ALTON - Abundant of Life Community Church is hosting a training conference called, “Calming the Chaos” on Saturday, Sept. 28, from 12 p.m.-4 p.m.

This affordable training is designed to help ministry leaders and volunteers that work with children and teens to better understand the behaviors of children that have been through trauma or abuse. This event is open to all churches and organizations that work with children.

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All leadership and volunteer staff are encouraged to attend. The cost is $25 per church team (up to 20 people per team). Lunch will be available from 11am-12 pm and can be purchased that day (the proceeds will help missions projects around the world). The training will take place at the Abundant Life Community Church; 3986 Humbert Road, Alton, Illinois.

Registration is encouraged. Tickets are available to purchase online: Pastor David Anderson with Abundant of Life Community Church is excited to bring this training into the community.

“Our communities are full of teens and children who live in very tough circumstances," he said. "It can be very hard to reach them when your teams don’t understand how to effectively relate to them, and meet their specific needs.”

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“I can remember becoming frustrated when trying to get kids to behave and participate. I often felt like I had no clue on how to regain control. This training transformed the way we minister to kids who have been through trauma. It helped us understand how these children think and react, and gave us the tools to engage them in effective ways,” says Anderson.

Anderson has collaborated with local nonprofit, Refuge to help facilitate the training. Refuge is a nonprofit that serves children and families in Madison County who’ve been exposed to childhood abuse and trauma. They help address and prevent childhood abuse and violence exposure with therapy and training.

Executive Director, Erin Bickle and Case Worker/Parent Educator, Angie Darden are the special guest speakers for this training. Bickle and Darden will share information on: Adverse Childhood Experiences, Mental and physical impacts of childhood exposure to trauma, Understanding the behaviors of children with trauma, Tools to use in the church setting and the Burnout of volunteers: How to stop secondary trauma. “We’re very excited to participate in the ‘Calming the Chaos’ training as we feel strengthening and educating the different aspects of community are crucial to the resilience of our children,” said Bickle.

“We feel like this training will help those working with children and youth look through a different lens when attempting to support, build up, and ultimately bring hope to those they’re working with.” Bickle said trauma training is important because without the knowledge of how trauma impacts even our youngest children, we cannot properly support and help them heal.

“Refuge can’t wait to participate in this training because there’s a need in our faith-based community to support volunteers working tirelessly with children who come from hard places,” said Darden. “This training will help those volunteers to understand the impact of trauma on the developing child. Trauma training is so important because it gives us insight, tools, and empathy to continue building the strongest connection with our children, their parents, and ultimately showing the unconditional love of Christ.” Pastor Anderson hopes to equip church teams to better meet the needs of at risk kids. He’s hoping church leaders, youth/kids pastors, and volunteers will sign up for this training.

Last year over 300 people attended this powerful training opportunity, coming from all over Illinois and Missouri.

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