TRAINING CHRISTIANS AND CHURCH LEADERS
...so that they can stand strong for Jesus.
Ibsa, a pastor, works with persecuted Christians in East Africa.
"I became a Christian as a young man when the country was under Communist rule. During that time I was imprisoned for three years and suffered many beatings and different kinds of torture because I did not want to give up my faith. But God in His grace sustained me."
After his release he started planting churches. Today more than 600 fellowships have sprung up, some 45 of which are under Ibsa's care. Many of these Christians have had traumatic experiences through persecution, and Ibsa has had to learn how to help them.
"I always tried to help people who have suffered trauma, but I did not have enough knowledge. In the process I might have triggered even greater pain in them because I didn't understand the deep-rooted impact of trauma in people's lives."
He attended an Open Doors trauma counselling training session.
"I learned many things during that course. What a difference this made! I was able to offer much better help to a persecuted believer who had just lost her husband and who had been humiliated at the funeral for being a Christian. When I saw the way my counsel helped her, I started sharing what I learned in several rounds of training to other pastors. They too were amazed and encouraged and started applying their knowledge immediately."
"I have become convinced that trauma care training needs to be my focus now so that I can help others address the trauma Christians face. It gives us so much joy to help others be wiser in how they help these Christians."
Last year, Open Doors trained over 1 million Christians facing persecution and discrimination. Courses included theological training, dealing with persecution and trauma counselling.
- Open Doors supporters funded training for over 821,500 believers in the Middle East and North Africa.
- In the Central African Republic, Open Doors held seminars in communities aimed at restoring peace, reconciling people, repairing lives, and rebuilding communities.
"We saw the countless things that happened in our country and especially what happened in our region… it will enable us to transmit [what we've learned] to members of our churches, so we might be united and might do what God wants." – Pastor Ulia Elkanah
In Sri Lanka, Open Doors trained many Christians through the Standing Strong Through The Storm programme.
"Through the SSTS programme I gained a deeper understanding that God really has a plan for my life, a plan that he pushes me to fulfill and achieve… He will give me the strength to do His will."
- In Iraq, vocational training gave hope and stability to many displaced Christians.
"I am happy that we aren't alone in this." – Madonna, a participant in a sewing course conducted by partners of Open Doors.
- In Lebanon, a five-day training course helped some 21 young people from Syria to focus on youth leadership.
"Excellent training, it covered all the important subjects we need in these days of war." – Aram