Trauma Healing – Initial Equipping

Trauma is part of the human experience in a broken world. It can arise when one is overwhelmed with intense fear, helplessness and horror. It can stem from personal issues, such as the loss of a loved one or divorce; from large-scale devastation like natural disaster or from global crisis such as COVID-19 pandemic. Trauma destroys hope, shatters dignity and isolates one from self, others and God.

How does one recover from trauma? Can the Bible help? What can the Church do?

Trauma Healing (from Trauma Healing Institute of the American Bible Society) is our response to these questions by combining proven mental health practices with the wisdom of the Bible to bring restoration and hope to the broken-hearted. In God’s Word, trauma survivors can encounter the resurrection power of Christ.

If you are a church or ministry leader, a missionary or someone who has the heart to help trauma sufferers, join us for part one of a 2-part programme today!

Programme Structure

Initial Equipping ⇒ Practicum ⇒ Advanced Equipping

Initial Equipping
ScheduleWed– Sat, 27–30 Jan 2021
Time9am-5pm
Fees$380 (early bird price till 3 Jan) | $420 (from 4 Jan)
Venue7 Armenian Street, Bible House, S179932

UPDATE:
*Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, limited seats will be available.

Before registering, please:

  1. Read the Detailed Course Information below,
  2. Download the Statement of Support,
  3. Have it signed by your church leadership or Christian organisation supervisor, and
  4. Email it to Florence Kang.

Please note: Registration will only be confirmed upon receipt of the online registration, payment AND the signed Statement of Support.

Detailed Course Information

Sower Institute for Biblical Discipleship, in partnership with Trauma Healing Institute (THI), aims to provide leadership and services to churches and organisations using God’s word to bring healing and restoration to trauma survivors.

THI’s trauma healing programme provides basic mental health concepts with a biblical framework, using Scripture passages and composite real-life stories to help traumatised people connect the teaching with their circumstances.

Topics Covered
  • If God loves us, why do we suffer?
  • How can the wounds of our hearts be healed?
  • What happens when someone is grieving?
  • Taking your pain to the cross
  • How can we forgive others?
  • How can churches minister amidst various causes of trauma (domestic violence, suicide, etc.)?
  • How can we live as Christians amidst conflict?
  • Looking ahead


How the Programme Works
The programme consists of four components: Part I, a Practicum, Part II and a competency-based assessment.

1. Part I: Initial Equipping Session. Candidates attend a 3.5 day Initial Equipping session which allows participants to: explore their own trauma and bring it to Christ for healing; experience participatory learning; learn basic biblical and mental health principles related to trauma care; and develop plans for using what they have learned in their community. Trauma healing facilitators aim to ‘do no harm’ to those they help. To this end, participants are evaluated through a simple test.

2. Practicum. Participants return to their communities and apply what they have learned. They need to teach the five core lessons at least twice to groups of at least three people and send in reports on their activities.

3. Part II: Advanced Equipping Session. This 3-day session (conducted 6 or 9 months after the Initial Equipping session) focuses on consolidating the facilitator’s competencies in view of their practicum experience.

4. Competency-based assessment. Participants will be certified when they demonstrate the following competencies:

  • Able to manage personal well-being.
  • Able to work on a team.
  • Able to help traumatised people (listening, confidentiality, and so on).
  • Able to lead groups in a participatory way.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the content.

5. Certification and Deployment. At the end of the advanced session, participants are awarded a Certificate of Participation, or, for those who qualify, a facilitator-in-training Certificate. For some, these certificates may be awarded later when the competencies have been acquired.


Who should attend?
This programme is intended for Christians who would like to explore becoming a trauma healing facilitator so that they can provide basic care for those wounded by trauma and loss, or train others to do so.

Requirements:

  • Able to teach others in a community.
  • Able to attend all of the sessions.
  • Committed to helping trauma survivors.
  • Must be referred by church leadership or Christian organisation supervisor who must sign the Statement of Support.

