It’s been a while since we updated this blog. And, while it’s been by design, we still thought it might be nice to recap the last couple of years of our work:
In Spring 2016, we had the opportunity to travel again to Klaipeda, Lithuania, where Brent again taught a course at LCC University on Drug & Alcohol Abuse. After the course was wrapped up, we traveled to Tbilisi, Georgia, to consult with faculty and support students of LCC’s Middle East Scholar program. The program offers educational opportunities to refugee students fleeing violence in places like Syria and Iraq. Brent consulted the faculty on the effects of trauma, and strategies to support students who might be suffering from the effects of the traumas they experienced in war situations.
Brent also had the opportunity in Fall 2016 to teach counsellors and therapists in Ontario on Trauma Counselling. The leaders from these sessions have gone on to work in a variety of settings and with multiple populations across Ontario. Brent will again have an opportunity to invest in local counsellors and leaders in regards to Trauma Counselling in Autumn 2018.
In November 2016, Brent returned to Malawi, to offer more training on trauma counselling to workers in the expanding Fountain of Life organization. Fountain of Life works with (often young) victims of sexual assault, and this agency is so needed in a country that is still developing its infrastructure to deal with this violence.
Throughout 2017, Brent continued to support students from Syria & Iraq in the Middle East Scholar program at LCC University. The program moved to Lithuania from Georgia in 2017. Brent counselled students through the use of online technology. He counts it as a great privilege that the students would open up to him and share with him about their experiences of war and their current struggles as refugees.
Shifting gears a bit, Brent visited Dominican Republic in March 2018, to work with a local seminary run by Every Day Ministries. Brent met with local leaders to discuss how to gain accreditation for the seminary, and taught a class on Addiction and Trauma for a Counselling course. Brent also had the opportunity with a team of youth from a Canadian high school to visit local people living in a barrio to listen to their concerns and pray for them. During this trip, Brent also informally visited friends in Puerto Rico who had just lived through Hurricane Maria 6 months previously. Brent listened to his friends as they shared stories of the impact of the hurricane.
In summer 2018, our son Jesse also traveled to Dominican Republic to intern with Every Day Ministries. While there, he is helping to run baseball camps for local at-risk youth, helping the ministry to host teams from Canada, and is engaged in a myriad of other duties in local communities. Please pray for him as he serves.
In November, 2018, Brent & Christy hope to return to Eastern Europe to visit two countries: Ukraine and Lithuania. In Ukraine, Brent will teach about Trauma & Addictions in a seminary, while Christy will be involved with delivering English lessons to local leaders. In Lithuania, Brent will more formally consult with LCC University staff & faculty in supporting students (from the Middle East Scholar program, and others as well) who have experienced trauma and/or mental health issues.
In 2019, Brent hopes to return to Africa, this time to Zambia & Tanzania, to train and consult with leaders of the Village of Hope orphanages. He will be meeting with the leaders from the orphanages from several sub-Saharan countries to train them on their response to the sexual abuse of children in the communities surrounding the orphanages, as well as strengthening the orphanages’ stance on preventing sexual abuse in their own organization.
It has been so amazing to see the opportunities we have been entrusted with to train leaders and support directly very vulnerable populations across the globe. Our vision has always been to inspire, equip and encourage local ministries to reach out with the love of Jesus to the most hurting people of their communities, particularly those who have been harmed by violence of all kinds (including sexual violence, trauma, war and genocide). To be able to see this vision being fulfilled is not something we take for granted, and we are truly grateful to the Lord for our small part in addressing the suffering in the world. We thank you for your prayers, encouragement and faithful support of our work!