A trauma healing facilitator is crediting his training on how to listen to distressed people for preventing a murder in the town of Rungu, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

After attending the training seminar, the facilitator (a pastor who wishes not to be named) saw a woman passing his house late in the afternoon, talking aloud. “Tonight, you inhabitants of this district will weep over a death,” she said.

Church leaders at a trauma healing workshop gather around a bathtub to watch an illustration that demonstrates the grief journey.

The facilitator could see in the woman’s face that she was distressed with a serious problem. He called the woman over to him and drew out the reason. “Pastor, my neighbour is a thief,” she explained. “Every time I prepare food and I leave it in my house, for which I have no key, the young man comes to steal and eat the food.”

When the facilitator asked her what she intended to do, the woman revealed that she put poison in the meal she had just made. “Today, I’ve got him. . . . He will actually die tonight.”

After convincing the woman to take him to the young man, the facilitator confronted the thief about stealing her food, which he finally admitted. Fortunately, he was still waiting for the right moment to eat the meal the woman prepared that day. Regretting his behaviour, the young man started crying and begged the lady to forgive him.

“With the lessons and principles of listening attentively to traumatized people,’ explains the facilitator, “the Lord Jesus gave me grace to save a human life from death and preserve a lady from the sin of murder, as well as whatever behavioral disorders that could have arisen in her from a troubled conscious after having killed someone.”

Both the woman and the young man subsequently began attending Sunday services at the facilitator’s local church.

More:

Living in Trauma’s Shadow: Word Alive magazine, Summer 2011

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