute at Languages in which the They develop a plan for teaching the lessons in
who lacked an understanding of trauma and mental American Bible Society, received her trauma healing workshop their churches.
PhD in intercultural studies from Fuller has been published
health principles to help those traumatized in their
Theological Seminary in California. She 
communities. Workshops were first held in Kenya in Language groups who
2002, even before the book was published. was formerly a member of Wycliffe, have had the trauma QUESTIONS?
working in Ivory Coast. healing course
MARGARET HILL, a Wycliffe Bible “If you train 20 people they go and train 10 people . . . they
translation consultant, received her multiply themselves. So then at the end of that you’ve got
master’s degree in education from the hundreds of people who are learning how to help others.”
University of Manchester (UK). ­—Margaret Hill, Wycliffe international translation consultant
RICHARD BAGGÉ, counselling
ministry co-ordinator for Wycliffe in GLOBAL SCOPE OF TRAUMA HEALING WHY ARE STORIES USED
Africa, received his M.D. from Jefferson
Medical College in Philadelphia and
did his residency in psychiatry at Duke
1,300,000 Lives impacted by the
trauma healing program
“People remember stories. People relate to stories. You don’t
want just pedagogical material, you want something they
University Medical School.
PAT MIERSMA, an international 4,000 Registered trauma healing
facilitators and caregivers trained
can relate to. And stories really help to get the point across.
Africans love stories. Actually, I think the whole world loves
them, but particularly Africans.”

counselling co-ordinator with SIL
Countries where —Margaret Hill
(Wycliffe’s main field partner), received
these trainees live
her M.N. as a mental health nurse and
ethnic clinical specialist from U.C.L.A. L anguages in which Healing the
Wounds of Trauma (classic model, IN THIS TRAUMA HEALING PROGRAM?
core manual for adults) has been “In countries where they’re traumatized, one of the ways of
published or is being prepared getting people to really want to read the Scriptures and to
THE BOOK—HEALING THE WOUNDS OF TRAUMA: HOW THE CHURCH CAN HELP teach others is to show that it’s relevant to their real lives.

FIRST PUBLISHED IN 2004, each of the 11

lessons of the book begins with a real-life story,
1 ) If God loves us, why do we suffer?
Through the lessons, hurting
people identify and bring
35 Languages in which
the story-based
(oral) model has
[The trauma healing program] shows that the Scriptures
really work. . . . you can apply them to real life situations."
—Margaret Hill
followed by discussion questions and participatory their burdens to God. been prepared
2) How can the wounds of our hearts be healed?
exercises. The book includes 270 Bible references Participants are invited

3) What happens when someone is grieving? to bring their pain to the
from 217 passages and is based on basic mental
health concepts within a biblical framework. 4) Helping children who have experienced bad things cross of Christ for healing.
has been published or “When you have really understood what trauma healing is all
Of the 11 chapters of the original book, five are 5) Helping people who have been raped As they release their pain,
is being prepared about, then it touches you and you are able to translate the
“core” chapters, while the others are used as needed. 6) How can churches minister amidst HIV-AIDS? they are often able to

There is a separate edition for children, earthquake 7) Caring for the caregiver forgive and sometimes can Organizations partnering concepts into your mother tongue and express them in your
victims and other special audiences, and a story- be reconciled with those with locals to provide mother tongue. . . .”
8) Response: Taking your pain to the cross —Bishop Jean David Awilingata Modibale,
based version for those without a written who have inflicted the pain. Bible-based trauma
language or with no Scripture in their first 9) How can we forgive others? They are freed to care for healing programming trauma healing facilitator
language. 10) How can we live as Christians amidst conflict? themselves and serve others.
11) Looking ahead
*The bold titles are core lessons.

14 Word Alive • Jan – April 2018 • Word Alive • Jan – April 2018 • 15
erci Honorine was only a
After most of her family is murdered, a pre-teen when she was
Congolese teenager searches for healing.
awakened one night in 2009
Editor’s note: This story contains
disturbing content of a graphic nature. by the noise of a truck outside
her home in the Democratic Republic
of the Congo (DRC).
“It was the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA),” she explains.
Soldiers from the infamous rebel military group—which for
30-plus years has wreaked havoc across Sudan, Uganda, DRC and
the Central African Republic—were raiding her village.
Eighteen-year-old Honorine tells her horror story while seated
in a spare room of a convent in the remote village of Rungu, in
northeastern DRC. As she talks, her train of thought is interrupted
occasionally by the needs of her six-month-old daughter.
Honorine says she, along with her parents, siblings and
extended family were tied up by LRA soldiers and taken away
from their home on foot. Reaching a river, the soldiers nudged
the family to walk across—but Honorine’s father told them he
would not go any further.
“They took an axe and chopped off his head in front of all of us,”
says Honorine calmly.
The soldiers left the corpse of her father behind and forced
the rest of her family across the river. After a couple days of
travelling by foot, they came to a deserted place. Here they
released 11-year-old Honorine and her brother with the other
children. They were all exhausted from carrying the soldier’s loot
and equipment and the soldiers expected them to die. As the
children fled, their mom, uncles and grandparents were taken by
the LRA in a different direction.
Honorine later learned that her four uncles were tied up
together and forced to carry bags of sugar on their heads. When
they became too exhausted to bear the weight of the bags
any longer, the soldiers shot three of them point blank. The
fourth uncle’s throat was slit. Honorine says that's when her
grandparents witnessed the murders, they both collapsed from
heart attacks. They died on the spot.

