Healing After the Pandemic
Dear Family and Friends,
Back in March 2020, we did not know that the global pandemic would last over a year. No one really knows the long-term ramifications of sheltering in place, online schooling, compounded losses, and their effects on people’s mental health. Despite all that we have been through, one positive outcome is the opportunity to lead online Trauma Healing groups and trainings across the U.S. and Canada. With the co-facilitators I am mentoring, we have led over 120 people through healing groups—75 of them have become new apprentice facilitators who represent various spheres of influence. This doesn't even include what other staff has done across the country. In other words, Trauma Healing is booming!
World Impact’s mission is to empower urban leaders, not just to plant churches in their communities, but plant healthy churches. These are places where leaders thrive and are encouraged as they carry heavy burdens and often work bi-vocationally. In one healing group, an urban youth pastor made the discovery that she had some unresolved areas that the Lord wanted to highlight and heal. What started as a training to help others became incredibly personal and important in her own story with Jesus.
She said, “As we went through the lessons, we came to the lesson about taking your pain to the cross. They gave us time to reflect, and I really didn’t think there would be anything, but then all the sudden the Lord reminded me of something. I found myself crying. I was able to give it to Him, and I could feel myself being released.”
Another participant shared, “This experience made me realize that the healing process is one that can be short or long for most, but that healing itself must take place for a person to fully move into the fullness of God. Being in denial, not seeking forgiveness can be detrimental to your overall healing process. I do feel better and confident to help others!”
Addressing the wounds of our hearts is non-negotiable for thriving in the abundant life Jesus purchased for us. The greatest outcome of healing our heart’s wounds is a deeper relationship with God. Suffering is unavoidable in this world, but we have hope because at the cross, suffering and God met in the broken body of Jesus. It is a privilege to lead the trauma healing groups and trainings and walk alongside urban leaders as they share the love of Jesus in difficult places. Please pray for the new facilitators as they begin to lead healing groups.
Please pray for me as I also need space to address my own inner life. Secondary trauma is a real thing and listening to the stories of others can be heavy. I am learning to lean into Jesus in new ways as I facilitate healing groups and train others.
We are grateful for your on-going and faithful prayers! Honestly, our longevity has depended on them!
In His love,
Karin and Rich Esselstrom
June 11, 2021 | Kim Byrd
Thank you for sharing, Karin. It’s so encouraging to hear the Lord is using our isolation to help us seek Him and His healing. What an important work!