The Church is a place of worship and it is also believed to be a place of healing through hearing the word of God. Nowadays, the youths of Rwanda including those in churches are sarounded by different issues that leads them into traumatic feelings. The lack of jobs, conflicts in families and many other problems causing trauma and depression in the society. Churches are also confronted with similar problems.

From the 21st to 24th of September 2021, The Bible Society of Rwanda in partnership and the request of the Catholic Church held a four days workshop on Healing the Wounds of Trauma, whereby 26 Fathers of the Catholic Church from the Archdiocese of Kigali and Kabgayi Diocese who are in charge of youths gathered in Muhanga to learn issues around trauma.

A lot of topics were covered during the workshop in order to meet the expectations of all participants. It was another opportunity for participants/priests to learn more about the Bible Society of Rwanda and how it promotes the Bible but also to know which role they can play in the process of healing the Wounds of Trauma.

The covered topics during the workshop includes;

  • Introduction and overview of Mental Health,
  • If God love us, why we suffer?
  • Wrestling with God,
  • God’s Grace,
  • Faith during suffering,
  • Wounds of Heart,
  • Behavior of people with Wounded Heart,
  • How we can help people with Wounded Heart,
  • What happens when someone is grieving?,
  • Process of grieving,
  • Generation of Trauma and blessings,
  • Domestic abuse /violence,
  • Conflict, Suicide, Forgiveness,
  • Addictions & Drug abuse.

Particulary on the topic of Forgiveness which was covered in the presence of the Board Chair and the General Secretary of the Bible Society of Rwanda, they were able to provide their comments on the topic; whereby the Board Chair emphasized on Love as the foundation of all, “if your love is alive you will be able to forgive others even if they don’t ask for forgiveness” she said, she also noted that forgiving is a journey and in togetherness we shall accomplish it.

She also stressed the importance of child upbringing in order to protect him/her because problems starts early, if the child can be brought up well, she will be a good christian and citizen and benefit both the country and the church. And therefore, they will be transformed as the way God wants them.

The General Secretary also explained how a sin separates people as longer as they don’t forgive each other. It requires God’s grace and power to take such a step. He added that every decision we make in life has its inconvenience and we have to accept them. Our role is to help the society heal the wounds of Trauma and it the first step is as simple as listening to the people and understanding them.

In his speech while representing all participants of the workshop, Father Evariste who is also the General Secretary of the Episcopal Youth Commission in Catholic Church thanked the Bible Society of Rwanda for organizing the workshop and shaping them in matters of Trauma Healing. “We benefited beyond our expectations” He said.

Closing the ceremony, Mgr.Casmir Uwumukiza who represented the Legal Representative of the Bible Society of Rwanda reminded trained priests that they have received a strong message which contain answers that the community need. Therefore, they have to be good listeners to the people because they are looking for someone to talk to, who can understand them.