Fleeing the Scene

As Honorine and her brother fled, they saw dismembered
corpses all around them. She and her brother searched the forest
looking for villagers they knew who had hidden and survived.
Merci Honorine
Honorine (left)
(left) went
went through
through horror
horror when
when most
most ofof her
her They didn’t find any survivors. Making their way back to the
family was
was murdered
murdered by by the
the infamous
infamous Lord’s
Lord’s Resistance
Resistance Army
Army inin river that they had fled from, they followed the shoreline until
2009. She
She needs
needs the
the support
support and
and mentorship
mentorship offered
offered by
by trained
trained reaching the village of Rungu.
trauma healing
healing counsellors
counsellors in in her
her remote
remote village
village of
of Rungu,
Rungu, DRC.
DRC. There, a local pastor couple took in Honorine and her brother.
Healing has
has begun
begun for
for Honorine,
Honorine, but
but she
she still
still has
has aa long
long way
way to
to go.

16 Word Alive • Jan – April 2018 • Word Alive • Jan – April 2018 • 17
And a short time later, Honorine’s mother— found out, he abandoned her and moved away.
who was the only other survivor from her Honorine felt deserted and alone. When the hospital told
family—learned through word of mouth that her she’d need a Caesarean section because of her young age,
her daughter and son had found refuge with she was scared. But when she shared this with her church, the
the pastor.
For the next five years, Honorine, her brother
congregation began to pray for her throughout the pregnancy.
By the time she was ready to give birth, she was told she could “I SAW THE POWER
give birth naturally.
and mother lived with the pastor’s family. They
had a new family of sorts and even attended “I saw the power of God work in my life in that way,” she shares.
Honorine has suffered immense losses and hardships. Despite
school thanks to the pastor’s generosity.
“Don’t continue to think about your father
there by the river,” the pastor told Honorine.
this, she has chosen to trust God with her life and her healing
one day at a time. LIFE IN THAT WAY.”
“Because now I am your father and I will take This is her path forward.
care of you.”
The pastor also encouraged Honorine and
her brother to forgive the soldiers who killed
most of her family. One day he led them into
the church in front of the altar and asked them
to kneel down. He explained that these soldiers
didn’t know what they were doing and that it
was important to forgive them. Honorine says
that day she gave up her anger and bitterness
toward the soldiers.

More Loss
Unfortunately for Honorine, she hadn’t faced
her final tragedy. Five years after moving in with
the pastor, he was poisoned to death. It was
suspected that it was not an accident, but the culprit was never
found. Shortly after that, the pastor’s wife and Honorine’s mother But Honorine began to listen when Dieudonne showed her
died from organ failure. After being taken care of for a short the front cover, illustrated with a weeping woman, her hands
time by a local Catholic development agency, Honorine and her over her head.
brother were alone to fend for themselves. To put her brother in “Look," said Dieudonne, "this woman has experienced
school, Honorine dropped out herself and began selling sandals something very similar to you and she has experienced
on the roadside. Soon after, out of pity, a family allowed her and freedom from trauma.”
her brother to have part of their land to build a small hut. Since that meeting, Honorine has been meeting with
Despite the generosity, life was still torturous for Honorine. Dieudonne to find healing for her torment. She’s made some
Not only did she struggle to provide for her brother, she regularly progress, but admits that she still finds life extremely difficult.
had flashbacks from the horror she saw when she was abducted. The process of healing is ongoing.
“I get very emotional and start crying a lot,” she explains “In the past I would often stay awake at night and couldn’t sleep
regarding the symptoms with which she still sometimes struggles. at all. The thoughts of the past came back,” she says. “But since
“And then emotion hits my stomach and I cannot eat anymore.” following the trauma healing lessons, I can sleep much better.”
What Honorine says has helped the most is that she’s
Trauma Healing learned her pained heart is like an open wound. As she goes
back to her memories of her trauma, she opens the wound
Fortunately, someone again reached out to help Honorine.
up again and again. This prevents her from finding healing.
Returning from the forest one day with a handful of firewood,
Dieudonne explained to Honorine that she has to take her
she was overcome by grief. Sitting down on the ground, she
burden to Jesus. When she gives it to Him, she can allow her
sobbed. Rungu’s radio DJ/Pastor Abule Dieudonne happened to
wounds to slowly heal.
be nearby and saw her. (This is the same pastor who took in a
young girl named Lundi. See “Eyes of Sorrow” on pg. 20.)
“Come, I’ll share with you,” he told Honorine. Giving Her Life to God
Dieudonne walked through lessons from the trauma healing As Honorine faced her trauma, she slowly began to give her (OPPOSITE) Like Honorine, these four boys were also abducted by the people and let these boys go. Returning to their home village, they
book Healing the Wounds of Trauma (see story, pg. 14) with life to God, though it hasn’t been easy to put her complete Lord’s Resistance Army. The rebel group attacked their town, burned found no one. They now live in Rungu, DRC, where villagers have taken
down all the houses and pillaged what they could find. Taking the adults them in as refugees. (ABOVE) Honorine treasures her brother very much.
Honorine. He told her that she could find relief from her torment. trust in Him. She also desired a man to love her and take care
and children captive, they had them carry their loot until they came to After their mother died, she quit school so she could work and put
“Oh, I don’t need that,” Honorine replied skeptically. “It’s not for of her. This longing led her to a relationship with a classmate, another town. Along the way, as people became exhausted, they killed him through school. He and her infant child are now Honorine’s only
me. I’m not interested.” and then to an unplanned pregnancy. When her classmate them. Once the caravan got to another village, the LRA captured more remaining family.

