World Leaders Find Hope and Healing in the Valley

By: Erin Tate
By: Erin Tate

Tony and Ferry are singing about their hope for peace in their homeland of Indonesia. Their country has been torn apart by violence, scarring communities and exhausting caregivers. But in a world of post 9-11 tragedy, they're not alone.

This week, 23 religious leaders and helpers from across the globe have come together here for "STAR" - a Seminar on Trauma Awareness and Recovery.

"This program is very important because it talks to me, to my fears, to my hopes, to my ambitions," says Zoughbi Zoughbi, Bethlehem Conflict Center.

He says the STAR Program is empowering him to continue the non-violent peace movement in Palestine.

For New York City pastor and psychotherapist Bruce Anspach, the week has helped him recover from his Ground Zero care giving.

He says STAR has taught him now religious leaders must take the time to heal from trauma themselves or they won't be valuable to their communities.

"It seems to me like there's nothing quite like this being offered in the country," he says.

The STAR program is unique because it's not just about trauma healing. Here at EMU, the Conflict Transformation Center is teaching people from all over the world how to build peace, justice and security.

It's the alternative to international terrorism. STAR is a grassroots peace plot that's helping these leaders touch the world.

The STAR program was created in response to the Sept. 11 attacks. It's sponsored by Church World Service and Eastern Mennonite University.

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