About the Trainer

Belinda Ng

Belinda Ng has been a missionary with Serving In Mission (SIM) since 1977. After 12 years in Niger, she served as Personnel Director with SIM East Asia for 16 years. Since then she serves as Member Care and MK Education Consultant in the International Office before returning to Singapore to continue with this role in the Pastoral Care team in SIM East Asia.

Carol Lim Seok Lin

Carol has a passion to serve God through helping people with challenges lead a more meaningful life. Trained as a special needs educator and equipped with a Masters in Special Education, she has more than three decades of experience in Singapore and overseas.



Trauma Healing Initial Equipping

Calling all church and ministry leaders, missionaries, social workers, mental wellness professionals, and everyone who is keen on learning how to help trauma victims.

Trauma Healing — Initial Equipping is the first part of a 2-part Bible-based Trauma Healing Programme from the Trauma Healing Institute at American Bible Society. It equips churches and individuals to care for people who suffer emotional and spiritual injuries from traumatic events such as abuse, conflict and loss, and walk with them on a journey to healing and restoration with God and with others.

Initial Equipping
ScheduleWed– Sat, 27–30 Jan 2021
Time9am-5pm
Fees$380 (early bird price till 3 Jan) | $420 (from 4 Jan)
Venue7 Armenian Street, Bible House, S179932

Registration closes on 9 October!

Before registering, please:

  1. Read the Detailed Course Information below,
  2. Download the Statement of Support,
  3. Have it signed by your church leadership or Christian organisation supervisor, and
  4. Email it to Florence Kang.

Please note: Registration will only be confirmed upon receipt of the online registration, payment AND the signed Statement of Support.

Detailed Course Information

Sower Institute for Biblical Discipleship, in partnership with Trauma Healing Institute (THI), aims to provide leadership and services to churches and organisations using God’s word to bring healing and restoration to trauma survivors.

THI’s trauma healing programme provides basic mental health concepts with a biblical framework, using Scripture passages and composite real-life stories to help traumatised people connect the teaching with their circumstances.

Topics Covered
  • If God loves us, why do we suffer?
  • How can the wounds of our hearts be healed?
  • What happens when someone is grieving?
  • Taking your pain to the cross
  • How can we forgive others?
  • How can churches minister amidst various causes of trauma (domestic violence, suicide, etc.)?
  • How can we live as Christians amidst conflict?
  • Looking ahead


How the Programme Works
The programme consists of four components: Part I, a Practicum, Part II and a competency-based assessment.

1. Part I: Initial Equipping Session. Candidates attend a 3.5 day Initial Equipping session which allows participants to: explore their own trauma and bring it to Christ for healing; experience participatory learning; learn basic biblical and mental health principles related to trauma care; and develop plans for using what they have learned in their community. Trauma healing facilitators aim to ‘do no harm’ to those they help. To this end, participants are evaluated through a simple test.

2. Practicum. Participants return to their communities and apply what they have learned. They need to teach the five core lessons at least twice to groups of at least three people and send in reports on their activities.

3. Part II: Advanced Equipping Session. This 3-day session (conducted 6 or 9 months after the Initial Equipping session) focuses on consolidating the facilitator’s competencies in view of their practicum experience.

4. Competency-based assessment. Participants will be certified when they demonstrate the following competencies:

  • Able to manage personal well-being.
  • Able to work on a team.
  • Able to help traumatised people (listening, confidentiality, and so on).
  • Able to lead groups in a participatory way.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the content.

5. Certification and Deployment. At the end of the advanced session, participants are awarded a Certificate of Participation, or, for those who qualify, a facilitator-in-training Certificate. For some, these certificates may be awarded later when the competencies have been acquired.


Who should attend?
This programme is intended for Christians who would like to explore becoming a trauma healing facilitator so that they can provide basic care for those wounded by trauma and loss, or train others to do so.

Requirements:

  • Able to teach others in a community.
  • Able to attend all of the sessions.
  • Committed to helping trauma survivors.
  • Must be referred by church leadership or Christian organisation supervisor who must sign the Statement of Support.

