Stories & Photos from Dallas Training

Can a professional conference be both intensely practical and refreshing? The verdict is in, and the answer is a resounding, “Yes!”

The first weekend in October, First Aid Arts hosted a Healing Arts Toolkit training in Dallas, Texas, for twenty-five attendees representing ten organizations that serve human-trafficking and trauma survivors. Thanks to the generous hearts and open doors of The Branch Church, we were welcomed into a beautiful, well-equipped space for three full days of meaningful instruction and interaction led by Ruth Yeo Peterman, our Director of Mental Health and Program Development, assisted by First Aid Arts co-founders, Curtis and Grace Romjue.

“It wasn’t just a training, but also felt like a retreat!”
— Haley Clark, World Hope International

First Aid Arts is deeply grateful to The Branch for offering their beautiful space and to the cheerful volunteers who helped set up tables and chairs, decorated the room, took photographs, and assisted with food prep and service. Thanks to Four Corners Cafe, DeRice Thai, and El Paisa Taqueria for delicious catered lunches. Every need we expressed was met in ways that surpassed our expectations. We're humbled by the abundance of generosity we received.

We also want to express our sincerest thanks to Rescue:Freedom International, whose ongoing partnership continues to be a source of great inspiration and support. Rescue:Freedom co-sponsored the Dallas event and shared the expense of hosting the training. They also sent two staff to experience the training first hand as we anticipate bringing the Healing Arts Toolkit to the aftercare homes in their network in 2015 and beyond.

And finally, we thank you, our friends and supporters. Your generosity allows us to conduct these trainings, equipping the beautiful souls who serve on the front lines, bringing the healing power of the arts to survivors of human trafficking and severe trauma.

Without you, none of this would be possible.

“I so enjoyed seeing how such simple materials, combined with a little knowledge and a lot of heart, can be used to bring peace to the body, mind, and spirit of many trauma survivors. I love that the training and tool kit provide the facilitator with so many options. Each of the exercises can be done at a very low risk level for the participants. As the group builds trust and cohesion, the handbook and toolkit give ample opportunity to take the exercises to a deeper level. Such versatility in such a little box!”
— Bethany Randolf, Wycliffe Ethno-Arts Specialist, Romania
“Thank you for bringing your knowledge and material to Dallas! One of the most common impacts from abuse is disconnection from others and the body, and one of the main triggers to past abuse is experienced through one of the five senses. I truly love how your curriculum repurposes others, the body, and the senses to facilitate healing rather than having its function remain solely as a painful residue of past trauma. Your curriculum truly will re-establish joy and youth in the person once victimized. Thank you again!”
— Stephanie Clanton, MA, LPC, Counseling Program Coordinator, New Friends New Life
Chris Erickson