Would you have time to share a cup of tea?
October 25, 2022
To Chelsea*, protecting her two young children was the most important decision she would make when she decided to escape from an abusive marriage. Living for so long without the freedom to make decisions and in fear of another violent outburst, Chelsea found solace within herself and avoided relating to others.
After a year of couch surfing and shelter stays, she and her children found Bridge of Hope. Chelsea’s Neighboring Volunteers were eager to begin nurturing their relationship with the family, but were careful to walk at Chelsea’s pace. After completing Bridge of Hope’s Neighboring Training, they went the extra mile to understand more about abuse and trauma by listening to podcasts and reading articles, mindful not to re-traumatize Chelsea by expecting her to risk vulnerability and immediately share her experiences with them.
Several of the Neighboring Volunteers invited Chelsea for tea and conversation at one of their homes with a big backyard, so the children could stretch out and play while they gathered. The small group size felt more comfortable to Chelsea, and she began to open up. Now faithfully meeting on a regular basis, they share meals, include devotional time and provide encouragement. Chelsea’s healing from complex trauma has included time to focus on setting and reaching new goals, implementing wellness strategies for her own life and finding new ways to parent her terrific children.
This simple act of sharing a cup of tea became a key ingredient in building relationships of support for Chelsea and her long-term stability.
Thank you for all the ways you are making a difference!
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