About the Trainer

Ps Shannon Chan Mei Ming

A nurse turned pastor, Mei Ming was formerly the Minister of Cell Groups at the International Baptist Church and also the Associate Pastor of Leng Kwang Baptist Church. She is currently serving at Ang Mo Kio Methodist Church.

Carol Lim Seok Lin

Carol has a passion to serve God through helping people with challenges lead a more meaningful life. Trained as a special needs educator and equipped with a Masters in Special Education, she has more than three decades of experience in Singapore and overseas.



Trauma Healing Programme Preview

Bible-based trauma healing programme from the Trauma Healing Institute equips churches and individuals on how to better care for people with deep emotional and spiritual injuries caused by traumatic events. The programme provides basic mental health concepts within a biblical framework—using Scripture passages and real-life stories to help people connect the teaching with their circumstances.

If you are a church & ministry leader, social worker, mental wellness professional, missionary or one who has the heart to help those who suffer from trauma, join us at the Trauma Healing Programme Preview to find out how you can, through this Bible-based programme, help restore those devastated by trauma.

Programme Preview Details


Registration for the Preview is FULL

Please join us at The Invisibles Exhibition instead where there will be to other
care services where you can find out more information on mental welness.

"The Invisibles" Exhibition Details


Dates: 12 - 21 July 2019
Venue: Far East Plaza, Level 2 Concourse, 14 Scotts Rd, Singapore (228213)



In Ukraine, One Girl Found Hope in Tragic Circumstances

This article was adapted from one originally posted by the American Bible Society.

Iaroslava lived a typical Ukrainian childhood. She wandered through the woods behind her home to pick berries and mushrooms. She used scrap materials to make dolls, handkerchiefs and aprons. And, during the winter months, she watched wild dogs play in the snow.

But as Iaroslava grew older, her childhood began to fall apart.

For most of her life, Iaroslava lived with her mother and grandfather in Borzna, a large town in northern Ukraine; she never knew her father, who abandoned her when she was an infant. To provide for her family, Iaroslava’s mother was forced to work increasingly long hours. This left Iaroslava under the care of her grandfather, who had gradually developed an addiction to alcohol.

For years, the family hung together by a thread—until Iaroslava’s mother grew ill. Unable to pay her medical bills, she fled Ukraine in search of a steady job and sent Iaroslava to Borzna Secondary Boarding School. The experience drastically altered Iaroslava’s life.

“So I often imagine this as just a dream, where I will eventually wake up and be with her.”

“My mom told me [she was leaving] a day before she left, which was unfair because I had no time to change her mind,” Iaroslava says. “So I often imagine this as just a dream, where I will eventually wake up and be with her.”

When she first arrived at the boarding school, Iaroslava relied on the support of her classmates—all orphans and abandoned children—to find hope. As time passed, she also became curious about God.

“She always wanted to know more about God and asked a lot of questions to everyone around her,” says Olha Serhiinko, Iaroslava’s school leader. “But in most cases, she didn’t receive answers.”

One Sunday, when her curiosity had piqued, Iaroslava visited a local church with her classmates. She learned “lots of interesting things”—and immediately began to dream of holding her own Bible. But when she finally received a copy from her local church, she struggled to comprehend the old church language printed inside. So she began to dream of holding a Bible she could read and understand.

Eventually, Iaroslava’s dream came true. In partnership with the Ukrainian Bible Society and generous donors, churches from around Borzna hosted an event at Iaroslava’s school to distribute children’s Bibles. Anxious to uncover the hope found in God’s Word, she immediately flipped open her Bible and began reading.

“When she saw us handing out children’s Bibles, she couldn’t contain her emotions.”

When the program ended, Iaroslava asked Serhiinko and representatives of the Ukrainian Bible Society to sign her Bible, leaving their mark on the book she once dreamt of holding.

“When she saw us handing out children’s Bibles, she couldn’t contain her emotions,” Serhiinko continues. “She started hugging and kissing it and proclaimed, ‘This is the best gift I have ever had!’

