Healing Hearts Club Story & Activity Book

Release date: January 2014
Paperback (saddle-stitch), 72 pages
Trim size: 5.75 x 8.25 inches

Authors: Harriet Hill, Margaret Hill, Debbie Braaksma, Lyn Westman

About this Book

This is the child’s book for the Healing Hearts Club™program of Bible-based trauma healing for children who have experienced war, abuse, or a similar human or natural disaster.

The Healing Hearts Club features an interactive, story-centered, field-tested approach that provides vital mental health information within a biblical framework for children aged 9–13. It is designed for use in churches, orphanages, schools, or dedicated camps. Each child in a Healing Hearts Club session should get a copy of this book to keep. Lay facilitators can plan and lead the program using the companion Facilitator Book, HEALING CHILDREN’S WOUNDS OF TRAUMA (ABS Item 124167, ISBN 9781937628932).

Each of the ten lessons includes two illustrated stories—a Bible story and a
 composite real-life story about the experiences of “Sami and
 Rose”—so children can see the effects of trauma, learn how to work through their emotional and spiritual pain, and experience God’s love for them. Each lesson also includes a memory verse and other activities to help children engage with the materials.


“Many children in today’s world are victims of, or witness, acts of violence or abuse. Those who have experienced such trauma can go on to develop long-term mental health difficulties, not only causing considerable distress but also compromising their educational and social potential.

“This program gives an opportunity to change that trajectory. By providing children with a language in which to describe their emotions, and helping them tell the story of their hurt and express their emotional pain, the program gives them the opportunity to begin a journey of recovery and healing. The facilitators’ book provides all that is needed to run children’s groups as well as train others in the methods used.

“The Healing Hearts Club program is distinctive in helping children understand that whatever happens to them, they are special to God, and can take their pain to him. In a safe environment, with God’s help, they can even begin to forgive those who have hurt them.

“I commend this book to all who seek to assist children to recover from serious emotional trauma.”

—Dr Helen Hayes, FRCPsych, Consultant in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, UK

“Now I know I am important to God. I am not rubbish, no matter what people say.” “I have learned that if I just keep bad feelings inside, they will get worse.”

—Ugandan children, responding to the question “what I learned,”
after a Healing Hearts Club camp, April 2013

Table of Contents

  • Lesson 1: I am important to God
    • Am I important to anyone?
    • Creation
  • Lesson 2: Why do bad things happen?
    • The Fall
    • Wake up! Run, quickly!
  • Lesson 3: Saying how we feel
    • Rose feels bad
    • Joseph and his jealous brothers
  • Lesson 4: Feeling lonely
    • A new home
    • Joseph in Egypt
  • Lesson 5: Building our life well
    • No family
    • Joseph: forgotten once more
  • Lesson 6: Loss and grief
    • Life in the forest
    • Joseph is still in prison
  • Lesson 7: Bad touch
    • Joy tells Rose a secret
    • Joseph is in charge
  • Lesson 8: Taking our pain to the cross
    • Rose asks Jesus to be her friend
    • Jesus came to deliver us from sin and suffering
  • Lesson 9: Forgiveness
    • Sami has a hot stone in his stomach
    • Joseph and forgiveness
  • Lesson 10: Rebuilding lives
    • Good news!
    • Joseph’s family is reunited

About the Authors

Harriet Hill is program director for the Trauma Healing Institute at American Bible Society and a coauthor of Healing the Wounds of Trauma. She has worked internationally since 1979. She received her PhD in intercultural studies from Fuller Seminary in 2003.

Margaret Hill serves with SIL as the Scripture Engagement Coordinator for Africa. She is one of the coauthors of Healing the Wounds of Trauma and a master facilitator with the Trauma Healing institute. She received her master’s degree in education from the University of Manchester, UK.

Debbie Braaksma received her Master of Theology from the University of Edinburgh and a B.S. in social work from the University of Minnesota. She serves as the Africa Coordinator for the Presbyterian Church USA.

Lyn Westman is the Mental Health Program Consultant for Mercy Ships. An ordained minister, she earned a PhD in Psychology from Alliant University, and a master of psychiatric nursing from UCLA.

American Bible Society

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