Ryan’s Story: Healing for Indigenous Communities
Bible-based Trauma Healing equipped an indigenous ministry leader
May 03, 2023Print this article
As a Christian indigenous ministry leader, Ryan saw the great importance of attending a Trauma Healing training. “I think all of us have our own traumas,” Ryan shares, “and it’s important that we are trying to overcome and heal from these traumas so that we can be healthier, more whole people.” Ryan is a member of a federally recognized tribe in the U.S. and has witnessed firsthand the tremendous suffering that his family and community has experienced. Ryan reflects, “For many years, tribal members were forcibly removed from homes on reservations and placed in Indian residential schools.” As a child, Ryan’s grandmother was removed from her home and forced to attend a distant boarding school. At this school, she was no longer allowed to speak the only language she knew, Ojibwe. “Whenever she spoke her language as a young girl,” Ryan shares, “she was made to put out her hands in front of her and they were beaten with the sharp edge of a ruler until they were bloodied and bruised.”
Like Ryan’s grandmother, thousands of indigenous people lost their languages, traditions, land, rights, and possessions and were forced to assimilate to a culture different than their own. These traumatic experiences have left a deep and lasting impact.
Ryan sees it as his calling to help indigenous communities find healing for generational trauma. By attending a Trauma Healing training, Ryan realized that this ministry could give him the tools he needs to help tribal people.
“This [Trauma Healing ministry] has great potential to help many tribal people throughout North America to heal and find a healthier life,” Ryan rejoices. He continues, “In Ojibwe culture, we use the phrase, ‘mino-bimaadiziwin,’ which means the ‘good life.’ This [ministry] has great potential to help tribal people live this kind of life through the healing power of Jesus.”
In this training, Ryan was also able to process his own pain and start a personal journey towards healing. “The teaching was solid and very helpful about how to process our trauma in healthy ways. I appreciated the variety of exercises we went through that made the two days interesting, fun, and deeply meaningful,” Ryan shares. While participating in this Trauma Healing training, Ryan felt a sense of “personal freedom and wholeness” that he hadn’t experienced in a long time.
The Trauma Healing ministry at American Bible Society can help more ministry leaders like Ryan bring hope to marginalized communities. As Ryan shares, “We, as tribal people in the United States, need deep healing, and I believe that Jesus is the person who can bring this healing.”
Just like Ryan, you can find healing and restoration in God’s Word. Find free Bible-based trauma healing resources to use and share at TraumaHealingBasics.org. Or register for a Healing Group to experience this transformative ministry for yourself.
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