Now 11 years old and trying to make sense of her broken childhood, Iaroslava has made a life-changing discovery: even in the midst of abandonment, addiction and poverty, she has a father in heaven who will never leave her side.



Alone on the Streets of Uganda, One Boy Found Healing in God’s Word

This article was adapted from one originally posted by the American Bible Society.

Kiho*, a ten-year-old boy from eastern Uganda, sat speechless in a small classroom. Facilitators of a Bible-based trauma healing session—organized for young victims of disaster and abuse—smiled next to him. The facilitators could tell he had something to say. They just didn’t know how to reach him.

Eventually, Kiho burst into tears and began sharing his story.

More than a decade earlier, Kiho’s mother had conceived Kiho with another man while her husband served in the Ugandan military. When her husband returned from active duty, he vowed to stick with her—but only if she abandoned Kiho. She agreed.

With nowhere to go, Kiho moved in with his uncle. But life in his new home proved difficult. He wore the same clothes every day. He dropped out of school. And he rummaged through abandoned gardens, markets and homes in search of food.

After years of wandering through life with little guidance or care, Kiho arrived at the trauma healing course. Sessions like this one regularly take place in Uganda and throughout the Great Lakes Region of Africa, thanks to the support of generous donors.

For Kiho, fighting through his tears and sharing his story helped. But he needed to rely on God for healing. So, with children from the session gathered around him, a facilitator prayed for Kiho. The experience made a life-changing impact on his life.

“[Praying] set Kiho free,” one facilitator says. “He became so free he started participating in the class.

By reading God’s Word, Kiho learned to identify his pain, share his hurt, release his suffering and even forgive his mother for abandoning him. In a lament, he asked God for wisdom—and the strength to face the future. At the conclusion of the course, facilitators helped Kiho get his young life on track by re-enrolling him in primary school. They even gifted him a set of school supplies.

Even though he endured a childhood of turmoil and distress, Kiho has experienced freedom in God’s Word.

*Name has been changed



Scripture Soothes a Hurting Teenager’s Heart in Cambodia

This article was adapted from one originally posted by the American Bible Society.

Excited to have her own Bible, a 15-year-old learns more about God...

Doeun Chin Lan has experienced a lot of loss.

"My mother died when I was little," explains the 15-year-old. "I don't even remember her face. All my older siblings left me to work in Thailand. My father is very elderly and poor.…I want to see my whole family together again."

When the message of God's love came to the small village where Doeun lives, her heart finally began to heal.

"I am very happy that God loves me," she says. "Whether I am in the countryside, in the forest or anywhere, God still loves me."

Doeun says she enjoys hearing stories about God at church. "But sometimes I don't understand," she admits. "When I heard they were going to give out Bibles, I was very happy."

"My Bible is small and easy to carry around and the writing is easy to understand. I believe this Bible will help me know God better. My father can't read so I want to read to him so that he can also put his faith in God."

For many Cambodians, especially poor farmers living in rural areas, obtaining a Bible requires much sacrifice. It takes months to save money for a Bible. But thanks to generous donors, Doeun and others have Bibles of their very own!

Please pray for others like Doeun who still need to know about God and engage in His Word in Cambodia. Ask that Scriptures will be made available in different media so that the entire population, especially the youth, will understand and experience the love of God.



What Happens When a Village Gets the Bible in its Heart Language?

This article was originally posted by the British and Foreign Bible Society.

Though Christianity had been part of their culture for 100 years, there was no Bible in the Beembe language. It took 20 years of dedicated translation work for them to get a Beembe Bible – but when they did, they showed us how to party…

Imagine fumbling through a dense, tricky text in a second language. You can read it, but it’s hard. You understand in part, but you can't quite capture the meaning. This was the case for the Beembe people of Congo Brazzaville, who only had access to Bibles their second language: French.

Lost in translation

‘For me, the problem with the Bible in French was that I had trouble understanding certain concepts and words. So I didn’t read the Bible very often,’ 54-year-old farmer, Pierrette, explains.