18 Word Alive • Jan – April 2018 • Word Alive • Jan – April 2018 • 19
oments before our interview, I
watched Lundi* attentively, as
she stood in the back row of
a packed trauma healing workshop
at her small, rainforest church in
northeastern Democratic Republic
of the Congo (DRC). She was one
of only a handful of adolescents in
As the group began to sing a worship song, the petite, short-
haired Lundi looked frightened and lost. She gently clapped her
hands and whispered the words to the song sung in the regional
language of Lingala.
“Hallelujah to Jesus Christ . . . Jesus has given us life . . . What a
friend we have in Jesus,” she sang.
Sharing her story a few minutes later in a private room in the
village’s Catholic convent, Lundi—who is just 13 or 14—admits
that the words of these songs ring hollow because of the internal
torment she feels every day.
“Since the trauma I encountered, I have lost all joy in life,” she says
in her mother tongue of Lombi through a translator. “I don’t even
have the courage to eat.”

A Congolese child struggles toward The Story

healing after a brutal assault. Lundi looks down at her hands and fidgets with her fingers
as she shares her story. It happened about a year ago. She was
Editor’s note: This story contains sleeping in a room with her cousins after the funeral of a relative.
disturbing content of a graphic nature. As the grown-ups were partying in a different hut, Lundi’s stone-
drunk father came into the hut. He raped her.
“I’m not sure when he raped me if his intention was to kill me,”
she wonders aloud.
Lundi’s father was caught in the midst of the act by his brother
and pulled off of Lundi. The brother took him away and berated
him for his hideous crime. Lundi was left alone for the rest of
the night in shock. The next day the story spread. Her father was
swiftly arrested and put in prison.
Listening to Lundi share, I wonder how she could even survive
such a brutal act. How will she recover from this? Her father, the
one man above all she should be able to trust in the world, took
away her innocence—her sense of security. He left her broken,
both physically and emotionally. A year after the abuse, Lundi
still needs medical care, which she can’t afford, to address the
damage from his act. He’s her father. He should be taking care of
all her needs. But instead, he’s in prison.
Yet, Lundi still shares her story with us. She relives it in her
Lundi’s eyes tell a story of despair and abuse. mind. She tells us that her relationship with her father was good
Violated by the one person in the world she except when he drank. When that happened, he mistreated her
should have been able to trust, her eyes are to the point of threatening to kill her.
clouded by torment. In the midst of her horrific _________________________________________________
circumstances, trauma healing counsellors in *Pseudonym used due to sensitivity.
her DRC village hope to help her heal.
20 Word Alive • Jan – April 2018 • Word Alive • Jan – April 2018 • 21
Lundi walks along a dirt pathway toward her
home in Rungu, DRC. Life has been lonely and Back-story
confusing for the teenager since her father Lundi tells us about her childhood, providing us with a little bit so terrible. Was he drinking to ease a mental illness—or his
raped her. She says she doesn’t feel like she’s of background about her upbringing. When she was very young, shameful desires? Was he abused as a child as well?
made much progress toward healing, despite her mother died. Lundi chose to stay with her father, while her I don’t dare ask Lundi if she’s forgiven her father for what he
the promises from trauma healing counsellors
who tell her that healing is possible. older siblings left because of his drinking. did. I assume that incident is too raw. But, I do ask her how she “I don’t have a problem
“Was your father responsible for your mother’s death?” the views God in light of all of this.
translator asks her. “I don’t have a problem with God,” Lundi replies. “I see the rape
with God. I see the
Lundi replies that she doesn’t know. She was too young and as a satanic attack. Satan came and did this.” rape as a satanic
can’t remember. attack. Satan came
After Lundi’s mom died, her father remarried.
“Each time my father went off and got drunk and came back,
Getting Help and did this.”
One thing I’m sure of as I look into Lundi’s sorrowful eyes is that
they quarreled,” she says. “To the point where my step-mom said
she needs help—supernatural help. She needs hope. This started
under these conditions that she couldn’t stay.”
to come into Lundi’s life when she overheard a local broadcast
Soon it was just Lundi and her father living alone again.
on a neighbour’s radio. A local pastor who is a trained trauma
I wonder to myself how her father could do something
healer (thanks to the project sponsored by Wycliffe Canada) is

