Nearly every week brings headlines of some disaster, natural or man-made, to our notice: typhoons, floods, earthquakes, civil war, school shootings, drought, tornados, and famine. The physical effects left by these terrible events are plain to see and brought in disturbing detail to our living rooms. Think of Puerto Rico, of Yemen and Syria, of Parkland (FL), of the South Sudan and of refugee camps across the planet. But when the clean-up has been done, lives reassembled, wounds healed, power and water restored, there is invisible wreckage that remains. The terror, the sense of helplessness, the cruelties and deprivation suffered, leave victims traumatized long after the crisis is past, haunting days and nights, gnawing at human bonds and destroying the peace of communities.
Finding resources to salve the emotional and spiritual aftermath of such events is the focus of our concern this year at the Peach Cobbler Mennonite Relief Auction. To help us visualize such communities and learn of their distress, we are inviting Julie Mapatano, who is working with these very issues in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to visit with us so that we might better understand the challenges, but also learn of how people are being helped toward inner wholeness.
The proceeds of this year’s sale event for the special project will be directed to support such trauma recovery around the world and here at home.