Larry and Cami Robbins know the healing power of Scripture personally.
After they endured a traumatic experience while overseas, the Robbins received counseling, which made them ache for the people who didn’t have that option.
As soon as they could, the Robbins helped lead a trauma healing workshop.
Today Larry and Cami work throughout Africa and the United States leading trauma healing workshops.
Violence in the Central African Republic over the last few years has resulted in about a quarter of the population being displaced, and many deaths.
As a result, many people carry deep-seated wounds from the trauma they’ve experienced. The Robbins ran trauma healing workshops and, with the help of partner organizations, also learned how to run story-based trauma healing workshops.
Many who attended one workshop came from communities with no Scripture in their language. Some languages had never even been written down! As a result, the workshop focused on sharing Scripture orally through stories and songs.
Not only did attendees have access to Scripture for the first time, but they also began to experience healing in their lives and hope for their communities.
“Each [trauma healing] lesson has a different Bible story. The facilitator tells the story, usually twice … and then goes around the [group] ... and the participants retell it,” Cami explained.
She continued: “[In one workshop] we were focusing on the story where Jesus wept. … We asked questions like, ‘What does your culture say about men crying?’”
After initial questions are asked, participants plan and perform a skit about the story. Cami said: “In groups, they translate the story by telling it aloud in their own language. Then we record it. We then ask them to translate it back into the national language … so a consultant can … make sure they have translated accurately.”
Participants work through healing exercises to process trauma, and each lesson is paired with a Bible verse. When participants studied the story of Lazarus, the verse was Ecclesiastes 3:4: “[There is] a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance” (NLT).
One young man experienced terrible nightmares because of his trauma. The night he attended the workshop, he had a peaceful dream where one of the team members led a group in a song of praise to God. The young man slept well for the rest of the workshop.
Wycliffe is grateful for all who support Scripture use in trauma healing, including those who give through the Combined Federal Campaign.