Sister Care seminar in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Pastor Wara Widuri (front left) and Anielle Santoso, MCC worker, were the primary planners for the Indonesian Sister Care seminar. They are pictured with Rhoda Keener (back left) and Carolyn Heggen.

After nearly four years of planning, Carolyn Heggen, psychotherapist specializing in trauma healing, and Rhoda Keener (Hebron MC), Sister Care director for Mennonite Women USA, led a Sister Care leadership training seminar January 28-30, 2019 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, the epicenter of the 2006 earthquake that left over 5,700 dead, tens of thousands injured, and hundreds of thousands homeless. It was a fitting location for the Sister Care seminar which helps women heal their own trauma and trains them to help others heal.

The 89 women who attended came from the islands of Java, northern and southern Sumatra, Bali, and Papua. They represented two of the three major Anabaptist groups in Indonesia – GKMI and GITJ – as well as 4 women from local evangelical congregations. They traveled by boat, plane, train, bus and car, some for days, to get to the retreat center.

Women were particularly touched by the exercise of writing their life timeline They said they have never been asked to think about the chapters of their lives and who was the face of Jesus for them at difficult or painful times.

Indonesia is the 17th country where Mennonite Women USA’s Sister Care seminar has been shared. The manual: Sister Care: Equipping Women for Healing Ministry by Carolyn Heggen with Rhoda Keener has been translated into 13 languages.

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