Forgiveness Training Program
Inspired by the 50th and 30th memorial anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr., this 64-day educational, media, and grassroots campaign
is dedicated to demonstrating that nonviolence is a powerful way to heal,
transform, and empower our lives and our communities.
2015 Heroes and Champion of Forgiveness
2015 Champion of Forgiveness
Rev. Sheila Gautreaux
Facing The Painful Challenges Of The Year Of Forgiveness!
Once the power of forgiveness is introduced every hidden upset shows up
When Rev. Sheila Gautreaux and her church congregation declared the year 2015 as The Year of Forgiveness, she was amazed at the suppressed anger and resentments that rose to the surface.
Rev. Sheila is the assistant pastor of the Unity Church of Walnut Creek, CA. She serves under the leadership of the pastor, Rev. David McArthur, who was honored as a 2012 Hero of Forgiveness by the Worldwide Forgiveness Alliance. Their Year of Forgiveness goal is to build a powerful foundation of forgiveness within their church. Instead of the rosy celebration they expected, their effort has brought them face-to-face with long seething resentments, slights and insults. Such negative emotions can, and often do, live beneath the surface of any organized group of people. According to Rev. Sheila, the challenge of achieving a state of deep forgiveness is both a blessing and curse. The emotional energy demands in dealing with long dormant issues are significant. There is also the pain of confronting her own errors and missteps that have contributed to the underlying discontent. On the other hand, the final achievement of the forgiveness state is joyous and incredibly satisfying.
Rev. Sheila Gautreaux will be honored as a Champion of Forgiveness at the 19th Annual International Forgiveness Day Awards Ceremony on Sunday August 2, 2015 where she will share her experiences and her vision for the future of forgiveness.
Rev. Sheila is an inspirational speaker, author, coach & teacher of the Radical Forgiveness discipline, retired opera singer, mother and grandmother. For the past 16 years, she has been presenting the esoteric teachings of the Bible in classes and workshops throughout the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. She is the founder of Spiritual DIVAS: Divinely Inspired Visionaries . . . Awakened, a motivational and empowerment process and program for women.
2015 Hero of Forgiveness
She Forgave the Hate-Driven Men Who Almost Killed Her
Now Her Music Has Made Her a Healing Angel to the World.
In 1982, one week before entering medical school, Amikaelya Gaston was sitting in a field preparing for a musical performance in a festival when hate struck! A group of young white men spotted her in the field, turned and drove their truck across the grass to run over her. She was dragged 86 feet under the truck. Her body was jammed between the hot exhaust pipe and the rear wheel inflicting third degree burns on her severely injured body. In her near-death state she became aware of three highly motivated women who lifted the truck to get to her. Then they dislodged and pulled her from under the truck.
Amikaelya, who is a multi-talented musician and vocalist, spent the next two years in hospitals enduring multiple surgeries and painful treatments for her severe burns. She said that the pain was so great that powerful pain killers couldn’t mask it. The only thing that would alleviate the pain was music. Music was played in her room 24-hours/day and only certain types of music would work.
Since then, Amikaelya has won numerous awards for her music and now shares her music around the world to help heal others and spread love. She bears no hate and has forgiven the men who tried to kill her. They were convicted of a hate-crime.
Amikaelya Gaston will be honored as a Hero of Forgiveness at the 19th Annual International Forgiveness Day Awards Ceremony on Sunday August 2, 2015 where she will share her experiences and her vision of love, healing, music and forgiveness.
2015 Hero of Forgiveness
Victim of Child Sexual Abuse Finds Her Voice at 50 and Forgives
Father Molested Her from 8 years old to 12 years old.
Linda Woods grew up as a member of the Odawa (Ottawa) tribe in Michigan. Her early years were spent with her grandmother until she was 6-years old. Then she went to live with her mother and step-father after they married. When she was 8, her step-father began molesting her and telling her not to tell her mother or anyone because no one would believe her. His sexual assaults continued until she reached the age of 12 when she somehow found the strength to tell him No. He stopped.
Because he told her not to tell, Linda went into a shell of silence for decades before she told anyone what destroyed her spirit. She grew up and went into the Air Force and went from one disastrous relationship with men to another. She tried to hide in alcohol addiction but that only made it worse. After her discharge from the AF, she and her husband moved to California where she found sobriety at 26. She still experienced years of emotional pain, failed relationships and spiritual starvation. Then at ten years of sobriety Linda had a spiritual awakening with a dream of Jesus and thus, began a long needed healing process. It wasn’t until the age of 47, that Linda returned to Michigan to face the childhood trauma and she endured now that her parents were sober. Finally, in her 50s, she had another spiritual experience in which she says that Jesus guided to forgive her step-father. Out of the forgiveness and compassion she was able to tell that she loved him right before he passed on in 2006. Now Linda is living a full life happy and free of the emotional pain she knew for so long. She is a proud mother of two sons and grandmother of five grandchildren and a great-grandmother of one. She is an enrolled tribal citizen of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians in Michigan. She is respected in her community as a veteran and tribal elder.