22 Word Alive • Jan – April 2018 • Word Alive • Jan – April 2018 • 23
regularly speaking about trauma healing over the airwaves.
Lundi started listening in with her neighbours until one day
she decided to go and find the pastor. She shared her story with
him. He led her to Christ and his family took her in and provided
shelter and a road to healing. She has found a new family. They
promise her that she will slowly gain more hope.
“God, I ask that you be “In spite of the promises, I feel I have not made much progress,”
with her. Oh, I know she admits.
I feel helpless as I look at her, puzzled with the fact that
how much you love her. something so terrible could happen. I can’t help but wonder if
Provide healing for her she can actually find healing. Before we say goodbye to her, my
soul and her body.” colleague Chris asks if we can pray for her. Lundi agrees and
Chris begins.
“God, I ask that you be with her,” he says. “Oh, I know how
much you love her. Provide healing for her soul and her body.”
Chris starts to weep as he lifts Lundi’s burdens to God. He
later tells me that as he looked at her and heard her story, he
imagined the horror of his own girls being hurt like her (see
Foreword, pg. 3).
One day, after being abused by her father, Lundi (on the
For me, the whole interview felt like a movie. I didn’t weep.
right) listened to a radio program about trauma healing.
Afterward, she decided to track down the host of the Interviewing her almost didn’t feel real. Maybe my emotional
program, Pastor Abule Dieudonne (left), to tell him her story. distance was a defense mechanism. Or, possibly I just needed to
He provided Lundi with counselling and emotional support. process what I was hearing.
He promises her that she will slowly gain more hope.

But her story did impact me—deeply. I often feel broken Lundi (second from the right) shucks peas outside of her
by stories I hear of sexual abuse. It’s too common, not just in new home in the rural village of Rungu, DRC. After her
father abused her, he was sent to prison for his brutal
Africa—but also at home in Canada. attack and Lundi moved in with relatives. Later on Pastor
A big part of me wonders how Lundi can ever find healing. Abule Dieudonne, a local pastor whom Lundi heard on the
How can she ever recover from this? Has God truly comforted radio presenting trauma healing lessons, took her in to
her in her torment? I look for hope in Jesus’ words: “Blessed are live with him and his family. Feeling isolated and confused,
those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the being with a family gives Lundi needed stability.
meek, for they will inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:4-5, NIV).
What this Scripture says to me is that Jesus is with Lundi and
every girl like her. He’s with those who have little or no hope, and
have experienced unspeakable horror. He calls people like the
trauma healing team in Lundi’s village to counsel and support
those in need of healing. And He also leads families to take in But, ultimately, it’s
orphans like Lundi who desperately need love.
But, ultimately, victims need the “beyond-human” help to
the “beyond-human”
conquer their brokenness. help victims need
My hope for Lundi is that the restorative, powerful God of the to conquer their
universe continues to heal her as only He can.

24 Word Alive • Jan – April 2018 • Word Alive • Jan – April 2018 • 25
Finding healing from their own trauma,
a Congolese couple look to share their
newfound hope with others.

