Leaving the nightmares behind

ConflictCen. African Rep.

It’s taken a while, but Arsène is starting to get used to the blessing of a good night’s sleep.

It’s required the help of a Tearfund partner to take away the nightmares that were keeping the 35-year-old awake.

Arsène lives in the Central African Republic (CAR), which has been convulsed by three years of inter-communal conflict that has killed thousands and made 880,000 people flee their homes.

Based in the capital Bangui, Arsène knows first hand how awful the conflict has been.

In December 2014, he and his younger brother Bienvenu were arrested by a band of well-armed militia.

The brothers were abused and tortured by the group, and Bienvenu was brutally murdered in front of Arsène, who managed to escape. He lived in hiding until September 2015 when his neighbourhood was again attacked, and he fled to the grounds of a theological college run by Tearfund partner Fateb.

The impact of what he had seen left a terrible psychological mark on Arsène. He started having terrifying nightmares, screaming in his sleep and seeing people coming to kill him.

He found it difficult to talk about his experiences, because remembering his brother and the brutal way in which he was killed caused him great emotional and physical distress.

Arsène was selected to receive psychosocial support from Tearfund’s partner Jupedec: ‘Since the visits of counsellors, I can now sleep without having those nightmares,’ he said.

I appreciate their support very much, as they did not just focus on my problem, but they brought me messages of hope.

The trauma counselling has enabled him to start to put his emotional distress behind him and he hopes the counsellors will continue to bring healing to many people.

CAR’s troubles have caused much psychological suffering, particularly among children. With Tearfund’s support, 3,800 children have received help to recover from trauma.

Please Pray

  • Please pray for people like Arsène, who have suffered psychologically as a result of CAR’s conflict.
  • Pray for healing and reconciliation to take root, so the wounds of the troubles are not passed on to future generations.
  • Lift up to the Lord Tearfund staff and partners as they strive to bring practical help and spiritual hope in extremely difficult circumstances

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