This July Dr. Troy Backhuus and Dr. Linda Vermooten of the Grace counseling program had the pleasure of leading a team of students on a cross-cultural trip to South Africa —a last minute change from the original trip to Chennai, India! Though the team was left with only three days to adjust to the new plans, it soon became apparent that this was the trip God had ordained all along.
During the first week in Muizenberg, the team debriefed YWAM staff and counseled church members in the area, and helped lead a children’s Bible camp with a church in one of the poorer neighborhoods. The second two weeks were spent across the country in Durban, with Open Door Crisis Centre. ODCC works a great deal with individuals who are experiencing domestic violence or who have been trafficked. Most of the women on the Grace team were lodged at a safe house, and were able to do some counseling with the women sheltered there, as well. The team was also blessed to be able to distribute toothbrushes and food parcels in some of the urban and rural communities in the surrounding area, as well as share their testimonies. They also taught several times on basic lay counseling skills, understanding and processing emotion, stress and conflict management, domestic violence and abuse, and a number of other topics. It was an incredible experience that the students and faculty will not soon forget!