Helping Puerto Ricans Heal after Hurricane Maria

Bible-based trauma healing offers Puerto Ricans hope after the storm

Twenty months after Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico, the small island is still rebuilding. Work crews are repairing badly-damaged buildings, vulnerable roadways, and the island’s battered power grid.

As efforts to restore the island continue, there’s also a need to restore hope to Puerto Ricans. They’ve lost loved ones. They’ve lost homes. They’ve lost everything. Their hearts carry indescribable pain from a tragedy that has forever changed them.

But Jesus wants to exchange their sadness for his peace. He wants to wrap his arms of comfort around them. And he’s meeting them through the healing power of Scripture.

Renewed Hope through Bible-Based Trauma Healing

Recognizing the need to address the emotional and spiritual injuries Puerto Ricans are carrying, Bible Society of Puerto Rico and local churches have introduced Bible-based trauma healing.

Trauma healing is a Scripture-based ministry designed to remind people of God’s love and presence in the midst of their suffering. In small groups, trained facilitators help participants talk through their pain. They read and apply Scripture, write laments, and bring their suffering to the cross of Jesus for healing.

In November 2018, 40 church leaders experienced Jesus’s healing touch and were equipped to help others through trauma healing facilitator training. “I learned new things, my wounds were healed, and I feel more capable of helping others,” said one participant.

The new facilitators are excited about helping others through trauma healing. So far, they have collectively led 20 trauma healing groups that have helped 224 people find comfort in the arms of Jesus. As the demand for trauma healing increases, we are praying that more healing group facilitators can be trained to meet the need throughout the island. Will you pray with us?

Pray for:

  • The people of Puerto Rico. Pray for God to bring peace and comfort to wounded hearts.
    You have changed my sadness into a joyful dance; you have taken away my sorrow and surrounded me with joy. Psalm 30:11 (GNT)
  • Trauma healing ministry. Pray for more facilitators to be trained and more healing groups to take place, especially in communities along the coast that were severely traumatized. Pray for two trainings taking place June 24–29, 2019. Also pray for a project coordinator to oversee the ministry of trauma healing in Puerto Rico.
    Lord our God, may your blessings be with us. Give us success in all we do! Psalm 90:17 (GNT)
  • Financial support. Pray for the funds needed to sustain this program for the next two years. Funding covers program materials and meeting logistics.
    I pray that God will take care of all your needs with the wonderful blessings that come from Christ Jesus! Philippians 4:19 (CEV)

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Nena Podbury
Nena Podbury

Nena Podbury is a Prayer Mobilization Associate at American Bible Society. Originally from the Bronx, she served in children’s ministry for 12 years doing Sidewalk Sunday School. Nena is married with two children, Noah and Emilia.

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