Photo: Alan Hood
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Laments for Healing

The following are examples of lament poems written by participants of a trauma healing workshop (including several mother-tongue Bible translators) in the Central African Republic. That nation has been plagued by conflict, upheaval and anarchy due to ongoing government/rebel fighting.

Oh Jesus, great king! 

Have pity on me 

Remove my sins I am a sinner. 


Stretch out your wings 

Cover your son 

You are a mother hen 

Cover your son. 


Give me peace 

Peace in my heart 

Have pity on me 

So that I can live. 


Oh Jesus, great King 

You alone are King 

You have heard my cries.

—Francis

Many of these children were sexually violated before they found a home at an orphanage in Goma. To help traumatized children, organizers elsewhere in Africa have developed age-appropriate materials and activities and week-long camps have been held in Uganda, Liberia and Togo. Development of programs for children around the world is a high priority.
(Photo: Alan Hood)


Why this suffering? 

Why these wars? 

Where do divisions come from? 

Where do all these ethnic conflicts come from? 

What does the good God do? 

Is He asleep? Is He deaf? 

Or is He expressly causing all this? 

In my distress and sufferings 

Your little voice says: 

“My grace is sufficient for you, 

Because my Son took all this to the cross.” 

Praise, honour, glory, 

Give them to our God, our Counsellor. 

—Max


O Lord, I come to appeal to you 

Please agree to hear my pleas, Oh, my Father 

Wipe my tears, Father 

So that I can find the joy that comes from you. 


I’ve run around all over looking for peace 

I do that in the daytime 

At night, there is nothing but fear 

My worries are enormous 

My sufferings are also numerous 

When will it all end? 


I used to go to the healers 

And even to the diviners, 

But I didn’t find peace. 


It is in you I find peace, Oh Lord,

 And my sufferings evaporate 

You have freed me from my worries 

I’ve found hope again in You

And my enemies are all ashamed. 


I thank you, Father 

Thank you for coming to meet me 

My joy comes from you 

Alleluia to you Amen! 

—David


God, you are a great 

God, is it truly I who got away from Bossangoa? 

Thank you, God. 

My ears still hear the guns and the mortars 

But my heart is at peace. 


God, my feet are tired God, what are you doing? 

I’m suffering here for you 

I’m suffering in the bush.

 

I am sure that you are always seeing me 

I always put my confidence in you. 

—Elvis, based on what his wife sang as they fled their town

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