Bermuda Conference Adventist Community Services held its first “Grief Following Trauma” training on Paget Island, Bermuda, earlier this year. The weekend’s activity was God-blessed.
The weather forecast before the event indicated there would be showers and gusting winds throughout the weekend. Paget Island, located 10 minutes from the town of St. George, is accessible only by boat. The covered boat previously used for trips was destroyed in a hurricane, and the available boat had only a little roof with all sides exposed to the elements.
“We went to God in prayer, knowing that He is the only one able to change the times and seasons, and God granted our request,” said Dora Baker, Bermuda Conference Adventist Community Services director. The sky may have been slightly gray that Friday afternoon, but not a single drop of rain fell, when 39 participants, including the facilitators, boarded the open boat on two trips to Paget Island.
Upon arrival at the island, Martin Feldbush, the principal instructor, advised the group that they would need all the time they could get to go over the materials associated with the training. The workshop started on Friday night, continued through the Sabbath, and concluded on Sunday morning.
The training covered key grief and loss concepts relating to trauma and traumatic losses, including death; increased participants’ knowledge of how trauma impacts the grief process; and provided skills for evaluating and supporting persons who experience traumatic death and loss. The facilitators did not disappoint and delivered on all points. Some of the participants were emotionally engaged, which was positive, as it would enable them to be in a better place to empathize with people grieving in our communities.
Those who facilitated and participated in the training included the presenters, Martin Feldbush and Derrick Lea, who provided their time and talent to facilitate the course; and Larry Franklin, who provided and coordinated the sound and video systems for the training. The success of the presentations depended very much on technology, and they appreciated Franklin’s gift of equipment and presence to operate all systems; Rosamund Gibbons, for introducing the participants to the concept of risk management; and the team members who prepared the meals for the retreat. A special thanks was expressed to Charles Baker, who coordinated all the meals.
The group of participants whose attendance made the retreat possible, included registered nurses, police officers, church elders, community services leaders, church members, friends, family members, members active in grief ministry, and teachers. “Thank God for their desire and commitment to assist those in the community experiencing grief as a result of various kinds of losses. May God continue to bless as we seek, on His behalf, to prepare to minister to those who are grieving,” Baker said.
—Adventist Community Services staff, Bermuda Conference