Late July 2013 Updates

1. The CPE Group led by Joyce had their mid-unit evaluation at Winaca Eco Park in Benguet. They had a great time in a beautiful place.


2. On July 25th, we had a “field trip” to SLU-Sunflower Children’s Center. They were founded by Father Geraldo Acosta years ago and focuses on Play Therapy with children. We appreciate Jennifer, Father Acosta and others on the staff who were so welcoming. We have to refer some cases to others and the visit was very helpful to us with regards to this as well as cross-training opportunities.

3.  In the first week of August, we expect to go down to Pampanga to do training and evaluation with regards to a unique and challenging ministry there. We will hold off on details in this area… waiting to ensure that this happens.

4.  August 17 is the expected date of an Extended Half-Unit of CPE, led by Celia. Email us at if you have any questions or concerns.At Sunflower


Crisis Response Trip to Northern Benguet


Four members of our team joined members of Benguet State University (led by Professor Marcy Bolona) and the Student Hub, to assist in Crisis Response and Stress Mitigation in Buguias, Benguet. Members of our team at Bukal were Celia, Jehny, Becky, and Serafina. They left early Saturday (June 13, 2013) morning for the 2.5 hour drive along the mountainous Halsema Highway to Abatan. From there, they took a jeepney for another hour of dirt road driving to Buguias.

Our team was invited by the Catholic church in Buguias in response to the month anniversary of a disaster that occurred there. After brunch, crisis care began, working with approximately 100 adults, youth, and children… relatives and friends of those directly impacted by the disaster. The group was broken up into smaller groups based on relationship and age. For the adults, we used the NOVA (National Organization of Victim Assistance) model for stress mitigation. For children, other methods, including artwork, were used to allow for sharing/ventilating of feelings.

We believe that the event was a great time of sharing, grieving, and healing. Some members of the team had to leave late in the day while others stayed overnight, being well taken care of by our hosts. In the morning, on Sunday, after a swim in the hotsprings and breakfast, the team began its return trek to La Trinidad and Baguio City.

It was a great joy to serve in the beautiful community of Buguias surrounded on all sides by the great mountains of the Cordilleras. Our hosts were almost too kind. We greatly appreciate their hospitality feel honored to help their community in some small way.

This trip reminded us of the importance of crisis care, especially as it pertains to community disasters. We will be planning a training session for those interested in some of the methods involved in this type of ministry.

Nancy Berns: “Closure Doesn’t Exist,” Let Grief and Joy Be Intertwined

Clearing Customs

4677361453_f392fc8e47_n“What have you grieved in the past?” asks Nancy Berns, a sociologist at Drake University. “What might you grieve in the future? And some of you are grieving today. It’s not just the death of loved ones that we grieve. Our life is full of losses.”

These include the losses associated with transitioning between homes and cultures, away from family, friends, and the familiar.

When faced with that grief, we usually look for ways to move on, to find closure. But according to Berns, “Closure doesn’t even exist. It’s a made up concept that we use to talk about loss and grief.” And trying to gain closure “can do more harm than good.”

in her TEDxDesMoines talk below, Berns, author of Closure: The Rush to End Grief and What It Costs Us, says that we shouldn’t box up our pain, close the lid, and walk away to look for…

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Calendar Items for July 2013

Past:  June 25th, PBTS Signing and Bukal Life Care office open house.

1.  CPE Batch (Jun – Aug) led by Joyce is ongoing.
2.  Staff Meeting, July 4th (Hopefuly no fireworks <joke>) at 10:30am – 1pm
3.  Disaster Response Counseling Training. Friday July 5, 5pm, La Trinidad
4.  Group Crisis Care, Saturday, July 13, all day, Abatan, Benguet
5.  Baguio and Benguet CPSP Chapter Life (Dates TBD)
6.  “Saturday” CPE, Half Unit, led by Celia. Starting 1st week in August, 10 weeks.