Pierrette’s experience isn’t rare. For many people reading the Bible in a second language, the challenge of understanding is significant. But not only that, they’re not experiencing the message of the Bible in the words they can relate to; the words they use in their thoughts, their hearts.

A word in season

More than 1,000 people gathered for the ceremony to launch the first ever Beembe New Testament in early 2014. Elders banged drums and shook rattles. Young dance troupes performed energetic routines. People cheered.

Though Christianity has been part of the Beembe culture for 100 years, this was the first time the community had Scripture in their language. And the joy was palpable.

‘Now we have our own Beembe New Testament, I am very happy,’ Pierrette says.’ It will help us strengthen the faith of our children, who will discover a deeper relationship with God.’

Decades of dedication

Jacques Mberi is the man behind the Beembe Bible. He has spent decades poring over Hebrew and Greek, considering the best ways to convey the meaning of each verse  – especially when there’s not always a direct translation.

He smiled through tears as he said, ‘I am like Simeon, who waited years and years until he could see the Lord Jesus, and then once he did, he could die. I have worked hard to see this translation finished. It is my child, my pride and joy.’

Completing the task

Now the Beembe people have asked to have the Old Testament translated into their language and Jacques is already on the case.

But until then, we’re celebrating that this people group are now experiencing the New Testament in the language they most love and truly understand.

Find out more about funding similar projects around the world

62-year-old Mbambouloulu Evelyne clutched her Beembe New Testament and said, ‘I am delighted with this New Testament. It touches my soul. It allows me to feel closer to God, and I give thanks to God for this precious gift.’



God’s Word: A Drop of Water in Dry Land

This article was adapted from materials from the Iranian Bible Society in Diaspora.

"For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground..." – Isaiah 44:3a

Generally speaking, in the northern hemisphere July’s climate is very hot! Especially if you are in the Middle East. The heat might attract tourists but it scatters the locals. In some parts, the fields are so dry that one would wonder if there has ever been a drop of rain!

Yet, this summer in Turkey, while serving among Iranian refugees, I witnessed a different dry land; a land that has gone through many challenges and trauma; a land that has tasted the pain of homelessness, and the fear of hopelessness; a land that cannot imagine a brighter future in its horizon; a dry land that is thirsty; thirsty for the Word of God.

While their tomorrow is uncertain, in their pursuit of finding an answer, many of them meet the Lord of Hope! The God whose Words are hope-giving, purpose-defining, and thirst-satisfying for the dry lands of our hearts. 

aspire-persia-sep-2016-nt-distributionWhile visiting numerous Iranian refugee Churches in Turkey, I heard the same request over, and over again: “we need more Enjil!” As a drop of water in this dry land, the Iranian Bible Society started a movement of distributing free New Testaments in Turkey. Several thousands of NTs were distributed among Iranian Churches in Izmir, Istanbul, Ankara, Eskishehir, and Denizli. It made a difference, yet the difference between the demands and our limited supplies is as deep as the Grand Canyon! We need a lot of hands to close the gap.

aspire-persia-sep-2016-nt-recipientsBeloved friends, there are many who cannot afford to purchase a New Testament, yet long to have their very own copy. Would you please consider joining the Bible Society in prayer and partnership to make the Word of God more available worldwide?

“The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.” – Proverbs 22:9

Join us in praying for Iranian Christians:

  • Remembering the victims of terrorist attack 15 years ago on this September 11th.
  • School-aged children of Iran who are about to start another school year. May the Lord continue opening the eyes and hearts of Iranian students with the Light of His Word!
  • Safety of Christians who live inside Iran.
  • God’s provision for the safe delivery of Farsi Bibles in some restricted nations.
  • More New Testaments and Scripture portion to be made available for distribution.

 



Trauma Healing Initial Equipping

Calling out all church and ministry leaders, social workers, mental wellness professionals, and everyone who is keen on learning how to be trauma healing caregivers or facilitators!