Within one week in 1997, all three of “I started to have serious headaches,” Fransisca explains. “It felt
Calliste and Fransisca Duabo’s children as if my nerves were no longer working and I felt like I became a
crazy woman. I really was devastated. I stopped taking care of my
were dead from malaria. The first died on Tuesday, body. I didn’t wash my clothes anymore. I thought, well if I don’t
the second on Thursday and the third—just an infant— was dead by take care of myself, I am more likely to catch some sickness that
Sunday. Days earlier, the couple were parents of two boys and a girl. will kill me so I can be reunited with my children.”
Now their beautiful “blessings” were gone. Calliste was also in a desperate state. He was close to
“We were in total shock,” explains Calliste in French, through a abandoning his faith.
translator. “They all got sick and started dying one after the other.” Then, after a month of retreat at Calliste’s uncle’s residence, a
Reflecting on their terrible loss, Fransisca explains how after already gesture of compassion changed their trajectory. The president of
losing their oldest two children a few days earlier, she travelled 57 km their denomination offered Calliste a teaching position at their
on poor roads in northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo— seminary.
while pregnant—to get better medical help for her remaining child. Understanding Calliste’s state of mind, the president had him
But it was too late. teach non-Bible courses such as psychology, music and French.
“I took the dead corpse of the third child back to my husband and I The work gave Calliste routine and stability. But often he’d still
arrived there without him knowing yet that it had died.” have moments where he would fall into despair.
“During those five years, I would be overcome and start to
cry,” he says. “I lost the joy of living or I fell into rage. If I even saw
Blamed and Abandoned children of other people, it hurt me at the time.”
Fransisca and Calliste were devastated by their loss. They could not
control their emotions, openly weeping in front of the congregation,
where Calliste was a pastor. They wondered aloud how God could The Path of Healing
allow something like this to happen to them. The couple needed healing. They couldn’t replace what they
This mournful questioning was not acceptable to their church. lost; the birth of more children didn’t fill the hole in their hearts.
Calliste and Fransisca were told that “true pastors” don’t cry. They Only God could give them peace. The path toward healing
were expected to be strong and good examples to the congregation. took an important step when Wycliffe’s Bettina Gottschlich, a
Their children were in heaven and Calliste and Fransisca were told German-born trauma healing facilitator, visited their church and
they lacked the faith that their children were really saved. introduced Calliste to the book Healing the Wounds of Trauma:
“People who were supposed to comfort us from the church, they How the Church Can Help.
turned against us,” says Calliste. “I felt really forsaken by God and that Reading the book had an immediate impact on Calliste. But
God stopped loving me.” it wasn’t until he attended a 2011 trauma healing workshop in
The couple’s families turned against them as well. Fransisca’s family Goma, the centre of the nation’s civil war (see Word Alive, Fall
tried taking her away from her husband, and Calliste’s family told him 2011), that the healing process accelerated. At the workshop,
that he should have never gotten married or had children. Calliste was given the opportunity to share, without shame or fear,
“They put pressure on us that we should divorce,” explains Fransisca. what was truly on his heart.
“During that time I stopped praying. I even stopped attending church. “I had grown up never really sharing what was really deep
. . . I lost all my energy and I even couldn’t motivate myself to sleep in inside me with anybody else,” explains Calliste. “But that was a
my bed. So, I would just sleep on a little mat on the floor.” real focus during that workshop in Goma. And during those five
Surrounded by opposition, they withdrew from the village to live days there was opportunity in the morning and in the afternoon
in a house that Calliste’s deceased uncle left for him. It had been and in the evening for people to really share about the bitterness
Fransisca’s dream to work as a pastor alongside her husband. Now and torment that was in their heart, and I did that too. And that Fransisca Duabo is overcome with emotion as she tells the story of having
they were being banished by their congregation. brought lightness to my soul like I had not experienced before.” three children die from malaria in the span of a week. Fransisca and her
husband Calliste’s story is a testament to the healing that is possible
through Christ and the lessons taught in the trauma healing program.
26 Word Alive • Jan – April 2018 • Word Alive • Jan – Apr 2018 • 27
“This course of trauma
This past January, Calliste and Fransisca once again visited the
healing is like medicine
prison to share a weekly meal with the prisoners. The group that healed my broken
cell smelled of urine and was dimly lit by air vents between a
tall roof and concrete walls. As these hungry men waited their
heart. Now that I am
turn for a bowl of rice and cassava, Calliste and Fransisca led the healed, it’s time for
group in a prayer.
A blank look was on many of the prisoners’ faces. They
me to bring it to the
appeared lost and hesitant. While praying, most crowded oppressed, who have the
around Calliste and Fransisca. Some, though, stayed along the
back wall or near their dusty worn-out mats that serve as beds.
same problems as me."
One prisoner raised his arms high into the air to worship, but
most were subdued. Outside of his church, Pastor Calliste reads from Healing the Wounds of
“Jesus is the solution to your problems,” Calliste told the Trauma: How the Church Can Help in the regional language of Lingala to
prisoners. “Jesus is the victory!” a man with deformed arms. Those with handicaps are often marginalized
and disregarded in DRC. The trauma healing program reminds those who
Earlier in the day, the couple also visited the hospital where
are handicapped that they are valued and that God is there for them in
Fransisca works as a nurse. The wards were clean, but the their pain and loneliness.

Pastor Calliste and Fransisca Duabo pray for a deathly ill patient at food. The Duabos regularly share trauma healing lessons with patients.
Isiro’s hospital, where Fransisca is a nurse. DRC has one of the lowest They also visit Isiro’s prison weekly to provide hope to inmates, many of
life expectancy rates on earth. Most of the patients at this hospital whom who have been wrongly accused of crimes.
only receive medication to ease their pain, and rely on their families for

Calliste was also encouraged by the exercise of taking his and slowly but steadily, let go of her anger toward those who
burdens to the cross. abandoned her at her old church. Just like Calliste, essential to
“That day, I felt peace in my heart,” he explains. “I understood Fransisca’s healing was the practice of bringing her pain and worries
that God had given a solution to my suffering with Jesus Christ. to the cross. Writing down all her deepest problems and thoughts on
So it was no longer worth it for me to continue to carry my a piece of paper, she burnt it at the base of the cross. She found she
suffering. I needed to give it to Jesus Christ.” could finally trust Christ with her life.
Calliste left the workshop inspired to share what he learned “I had never found anyone that I could trust in this world—not
with Fransisca and his community. When he returned home, in my family, not my pastor—nobody. That was the moment of
he told Fransisca that she could also lay down her hate against complete healing for me.”
those in their former church who hurt her, and that she could
find healing.
Sharing Healing
With a new sense of wholeness, Fransisca looked to share Christ’s
Fransisca’s Path healing with others and began using what she learned in the course
When Fransisca attended a workshop for herself, she found that to counsel those around her. Soon after attending the workshop,
Calliste was correct. Through the 11 lessons of the workshop, she Fransisca began training to become a trauma healing master
went from bitter and broken to a place of restoration. And she facilitator and Calliste became the co-ordinator of the Isiro region’s
began to trust that God wasn’t indifferent to her suffering. trauma healing program.
“I was pregnant during that time. And the baby in my womb On any given day, the couple can be found with the most destitute
during the teaching started to leap in my belly. I felt joy coming residents in their region. Each week they bring a meal to the 50-plus
and I really felt like God was reconfirming that He wanted us to prisoners in their city’s jail—many of whom are incarcerated unjustly.
be in ministry.” It’s one of only a few meals these men and women receive each week
Through the course, she learned the importance of forgiveness, unless they have family providing for them.

