After a full year, Venesch and I are winding down and getting our house ready for my parents to visit! My mom and dad, Sondra and Tom, will be visiting us for the month of January. This will be the first time we have seen them since my sister’s wedding and I am so excited to be with them- it is the best Christmas present ever! Before we sign off for the year I wanted to recap some of the highlights of 2021.
First, some stats:
We lead 8 in-person training events this year. Although Covid-19 lockdowns lead to many cancellations, we were able to lead approximately 120 teachers, community leaders, ministers, and parents through our one-day trauma care training. They got the information, techniques, and spiritual integration on how to care for the brain, biology, body, beliefs, and behaviors of the people they care for in a trauma-informed way.
We also expanded our training topics to “Personal Values,” “Sexual Health,” “Conflict + Trauma Care,” and an eight week parenting course that looks at relationships with children through the lens of the Gospel.
Twelve hours a week I worked with individual children with themes of self-love, bullying, anger management, self-control, and emotional processing. We learned through games, art, books, and long conversations.
This past year, I spent over 120 hours working with parents one-on-one to help them with their own stories, communicating with their kids, and advocating for change.
I spent countless hours answering “just a quick question…” which always leads to a deeper topic on the why and how. These questions are never quick but they have opened the opportunity for more growth and understanding.
While this does not cover all the work that has gone into the growth of the trauma care ministry this year (admin would be very boring to report on), it is a glimpse into how we have worked to serve the community.
As it is coming to the end of the year, I would like to ask for end-of-the-year donations. We rely on monthly donors to keep our ministry sustainable and year-end donations allow us to start the year with security and creativity so that we can best serve our partners.
Also, because my parents are coming, they are bringing me many books and games from my wishlist. Many items are unavailable or 2-3X more expensive here. So they are loading up a suitcase for me! If you would like to send a Christmas gift to me and my kiddos please consider one of the books or games from the list! We also have a speaker and projector so that we can work out trainings with organizations that don’t have access to these items. All of it would be a generous gift on top of all the prayers and donations you have already given!
Love from South Africa,
Autumn & Venesch
End of the year pics:
After 10 years at Trinity Children’s Centre, and six years with me, we had our first class to graduate primary school. They have finished grade 7 with us and next year they are going to high school!
I am always working to make the trainings I do interactive. This time I made a puzzle of the brain and its functions to help teachers review how to integrate connection, versus fear, into their classrooms.
I planned an end-of-the-year retreat for the Grace Cafe girls and their mentors. We were blessed with a beach house to laugh, pray, and eat s’mores together!
Venesch and I became godparents to a beautiful baby girl of some of our dear friends. Little Lisa is three months old, is the smartest baby I know, and loves me the best!