Trauma Healing – Initial Equipping is the first part of a Bible-based Trauma Healing Programme from the Trauma Healing Institute at American Bible Society. It equips churches and individuals to care for people who suffer emotional and spiritual injuries from traumatic events such as abuse, conflict and loss, and walk with them on a journey to healing and restoration with God and others.

Initial Equipping
ScheduleWed– Sat, 27–30 Jan 2021
Time9am-5pm
Fees$380 (early bird price till 3 Jan) | $420 (from 4 Jan)
Venue7 Armenian Street, Bible House, S179932

*by invitation only for those who have completed the Initial Equipping and practicum

Registration extended to Sunday, 9 September!

Before registering, please:

  1. read the Detailed Course Information below,
  2. download the Statement of Support,
  3. have it signed by your church leadership or Christian organisation supervisor, and
  4. email it to Florence Kang.

Please note: Registration will only be confirmed upon receipt of the online registration, payment AND the signed Statement of Support.

Detailed Course Information

Sower Institute for Biblical Discipleship, in partnership with Trauma Healing Institute (THI), aims to provide leadership and services to churches and organisations using God’s word to bring healing and restoration to trauma survivors.

THI’s trauma healing programme provides basic mental health concepts with a biblical framework, using Scripture passages and composite real-life stories to help traumatised people connect the teaching with their circumstances.

Topics Covered
  • If God loves us, why do we suffer?
  • How can the wounds of our hearts be healed?
  • What happens when someone is grieving?
  • Taking your pain to the cross
  • How can we forgive others?
  • How can churches minister amidst various causes of trauma (domestic violence, suicide, etc.)?
  • How can we live as Christians amidst conflict?
  • Looking ahead

How the Programme Works
The programme consists of four components: Part I, a Practicum, Part II and a competency-based assessment.

1. Part I: Initial Equipping Session. Candidates attend a 3.5 day Initial Equipping session which allows participants to: explore their own trauma and bring it to Christ for healing; experience participatory learning; learn basic biblical and mental health principles related to trauma care; and develop plans for using what they have learned in their community. Trauma healing facilitators aim to ‘do no harm’ to those they help. To this end, participants are evaluated through a simple test.

2. Practicum. Participants return to their communities and apply what they have learned. They need to teach the five core lessons at least twice to groups of at least three people and send in reports on their activities.

3. Part II: Advanced Equipping Session. This 3-day session (conducted 6 or 9 months after the Initial Equipping session) focuses on consolidating the facilitator’s competencies in view of their practicum experience.

4. Competency-based assessment. Participants will be certified when they demonstrate the following competencies:

  • Able to manage personal well-being.
  • Able to work on a team.
  • Able to help traumatised people (listening, confidentiality, and so on).
  • Able to lead groups in a participatory way.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the content.

 
5. Certification and Deployment. At the end of the advanced session, participants are awarded a Certificate of Participation, or, for those who qualify, a facilitator-in-training Certificate. For some, these certificates may be awarded later when the competencies have been acquired.

Who should attend?
This programme is intended for Christians who would like to explore becoming a trauma healing facilitator so that they can provide basic care for those wounded by trauma and loss, or train others to do so.
Requirements:

  • Able to teach others in a community.
  • Able to attend all of the sessions.
  • Committed to helping trauma survivors.
  • Must be referred by church leadership or Christian organisation supervisor who must sign the Statement of Support.

About the Trainer

Jessica Ariela is a Master Facilitator with Trauma Healing Institute. Jessica holds a license as professional counsellor in Illinois. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Universitas Pelita Harapan (UPH), Indonesia, and her master’s degree from Wheaton College, IL, in Clinical Mental Health Counselling. Her passion in education has led her to extensive experience in school as well as working with children and adolescents. She also has counselling and psychotherapy experience in USA and Thailand, where she handled cases of trauma, anxiety, as well as family and marital problems. Jessica is currently continuing her passion in education through teaching as a full-time lecturer in Psychology Department, Universitas Pelita Harapan, and is a board member of Indonesian Counseling Association (ICA).