28 Word Alive • Jan – April 2018 • Word Alive • Jan – April 2018 • 29
Translation Update

Hearing God’s Word Clearly

Two New Testaments and One Bible Completed with Canadian Involvement
By Janet Seever and Laura Johnson*

t a joyous celebration in mid-February 2017, the Plácido, Esteban and Hilario, three dedicated Náhuatl
Náhuatl [Na-WA-tul] New Testament, with a translators, were presented with name-embossed copies of their
summary of the Old Testament, was dedicated in Scriptures and given certificates of appreciation. Esteban and
Tatahuicapan, Mexico. Six men dramatically brought Plácido started working with the Hursts in 1992 and Hilario
in the boxes of Scriptures with traditional tumplines (sacks on began in 2005, although he had worked on the Gospel of Luke
their backs connected over the head with a strap, used to haul video before that.
firewood or crops from the “Elaine and I are immensely grateful for the level of
field—see photo below). commitment these three men have shown,” says Chris.
“People . . . bring At the ceremony, the directors The Mecayapan variant of the Náhuatl New Testament was
of the Mexican Bible League dedicated a week later with about 700 people attending. The
their Nahuatl and SIL (Wycliffe’s key field translation team worked together to make the necessary
partner) both gave speeches in adjustments to produce translations specifically suited to each
Scriptures to each Spanish, while the rest of the municipality. These Scriptures will serve the 30,000 Aztec people
service. . . .They are songs, speeches and prayers from two municipalities in the state of Vera Cruz. It is one of the
were mostly in Náhuatl. During 20 or so variants of Náhuatl, the languages of the Aztec people.
reading the Word the ceremony, a number of For many of the Aztec people present at the events, having a
children and adults read verses New Testament in their own language gave tremendous prestige
more now, since in Náhuatl. to their mother tongue, which they tend to consider second class.
they understand it Originally started in 1943, “Now that the dedications have been completed,” says Chris,
the translation project was “the real work has begun—getting the Scriptures into the hands
more easily.” facilitated by three expatriate of the people. There are some good things happening with more
translation teams over the people using the Scriptures in Náhuatl. Plácido told me recently
years. The third team, Chris and how happy he was when he went to visit a pastor and found
Elaine Hurst, working with Wycliffe Canada, began in 1986 and him reading from the Náhuatl Scriptures.”  
brought the project to completion. The whole Hurst family— Chris has been getting good reports back from the three local
including adult children and grandchildren—was called up on translators.
stage as part of the celebration. “Hilario told me that people in his church bring their Náhuatl
patients’ circumstances were desperate. Medication for HIV After the death of three of their children in 1997, Fransisca and
patients is provided, but food is the responsibility of the patients’ Calliste were abandoned by their church. They were told that
“true pastors” don’t cry and were expected to be strong and good
family members.
examples to the church. For this reason, leading a congregation
“Before getting sick, these people were healthy and financially today is that much more of a gift for the couple. It’s a blessing that
stable,” explains Fransisca of the many patients who have HIV. has helped them heal and forgive those that have wronged them.
“They were doing prostitution and were sharing money with their
family. But when they got sick, their family abandoned them.”
Fransisca and Calliste believe that despite the dire
circumstances of these patients and prisoners, God is still with “Now that I am
them. They believe this because they’ve experienced this truth in healed, it’s time
their own lives.
“This course of trauma healing is like medicine that healed my for me to bring it
broken heart,” says Fransisca. “Now that I am healed, it’s time for me to the oppressed.”
to bring it to the oppressed, who have the same problems as me.”

30 Word Alive • Jan – April 2018 •

Scriptures to each service,” says Chris. “People have told Hilario presentation of the entire Bible, plus the Lamnso dictionary.
Beyond Words
that they are reading the Word more now, since they understand This 45-year process has been a journey in which God raised
it more easily.”
One friend of Hilario’s, David, recounted how he went to
visit an older man and shared some Náhuatl Scriptures, which
people up to be an integral part of His work for the Nso people. 
Enthusiastic choirs sang and danced. There was a poignant
cultural dramatization of the lost condition of mankind in
Just Teach Them English—Not!
By Doug Trick
are available in audio format as a smartphone app. The man their struggle with personal conflict and sin, and the saving
responded, “Wow, where did you get that from? I’ve never heard grace offered to all cultures through the sacrificial death of

