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Ever since the social political crisis shook Nicaragua in April 2018, people have been living in pain. But pastors working with the Nehemiah Center, a Resonate Global Mission partner, are witnessing God use painful memories and experiences to draw people near to him. 

Feeling Trapped in Pain

The crisis in Nicaragua traumatized a lot of people. People were killed or wounded in violent protests and differing ideologies caused rifts in relationships. People looked to Lourdes, pastor of Getsemani Assemblies of God in Leon, for guidance. 

But Lourdes didn’t feel equipped to handle the emotional trauma.

As was the case with many Nicaraguans, the country’s crisis brought back painful memories from Lourdes’s childhood that she had never healed from.

“[It] was like an explosion for me, having a lot of things locked up,” she said. “I always felt a little hypocritical [conveying to] people a heart of peace and well-being when I hadn’t worked through my childhood.”

Lourdes sought God’s guidance and read from the Psalms with her church. “I know that you are going through a difficult situation,” she told them. “But believe that God is with us.”

Shortly after, Lourdes received a call from the Nehemiah Center.

“We’re thinking about a tool that could be useful for the pastors from Leon,” they told her. 

That tool was a trauma-healing workshop—a curriculum that brings people together in order to work through pain and find healing in God. The Nehemiah Center was testing it out with local pastors, and Lourdes knew she needed to be there.

A healing circle helped Lourdes heal from childhood trauma, and now she's leading healing circles with members of her church.

Moving Forward with God’s Peace

Lourdes was ready to heal from her childhood and help others find healing, and the trauma-healing workshop led by the Nehemiah Center provided tangible steps she could take.

“I started to get everything out,” she said. “I felt relaxed. I felt peace. I felt a desire to move forward … I thought: I need to do this with members of my church.”

With funds from Resonate and other organizations to help support their work, the Nehemiah Center worked with Lourdes and other pastors to lead more trauma-healing workshops. They trained Lourdes to lead circles, and Lourdes trained 13 women from her church. She says she can see the transformation in herself and her congregation.

“My sermons are more aimed, more directed, more purposed,” she said. “ We speak more about peace in the church.”

The healing circles helped Lourdes and members of her congregation find healing in God and grab hold of his peace—and now they’re sharing God’s peace with their neighbors.

“We’re in a difficult time in our country,” said Lourdes. But now, when neighbors ask her and her church members how they’re doing, they can point them to God.

“It’s a moment to share,” she said. “[It’s] the gospel that changes … the gospel that has hope in the Lord.”

You can watch a video about trauma-healing workshops here!