One year after Nepal earthquake ‘Christians have remained strong’

This article was originally written by United Bible Societies.

Nearly a year after three earthquakes devastated Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, and surrounding areas, Tej Jirel, General Secretary of the Nepal Bible Society, has been reflecting on how Christians have coped with the tragedy.

“I was in the middle of preaching at a church on April 25 when the first earthquake hit,” recalls Mr Jirel. “I stopped preaching, held onto the pulpit and prayed for the earthquake to stop. Some people dropped to their knees in prayer, and others stood to call out to God.

Shaking really violently 

“That first quake went on for a while. The pulpit fell over and hit the Communion table. The pillars in the church were shaking really violently. As soon as it was over we evacuated the whole congregation and made sure everyone was standing safely away from the building.”

The congregation joined hundreds of people who had come out onto the streets. Some were weeping as aftershocks continued. Mr Jirel and other church leaders reassured people as best they could.

“I felt that, in the midst of all this, we should honour God by going ahead with taking Holy Communion, as we had intended. Between aftershocks, some of us went into the church to bring out the Communion table. So there, outside the church and beside the river, we took Communion in remembrance of what our Lord did for us.”

Powerful and memorable moment

For those present it was a powerful and memorable moment, and typifies the reaction of many Christians to the tragedy caused by the earthquake. Scores of churches were damaged or destroyed in the earthquake, and there were around 500 Christians among the 9,000 people who died. Those who survived have remained strong in their faith, according to Mr Jirel and his team, who have travelled to many of the affected districts.

“Church services in all the affected districts resumed almost immediately, despite the fact that they had nothing to shelter under,” comments Mr Jirel. “A lot of them still haven’t yet been completely rebuilt, due to lack of funds, and services are held with no roof, using tarpaulins or roofing sheets to protect worshippers from the sun or rain.

“But people are holding onto their faith. I remember one elderly man I met, Padam Bahadur Bhujel, who had been buried alive, along with other worshippers, when their church building collapsed on them. They were all eventually rescued. Mr Bhujel told me he’d remained calm because he had complete faith that God would save them. He said, ‘If you have great faith in God, He will do great things for you.’ I felt very inspired by that.

“It was quite a shock to see that church reduced to rubble, along with the rest of the village. We’d run two programs there a few years back, one for leaders and another for youth and career development, and I remembered how nice the church building had been. When we visited after the earthquake we found the pastor and his family living in the middle of a field, with no proper food to eat.”

Having witnessed the urgent humanitarian needs of people in the various affected districts, the Bible Society began working to bring them the items they most needed. Over the past year, they have helped provide roofing, tarpaulins and other materials to hundreds of families who lost their homes, most of them non-Christians.

“We as a Bible Society are seen as a neutral platform, and we had excellent co-operation with all sorts of different churches, parachurch organisations and government officials,” notes Mr Jirel.

Much of this material was delivered to people living in remote areas that are hard to access, with Bible Society staff and volunteers walking up mountainsides with the materials on their backs, or transporting it across rivers on small rafts.

“So many people were thankful for the help we brought, because they hadn’t received any other relief materials like this,” says Mr Jirel. “I remember one widow in particular, who thanked us with tears in her eyes. We told them we were Christians. We pray that one day all these people will come to know and accept Christ.”

In addition to offering practical help to everyone who needs it, the Bible Society has also been helping Christians to replace the Scriptures that they lost in the earthquake. Many hundreds of Bibles, Children’s Bibles and Scripture booklets have been distributed to churches and individual Christians.

“We didn’t want Christians to be without their Scriptures as they came to terms with what had happened,” says Mr Jirel. “They greatly appreciated the Bibles and other materials we brought them, which helped them to hold onto hope in the midst of their grief and struggles.

“Without God there is no hope, and we continue to pray for the many people in Nepal who still don’t know Him. Please join us in praying that many good things will come out of this disaster, and that many more people will come to know the true God and Creator.”