In Zimbabwe and 20 other countries, Lifewords Pavement Project reaches out with compassion to help young people who have experienced trauma, including bereavement. Working through local partnership, teams of trained counsellors with green bags full of illustrative biblical counselling resources are bringing hope and healing to many children struggling with trauma and grief. Children like Paidamayo*.
At 15 years old, Paidamayo (right) was devastated when she lost her dad. ‘I was just a nobody. I was just no-one. Just like a building without a strong foundation,’ she says. Paidamayo expresses her sadness by wearing a t-shirt with her father’s picture on it every day. She just couldn’t come to terms with losing him. But then a Pavement Project counsellor (trained by our partners Viva Network Zimbabwe) sat down with her and shared the contents of the green bag. ‘It was filled with stories that were fantastic, that would really mould someone and lift up your soul and change your life, how you thought about things,’ Paidamayo says. ‘After that, I was a changed person.’
‘I was just a lost sheep. I didn’t have thought that I would be myself again, like what I was before I lost my Dad. And it really changed my life.’
Of course, grief can be a complex journey and this is just the beginning for Paidamayo. But because of the words of life shared with her, she’s finding new hope and healing. ‘Yeah,’ she says with a tentative smile, ‘the pain is just fading away, ‘cause I’ve got the painkillers in life that came out of the green bag.
*Name changed to protect child’s identity
Give words of comfort
It’s not only in Zimbabwe that Lifewords resources bring hope and strength. And of course it’s not just young people who need these things. In the UK and more than 80 other countries, many are finding support and inspiration every day through Lifewords booklets like Living with Loss, Daily Strength, and Finding Hope. These are increasingly needed during this difficult time and can be made freely available because of donations like yours. Rev Chris Hayes, Chaplain at Scarborough Hospital, explains: ‘On a daily basis we encounter those who are experiencing loss following the death of a family member, friend or child. In the hospital chaplaincy team, we are able to walk alongside for a short while, as people try to make some sense of this loss. Lifewords booklets help us to sensitively bring words of comfort and peace from the Bible to those just starting their bereavement journey.’
With the challenges we face, Lifewords work continues and is much needed. Please consider making a donation to reach out with compassion for others, so that they can experience God’s love in times of need. There are so many reasons to be grateful this Easter, because of all that Jesus has done for us. We are no longer alone and with God’s help we can be there for one another. Thank you for making a change in someone else’s life today.