By Chrissy Mayhew, TFT-Adv, Well Within Reach, U.S.A.
In a recent mission trip to Jamaica with our church to build housing for the less advantaged, I wanted to take the opportunity to share with the beautifully spirited people of Jamaica and the various organizations who support them how Thought Field Therapy can be a much needed tool for healing many problems.
I knew TFT could help with the many stresses and traumas associated with living and working in a country that has very meager resources, out of control teen pregnancies, high crime rate, limited medical facilities and other types of challenges that exist in less advantaged countries.
Our group was counseled not to go off on our own anywhere, walk outside the compound of our facility at night, drink water outside of bottled water, or carry a lot of cash with us.
The church facility where we stayed hired a night guard to watch over the groups during the night because of previous problems with break-ins and theft. James (not his real name) was a young man who was in his 30’s and in the evenings when I returned, I would talk to him about his life in Jamaica. I learned he had 4 children with his current girlfriend and additional children from another relationship.
I quickly found out that the family unit in Jamaica is very different then we are used to here in America. The family unit is strained as not many live in a traditional mother, father, children home. The fathers seem to be absent in many of the homes and some children don’t even know who their father is.
I was intrigued that he was very involved with his children and their upbringing. He talked about the challenges of raising children with limited resources and money. He was renting a small house and his children had to go to the state school as they didn’t have money to send them to one of the church schools. James felt education was the key for his children to get them out of the poverty he grew up in.
Two months prior to us arriving, on a very rainy night, the facility had been broken into and James was jumped by two guys and beaten up. They robbed the facility of a few things before running back into the bush. That incident was still very fresh in James’ mind.
One night around 12:30 in the morning I was wakened by “Pop” “Pop”, “Pop”. It was the sound of gun shots that seemed to be getting closer. After hearing the various stories about the break-ins, I immediately woke up with a racing heart and wondering what was happening.
Then I heard the front door and gate open up. Thinking it was one of the college students in our group, I jumped up and ran out to make sure they didn’t run outside. As I got to the door, I found one of the other parents checking out what was going on.
James came running to us to tell us to go back inside because he didn’t know what was going on. At that point we heard two more “Pops”. Our adrenaline was really pumping.
Then we saw red fireworks burst in the sky. It wasn’t gun shots, it was fireworks going off. What a relief!! It sounded so much like gun shots. I couldn’t help but think what would we have done if it was another break-in. We had 6 young college kids with us to keep safe and I didn’t want this to ruin their mission experience.
I couldn’t get back to sleep so I went back out to talk to James to see if he was alright. He was still shaken and had flash backs about being beaten up. I explained I knew a “tapping” technique that could help him with the trauma of it and he was very grateful for any help.
I walked him through the complex trauma algorithm, and within minutes he was shocked at how hard it was to bring up the fear or the terror feelings. While working with him, I also was able to calm my nerves so I could get some rest for our busy day at the work site.
The next evening after returning, James came running over to me and said “Chrissy, I need to talk to you again.” I could see he was shaken again and very upset. He explained that while his family was away at bible class, his meager house was broken into and all his food, TV and some clothes were stolen.
He kept saying, “How am I going to feed my children or save up enough money to get more clothes. He wasn’t even worried about replacing the TV, he just wanted basic necessities for his family. I asked him what the age range was of his children and I told him to wait on the porch and I would be back.
Our group had brought 20 suite cases filled with clothes, shoes, games, and medical supplies. I quickly went through the suitcases and picked out clothes for all of the children, his girlfriend and himself. I threw in some candy, puzzles, oranges and a few personal care items.
James was so appreciative of these items. He asked me to do the “tapping” again because he was re-traumatized by the event. I sat on the porch with him and went through the trauma sequence again.
I went back to my room and got a packet of information on TFT that I had created to hand out to people as I visited the many places. I went through the packet and told him to have everyone in his family do the “trauma” sequence so that they could be healed from the traumatic event.
The last night I was there James came over and gave me a hug and thanked me for my generosity in helping him and his family. He was so amazed at how TFT works and said he would share it with many people he knew. The smile on his face and the warmth of his gratitude filled my heart with such a bounty of love that I became emotional.
I told him that God had blessed me so abundantly and I want to help as many people as I can by teaching them about TFT so they can help each other long after I go back home to America. James promised he would continue to share it and hugged me again. He hoped I would come back next year so I could teach him and others more.