Story by Karen Weaver Photos by Faith Halverson
Deeply compassionate and gifted to work with all ages and individuals, Betty Nawe was known for counseling and walking with individuals through difficult journeys. Her empathy and stability within the church drew many women in difficult situations to share with her and seek counsel for a variety of issues. Because of this, the women’s ministry at her church in Wewak selected Betty to take the Healing the Wounds of Trauma course in 2015.
Before taking the course, she assumed she was emotionally healthy and was simply there to gain knowledge in order to assist others. Once the week-long training began, however, she realized God could bring healing to her own past as well. She found freedom from pain suffered from family deaths and other difficulties throughout her life.
Through the teaching, she realized there had been a dual standard within the church of adhering to ancestral beliefs while attempting to follow God. Betty explained, “When we are afraid of those spirits we are not ready to meet God, and sin is holding us captive.” She found a new determination to follow the Word of God in every situation.
Approximately a year after her training in Healing the Wounds of Trauma, she was invited to assist in a three-week initiative to teach leaders in remote villages. Betty faced a few challenges on the journey. She recalled, “Many were confused because they didn’t know how to interpret Scripture, especially with regards to difficult and traumatic experiences.” As she shared with them principles she had learned in the Trauma Healing course, Betty witnessed elders and pastors weeping freely as the discussions, case studies, and the powerful application of Scripture imparted life-changing understanding to each of them.
Betty continues to impact many lives through her counseling, teaching, and bringing the gift of hope and healing to men and women across Papua New Guinea. “Many times they might hear this in church, but it is easy to forget, until application of the Word creates healing in their lives.”
Reflecting on the impact of the teaching in her own life, Betty reflected, “I changed through the course to begin to forgive others more easily. That is the key to healing. I know God is with me.”