Prison Ministry Meets Trauma Healing in Africa

Dear Prayer Warriors,
Last July, I met Sam when Rich and I picked him up at LAX for a World Impact church plant leaders conference. We enjoyed a long ride up to Atascadero and even stopped at Santa Barbara to watch 15 minutes of a basketball game Josiah was coaching. Sam enjoyed the game and even sent pictures to his daughter. At the time, I had no idea the scope of his ministry in Africa. When he left to go back home, he said “we need to talk about trauma healing.”

A guard tower surrounded by barbed wire fence, part of Robben Island Prison, South Africa, where Nelson Mandela was famously incarcerated. We are working to bring effective training to leaders across Africa, who can minister inside the walls, and train others to do the same.

When we finally connected in October, I learned Sam worked as the associate director of a large jail and prison ministry in Africa, and that he had already been certified as a training facilitator. He needed help training more facilitators for the prison ministry, and he had eight people who were ready for the Advanced training–the final training before completing their certification. It was perfect timing because we had just put dates on the calendar, and it was not full yet. As part of his job, Sam oversees the trauma healing ministry for the jail and prison ministry in Africa, so he wanted to come and observe his mentees as well as a refresher training for himself.

What a joy to help equip our brothers and sisters from Africa! The places they lead healing groups are some of the most difficult situations and their dedication to Jesus was evident. They zoomed in from Zambia, Kenya, Malawi, and Nigeria. Most of them had worked all day and then joined the training in the evening for 5 hours for 4 straight days. They endured internet issues due to weather and late hours to finish their training.

We are equipping nine others from other countries in Africa via Zoom this month, and Sam has a waiting list! Please continue to pray for us as we partner with Sam in Africa. Rich is working with him as well to help equip churches in Africa to welcome back those who have been in prison into the life of the church through the Onesimus workshop.

We are so grateful for your prayers!
In His grace, Karin and Rich Esselstrom