the Word of God so clearly!” Christ as Saviour.  The emotional dedication was filled with joy f you ever take questions from the 4. Language and culture are inseparable. The English language
Chris continues: “Plácido told me of a pre-literate friend who and praise to God, including spontaneously being led in the average Canadian Christian about reflects the specific ways in which English-speaking peoples
had been listening to Acts and was able to recount the whole hymn, “To God Be the Glory!” (It was sung in English, which is reaching the world’s people groups experience the world (i.e., their cultural framework, values,
life of St. Paul with all his travels. And Esteban shared how he the language of wider communication in the northwest region who still do not have God’s Word etc.). You really don’t “know” a language unless you’re a full
preached in Náhuatl and an old lady came up to him afterward of Cameroon.) in their language, one query will usually participant in the culture.
and gave him a kiss, because she said the Word meant so much to One cause for celebration is the potential for far-reaching come up: “Why not just teach them
her in her language. That church would normally just use Spanish.” usage of the Lamnso Bible and dictionary, even beyond the English?”
5. Cultural imperialism has had tragic consequences in the past. Do
A Mexican ministry has made audio devices available to more we really want to continue along that road? Is God only the God of
church. In 2012 the government authorized the teaching and Here are some reasons why it’s far more
than 80 church leaders; the units are being well used in services. people who can understand English?
learning of indigenous languages and cultures in Cameroonian effective to work with such groups by
Chris will continue to visit Plácido, Esteban and Hilario to encourage schools. Following that decision, many Bible-based literacy translating the Word of God into their own heart language. 6. God is worthy to be known, worshipped and served in multiple,
them as they face the huge task of promoting the use of Scriptures publications became part of public school curriculum. 1. Language-learning is more about forming habits of thinking and vastly different ways. For all eternity, “the nations will walk in the
in their language (which speakers refer to as “true talk/word”). Following the dedication, Charles Grebe (the son of Karl connecting with the world around you than it is about memorizing light” of God’s glory; “all the nations will bring their glory and
Grebe, the late translator/translation consultant from Wycliffe thousands of words and how they can be arranged. How do you honour” into God’s presence (Rev 21:24-26, NLT).
Lamnso Bible Available in Cameroon Canada serving with partner agency, SIL) gave cultural learn to speak (and think?!) 7. Perhaps the most significant reason for not imposing “our”
The task of translating the Bible into the Lamnso language began perspective to the completed work.  well in a language (such as worldview—including our language—on all peoples is simply
in 1971. It culminated in a Bible dedication on November 18th, Charles spoke of his stepmother Frida reading a passage English) which isn’t used by because that’s not what God does. He is incarnational (which means
2016 (not included in the 2017 table figures below), with the from the Lamnso Old Testament to her elderly mother, who When we go to a people your community? To “know” “becoming flesh”). He does not wait for us to come to Him—He
is a strong believer in Christ. After hearing the a language means that you reaches out to us. He speaks to His people through prophets and
verses in Lamnso, the mother exclaimed, “I hear to express God’s self- think and speak with minimal teachers who communicate to people in their language.
World Translation Summary 2017 (understand) it very well!” The mother was
revelation in ways that awareness of the language itself, When we go to a people group which does not yet have God’s
In 2017, Scriptures translated with Wycliffe involvement were able to explain Lamnso words used in Scripture just as we normally see the Word, when we live among them and seek to experience life as
published in 32 languages spoken by more than 2.2 million that were unfamiliar to her highly educated are meaningful within world around us with minimal they do, when we work with local people (all with the Holy Spirit’s
people. The table below gives a regional breakdown of the daughter. awareness of our eyeballs. enabling, of course) to find ways to express His self-revelation in
affected language groups with their populations. Frida Grebe said, “My mother used to be their cultural context—
2. Why would someone want ways that are meaningful within their cultural context—that’s when
my dictionary. Now we can read the Bible
NUMBER OF COMBINED TOTAL together in Lamnso, and I also have my [actual]
that’s when we imitate to spend thousands of hours we imitate what God has always been doing.
LOCATION learning English before they have To serve people who don’t have the Bible in their language, just
GROUPS POPULATIONS dictionary as a guide.” what God has always any idea about the importance teach them English—not!
It is the prayer of SIL and the Christian ____________________________________________
NEW TESTAMENTS Church in Cameroon that both the Bible and been doing. and relevance to them of the
Dr. Doug Trick is VP for Academic Affairs at the Canada Institute of
Good News in the Scriptures?
dictionary will be used widely in several ways: Linguistics (CanIL), a partner of Wycliffe Canada that trains personnel to
Africa 12 1,419,500 as an instrument for the growth of individuals 3. Even if someone was to serve in language projects, including Bible translations. Before working at
and the Church; a vehicle for evangelism; and become 90 per cent fluent in CanIL, he and his wife Phyllis served in Scripture translation in Asia.
Asia 5 523,000 English, when you remove even 10 per cent of the words of a text
a tool for language learning and preservation
of linguistic culture for the Nso people in they don’t understand, you have something like this: “God _____
Pacific 6 38,420
Cameroon and those living elsewhere.  us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of
Americas 7 222,220 With one voice everyone can proclaim, “To his _____. He washed away our _____, giving us a new birth and
God Be the Glory!” new life” (Titus 3:5, NLT). Go ahead. Pretend you have never heard
____________________________________ this verse and fill in those blanks. You’ll see how very difficult it
TOTAL NEW 30 2,203,140
TESTAMENTS *Laura Johnson is a writer for SIL in Cameroon. is for someone who is “only” 90 per cent fluent in a language to
understand a message in that language!

