Dear Friends ~
We trust that you and family are safe and healthy. 2020 has been a year of surprises and uncertainty for us all! Especially in these historical times we are so grateful for your continued support of our work on three continents! Even with travel restrictions, we have had an impactful year.
• A third trip to serve the Moldovan Military and civilian first responders dealing with the “Blue Wave,” an epidemic of child suicide, as well as burnout and suicide in the military and among first responders. In light of significant progress, we have been invited back for a fourth engagement in 2021.
• In response to struggles with prolonged stress and associated medical conditions in a world that is virtual, we have been consistently asked for virtual interactions globally. These have included live interviews, webinars, conference speaking, virtual panel participation; as well as articles for medical journals, magazines, newspapers, and consulting with other organizations. The first eBook in a three part series, Return to Work: A Leader’s Guide to Avoiding the Mental Health Crisis, has been published. We may be out of range, but not out of touch.
• Invitations to provide humanitarian aid have multiplied including Croatia, Bulgaria, Italy, Uganda, Rwanda, and Cameroon. These will need to be balanced with our ongoing commitments to other countries in Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, and Africa.
• A successful campaign to raise funds for Olive Branch Ukraine’s leader, Valentyn Korenevych. A full report on this outpouring of support will follow.
We are excited about the opportunity to reproduce Olive Branch Ukraine’s model for chaplaincy in Rwanda beginning next year. We will be building undergraduate and graduate programs as a College within two universities, and establishing chaplaincy programs in the military, schools, and hospitals. This is a significant project mapped out over the next three years, and is designed to equip the nation to deal with the lasting mental health injuries through the fourth generation resulting from the 1994 genocide.
Please consider designating a year-end gift for this transformational work in Rwanda. This opportunity has grown out of our involvement in Rwanda over many years and will involve OBU staff as well.
May this holiday season bring peace to your hearts and joy to your souls!
Jeff Jernigan, PhD, BCPPC, FAIS
Chairman of the Board