From the local communities near Andrews University to the far reaches of the globe, there are countless people who live with the weight of past and present trauma in their lives. But faculty and staff at our Center believe that healing from trauma is possible. Over the last few years, School of Social Work faculty and students have traveled domestically and internationally to train groups and organizations about trauma awareness and provide practical healing from the wounds left by traumatic experiences and events caused by natural disasters, wars, personal and cultural violence, and the cumulative effects of deprivation and hardship. The goal of these trips is always to empower individuals for healing, to create more resilient communities, and to instill the peace and hope of God in the hearts of His children.
The first international trauma trip occurred in March, 2018. Partnering with ASAP Ministries, a small group of social work students traveled to Thailand to share trauma-informed knowledge, hope and God’s healing power with Karen Adventist Academy. The Thai teachers and students experienced hope and healing through the knowledge and coping skills they learned, and the Andrews students and faculty were also incredibly blessed - not only were they able to put their knowledge into practice, they were able to positively impact the lives of others.
One year later, a new group of social work students, professors, and alumni traveled to the Navajo reservation in Chinle, AZ over spring break of 2019. Here they provided trauma-informed information and skills to local children and adults, and also provided training workshops to Adventist teachers, pastors, and missionaries to better equip them for ministry to the Navajo people. In addition, groups have made domestic trips to present in churches and schools in Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, and North Carolina, as well as making local presentations to communities surrounding Andrews University. For its most recent international trip (August, 2019), the Center partnered with ASAP Ministries to take faculty and students to Ethiopia to provide trauma-informed training and care to refugees at a permanent camp. From there they traveled to an orphanage in Cambodia where the group provided training to staff and teachers from across Southeast Asia.
With the establishment of the Center, Andrews University School of Social Work students, professors, and alumni have the opportunity to bring trauma-informed education and holistic healing to people and places around the globe. We are excited about the continuing opportunity to bring Christ-centered hope and positive, lasting changes to a hurting world that has been damaged by the deep wounds caused by trauma.