Trauma Awareness Seminars

About the seminar

Many active Christians, and especially converts, experience intimidation, arrest and detention. This can be a traumatic experience for the individual involved and in many cases for their close family or church members too. Some get imprisoned for practicing their faith. They have to endure physical and emotional torture and are pressured to renounce their faith. Horrendous memories of prison keep chasing them long after they’ve been released. Our Trauma Awareness Seminars aims to help these victims with their traumatic experiences resultant from persecution, imprisonment and ill-treatment.

Participants share a time for worship and fellowship centred around the theme of suffering in Christ. They also hear basic lecturers that help them identify symptoms of trauma and enable to help themselves and others in their journey to recovery. Professional counsellors and pastoral counselling is also provided throughout the event and many participants take advantage of the opportunity to join art-therapy, group therapy as well as one-to-one meeting with qualified counsellors.

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What seminar participants say about its impact

* For security reasons some names and photos have been changed

Saman

Former house church leader, now involved in ministry

“The conference has offered me a long lasting refreshment. I am still in contact with some of the pastors I met in the conference, they help me to continue learning. My friends say I have became stronger since I attended the conference. I try to apply what I learned in the conference. Every day I learn something new.”

“I was very encouraged by the invitation for this conference and I am very encouraged  to hear that my story is shared and that people pray for me. You can’t imagine how much it means to me to know that I am not alone in this.”

Vahid

Former house church leader, now pastor of a church of 200

“It was a joy for me to visit be part of the conference. As a former prisoner, I have often felt alone and thought nobody cared about me. This conference proved me wrong. In daily life I find it difficult to talk about my time in prison, it’s a horrible story. And as a leader it’s a big temptation to pretend you are stronger then you actually are.”

“In the conference I met people who went through the same experience as me. We understood each other. We learned from each other. I cried a lot, but I was also comforted a lot. To heal from my experience is a painful process. Some wounds are healed, others not yet. But with the experiences and teachings at the conferences I have become stronger, also as a leader.”

Soroush

Former house church teacher, now counselling fellow Iranian believers in diaspora

“The conference has been a good start to my healing process. Day by day my wound is healed more. After my imprisonment the stress of the memories caused me to suffer from dizziness. After a while this disappeared, but it came back when I started counseling fellow believers, a task that included lots of emotions.”

“In the conference I learned how to create a safe space for myself. While I am counseling people they sometimes drag me all into their problems. Now I have learned to keep a certain distance. In the long run this will mean I can do more for them. Creating this safe space has helped me stay healthy in the last months while I continued counseling and there was a conflict in church. Despite the many emotions I stayed physically and mentally healthy. I wasn’t dizzy anymore.”

“Sharing about my prison time also remembered me about the lesson God thought me there: ‘Be silent, I will be close to you.’ I try to apply that lesson to my life again. I don’t want to speak up anymore, just to receive recognition from other people. I don’t want others to see me as an important person because I spend time in prison for my faith. I am no more than any other Christian: I need God, just as all of us do. And I need Him now to. So I try to focus on Him first.”