Heggen presents 'healing the wounds of war'by Twila Miller
Carolyn Holderread Heggen presented "Healing the Wounds of War" during the adult summer Bible school sessions at Akron (Pa.) Mennonite Church from July 25-28.
The participants learned about the psychological and spiritual wounding that soldiers experience in the military--and what peace church people can do to help them find healing and redemption.
After preaching the morning sermon, "Who's Invited to Your Party?," based on Luke 14:12-23, Heggen presented five sessions dealing with the following topics: The Reality Behind the Myth/The High Cost of Combat; Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Altered Identity; The Wounds of Combat; The Healing Journey for Veterans; and The Redemptive Community.
Between 120 and 150 people attended each of the three evening sessions. Each evening, before Heggen began her presentation, different people from the congregation told of their own experiences with family members who chose to serve in the military. They described the pain, trauma and family crises they faced.
Carolyn Holderread Heggen leads a presentation on "Healing the Wounds of War" at Akron (Pa.) Mennonite Church in July. Photo by H.A. Penner.
Heggen combined her lively style of presentation with sobering facts and information and powerful photographs and haunting stories. Heggen has done extensive research into what happens to American soldiers during boot camp and in combat and has had many conversations with wounded veterans.
She helped those attending her sessions understand the complete sense of loss and depravity that psychologically and spiritually wounded vets feel after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, and she built a case for peace church people to help offer healing and hope, restitution and redemption to the increasing number of wounded soldiers.
Heggen said that psychology alone cannot bring real healing to soul-damaged, wounded soldiers, that what they crave, and what can help them find full healing is the spiritual component that people of faith can offer them.
Heggen is a psychotherapist specializing in trauma recovery and an international trauma consultant and trainer. She lives in Corvallis, Ore., and is a member of Albany (Ore.) Mennonite Church.
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