International Ministries

THARS Burundi Website

Trauma Healing and Reconciliation Services (THARS)

Trauma Healing and Reconciliation Services is an organization in Burundi, Africa that provides trauma healing to the many victims of war and genocide in Burundi.

THARS International Website

THARS International

THARS Burundi has partnered with THARS International to provide support of this important work. Members of North Seattle Friends Church have participated in 3 work teams to help build facilities at the THARS Headquarters in Gitega, Burundi.

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Emily Hayden, David Niyonzima (director and founder of THARS Burundi), Scott Hayden

Trauma Healing Through Quilt Making

Peace Through Pieces is a ministry of North Seattle Friends Church, in conjunction with Trauma Healing and Reconciliation Services of Burundi (THARS) and Friends in Burundi, and Congo Yearly Meetings. Patty Federighi is the director.

First Corinthians 12:7 in The Message says “Each person is given something to do that shows who God is; everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits.”

Through our Peace Through Pieces quilting ministry we are using quilting as healing art for women who are victims of torture and sexual violence in central Africa. A quilt is creative; a quilt is warm; a quilt brings comfort and blessing and healing. A quilt is beautiful. A quilt shows care and love. Each of these attributes of a quilt is also an attribute of our loving God. Quilt making offers plenty of opportunity to show the world who God is. Here are some of the things we have learned from this work.

We’ve learned that God works mightily in the ordinary. The smallest seemingly most insignificant things can grow the kingdom—a mustard seed, yeast, an everyday thing such as quilt making. When God spoke to Moses from the burning bush sending him to release the captive Israelites Moses asked, “Why should they believe me? What sign can I give?” God replied, “What’s in your hand?” God used the ordinary—a shepherd’s staff—to show who he is. And he’s working through ordinary quilts in central Africa to show who he is.

We’ve learned that healing and peace come to the makers of a quilt as well as the receivers of a quilt.

We’ve learned that in Burundi when a friend is grieving or sick or troubled, a common token of comfort is to give that friend a blanket. Quilting works hand-in-hand with an already existing tradition.

We’ve learned that when people are traumatized, their left brains shut down and they operate in right brain only. One way to aid healing is to force left brain and right brain to work together. Quilting is an ideal activity to help bring about that healing— you can’t do it without engaging both left and right brain together.

We’ve learned that in Burundi if you improve the life of a woman, you improve the life of a whole village.

We’ve learned that in every village where the women we’ve trained are quilting, everyone in the village wants what they have learned. The women we are working with, women who have been raped, and rejected by their family and community—sometimes even forced to live out in the bush —have not only been restored to their homes through the efforts of THARS, they have gone from being victims, essentially the “lepers” of their communities, to being celebrities.

And finally, from the workshop we directed in 2008, we are seeing the healing of tribal hatred. When the 20 women gathered for the week-long training, some were arrogant and rude and directed hurtful, hateful things towards the Twa women who were the teachers. By the end of the week, they were apologizing to each other, saying how much they appreciated their teachers and saying that even though they arrived from different backgrounds and different communities, they leave that place as friends. God is using quilt making to heal hatred among the Hutu, Tutsi, and Twa tribes of central Africa

DDonna Eggen is a licensed optician with a call to providing reading glasses to people who have little or no access to glasses. She has traveled as an optician to The Philippines, Guatemala, Chile, Mexico, Honduras, and India. If providing glasses to people who cannot read, she asks them when they can see the sewing thread clearly. In addition to her international ministry trips as an optician, Donna has traveled in ministry trips to help build a building, vaccinate against polio, help with agricultural work, and other kinds of service.

The Health Promoter Project is a medical mission project of Honduras Yearly Meeting which places health promoters in remote mountain villages. Since 2002, Portia Jones M.D. and her husband Jonathan Hibbs M.D. have made over 25 trips to northwestern Honduras to train health promoters. The health promoters are selected by Friends churches in Honduras and trained by Portia and Jonathan to do basic sutures of wounds and other simple medical procedures. They distribute basic medications as well and treat, on average, 3 people per week. The entire project is under the direction of the Integrated Development Team, a committee of Honduras Yearly Meeting. North Seattle Friends Church cooperates with Portia, Jonathan, and Honduras Yearly Meeting to support this project.

Contact Info: Jonathan Hibbs and Portia Jones: hibbs005@gmail.com

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