Pacific 1 9,870

Americas 1 9,500


COMBINED TOTALS 32 2,222,510

Laird Salkeld

32 Word Alive • Jan – April 2018 • Word Alive • Jan – April 2018 • 33
A Thousand Words Last Word
Really On The Edge Ending Bible “Poverty”?
By Roy Eyre, Wycliffe Canada President

ycliffe Canada’s new mission they are worthy, they are made in the image of God; the Good
statement says we exist Shepherd seeks after them.
to end Bible poverty by When the Scriptures enter a language—within a broader
facilitating the translation effort that includes literacy, language-based development, health
of God’s Word among minority language awareness and mother-tongue education—a whole new upward
communities worldwide. But what is Bible spiral can begin.
“poverty”? Ending Bible poverty means people groups can see themselves
To many, the idea of poverty stays at the as God sees them. They can plan for a more hope-filled future.
surface: to lack proper levels of income, They can find healing from trauma, stemming from past hurts
food or education. But poverty goes much deeper. Danny Foster, and injustice (as shown in this issue of Word Alive). Self esteem
president of CanIL (Wycliffe Canada’s training partner), once told grows, as the people begin to use their own language in trade, and
me that while he served in Tanzania, Africa, he observed that writing history, as well as practising the arts. Quality of life and life
poverty is about underlying expectancy increases. Education for children and adult literacy
questions: what people can be reverse the sense of inadequacy and ignorance. Relationships in
and what they can do. In fact, families improve.
“When Bible translation poverty seeps into people’s Our field partners around the world affirm this. Luis Cervantes,
opens God’s Word . . . that’s ways of thinking, points of the director of AIDIA (an indigenous Quechua Bible translation
view and attitudes. It leads organization in Peru) says, “When people receive Christ, they stop
the foundation of deep, many to overlook and actually drinking, then they stop beating their wives and children. Their
reject beneficial resources and children start going to school. . . . When you enter a community
inner transformation—for opportunities. Economic and where the majority of the people are Christians, their fields are
individuals, families and material poverty then spirals green and lush, and their houses are in better condition. It’s an
into malnutrition, health observable difference.”
entire communities.” problems, anxiety, depression When Bible translation opens God’s Word, His outflowing love
and self-loathing. Eventually opens new horizons. Circumstances may continue to be tough
aspirations and hope die.  and oppression may still take place, but the relationship God
So let’s consider the Bible desires with all peoples is restored.
from this point of view. The fact that 1.5 billion people still lack That’s the foundation of deep, inner transformation—for
access to the whole Bible in a language they best understand is individuals, families and entire communities. That’s the impact of
an appalling tragedy, but Bible poverty is much deeper than the ending Bible poverty!
simple absence of Scripture. Living a life without God’s Word

Alan Hood
ravelling Word Alive teams are familiar with bad roads, but confines language groups to deep, spiritual impoverishment. Bible
nothing like this treacherous one in the Democratic Republic poverty creates an inability to comprehend our identity and our
of the Congo. A 60-km journey from the northeastern hub value as children of God, and the knowledge that Jesus Christ
of Isiro to the remote village of Rungu took the team 5 ½ hours.
came to redeem what is broken.
Large trucks shaped a road that was too high centred for the
Much of the outworking of poverty stems from this spiritual
team’s Toyota to traverse in this particular section, so the local
root. Poverty is a result of brokenness—often the fruit of evil and
driver, who makes the trip regularly, followed a thin path about
injustice done against people. Whatever the cause, entire people
15 feet above the road. Thankfully, the team finished the journey
groups and minority language communities can be marginalized
safely. Prayers by Word Alive readers are truly valued. Writers and
because of their cultural background or because their heart
photographers need the Lord’s protective hand when travelling to
language is not the language of power. They can become trapped
some of the planet’s most remote locations, gathering stories and
in a cycle of poverty and discrimination. Children may be forced
photos that show how God is using Bible translation and related
to learn in a language that is not their own. Women fail to know
tasks (such as trauma healing, featured in this issue).
their basic human rights. Entire people groups may be cut off
from resources because they are not accessible in their language.
God’s Word in the heart language can be the catalyst for real
change. It speaks of the Lord’s desire to redeem what has been
broken and lost. It has a radical message to the marginalized:
Laird Salkeld

34 Word Alive • Jan – April 2018 • Word Alive • Jan – April 2018 • 35
4316 10 ST NE
Deliver to:

PM 40062756

Wycliffe Canada Featured Project

Invest in DRC Trauma Healing

ou can bring healing to tens of thousands of victims based trauma healing materials. These have been translated
of trauma in the Democratic Republic of the Congo into local languages and are effectively used in workshops
(DRC), through your gift to this project (featured in for victims and future workshop facilitators. Besides
this issue of Word Alive). Here are the basic details addressing trauma, this ministry encourages speakers to see
of this life-giving effort, which you can support through the importance of using translated mother-tongue Scriptures
Wycliffe Canada. to deal with life’s difficult issues.
Name: DRC Trauma Healing Timeline: 2012-2019
Location: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Africa Funding Need: $47,400
Language Groups: 10, spoken by two million people Donating today means trauma victims will get relief
Overview: DRC Trauma Healing provides comfort, hope and from their despair and hopelessness!
healing to people traumatized by violence, sexual assault, • U se the magazine’s reply form (fill in the
illness, death, and destruction of homes in the eastern part section that mentions DRC Trauma Healing)
of the DRC, where Bible translation and literacy work are
underway. Much of the brutality was ignited by the country’s
• Give online at
civil war, and most pastors lack training and resources to • C all 1-800-463-1143 toll free and indicate
address the resulting trauma. As a result, churches are your gift is for “DRC Trauma Healing.”
partnering with Wycliffe to receive training and Scripture-

Wycliffe Bible Translators of Canada Inc. is

a registered charity: #10822 3371 RR0001.