June 22, 2011
By Laura and Jeter Livingston, serving at West Africa Alliance Theological Seminary (FATEAC), Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
Months of violence stemming from Côte d’Ivoire’s failed presidential elections last year left hundreds dead and tens of thousands emotionally traumatized. The following adapted excerpt from a recent update by FATEAC’s international leadership couple describes how a strategic partnership is bringing emotional healing—in Jesus’ Name—to this troubled West African nation.
“They fired on our bus [when we were] fleeing Abidjan last March; my seatmate—who was shot in the back—died in my arms. Last week I watched my neighbor die because no one had money for her medical care. I have been tormented by these images until this seminar, but now I am at peace.”
Powerful testimonies like this one were shared as we sang victory songs and committed our wounds to the cross at last week’s Trauma Healing/Reconciliation Seminar in the M’Pouto (Alliance) Church in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire’s capital. A number of adults who attend the church were beaten and harassed by government troops during the war; many have suffered severe emotional trauma as a result.
FATEAC professor Noel N’Guessan facilitated the seminar’s reconciliation component. Salimata “Saly” Dembele and Laura taught the trauma healing seminar that aired on Trans World Radio (TWR). Saly, a FATEAC student and pastor’s wife, has a program for women on TWR—which broadcasts the gospel to 40 African nations in 60 languages and dialects. TWR is offering more such opportunities in the future.
This training is sponsored by ECGAP (The Church, Healing Community/Peacemaker)—a partnership between FATEAC and Action Internationale De Developpement Integral (AIDI), an Ivoirian nongovernmental organization focused on the development of women and children. Opportunities to meet deep needs through this partnership are endless.
This week ECGAP is holding two, four-day seminars, and several more are in the works. Negotiations are also underway to use an international humanitarian agency’s helicopter in July to take us to Duekoue—a town in western Côte d’Ivoire where the worst atrocities took place.
It is amazing to trace back to 2007—when Saly and Laura were trained during a continent-wide trauma healing project directed by SIL International—and see how God designed for the trauma training and materials to be available at this critically needed time in Côte d’Ivoire.
You Can Help Right Now!
PRAY for God to bring reconciliation and healing to emotionally traumatized Ivoirians; pray also for His will regarding the trip to Duekoue.
Donate to Alliance Great Commission Ministries. In doing so, you partner with Alliance workers, like the Livingstons, to share the good news of God’s healing grace, provision, and reconciliation with the hurting and the lost.
Read an article by Africa Regional Director for the Alliance Dr. Chris Braun that was written at the outset of the months-long Côte d’Ivoire crisis.