There are many kinds of hurt, and many ways to be healed.
Both Greg and Mary are survivors of trauma and much of Mary’s ministry has been with trauma survivors. Trauma often reveals itself through many guises: depression, eating disorders, anger, addiction, auto-immune disorders, just to name a few. Trauma is a major national health issue, and yet often remains unnamed. Almost 15 years ago the Center for Disease Control published data from their Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) survey revealing that the gravest and most costly public health concern in the United States was child abuse.
Bessel van der Kolk, a psychiatrist/researcher, who’s life’s work as been with trauma survivors, states in his book, The Body Keeps the Score, that “child abuse and neglect is the single most preventable cause of mental illness, the single most common cause of drug and alcohol abuse, and a significant contributor to leading causes of death such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, stroke, and suicide.” Child abuse is more pervasive than we might think. “Trauma happens to us, our friends, our families, and our neighbors. Research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shown that one in five Americans was sexually molested as a child; one in four was beaten by a parent to the point of a mark being left on their body; and one in three couples engages in physical violence. A quarter of us grew up with alcoholic relatives, and one out of eight witnessed their mother being beaten or hit.” Trauma can also find us later in life through military deployments, accidents, terrorizing experiences, and abusive relationships.
Recent research into the way trauma affects the brain and body reveals how trauma impacts multiple emotional and biological systems, thus requiring a variety of treatment options. Some of the therapies that help trauma survivors heal involve elements inherent on the farm like gardening and working with animals. In addition, the structures on the farm have wonderful potential to become places of healing by offering opportunities for theatre, group work and individual care.
Tikkun Farm will begin to offer healing experiences using resources already available like farm to table meals, volunteer days for homeless veterans, farm camp, after school garden & cooking classes, farm getaway weekends and spiritual direction.
As our ministry grows we hope to be a healing center specializing in trauma work offering experiences as varied as: