Daniel Zopoula

The Digital Musings of a Bushman, Speaker, Author & Trusted Advisor.

Category: News Feed

Daniel Zopoula On Misconceptions about PTSD in Youth

Bishop and founding Pastor at the Miz City Church in Lethbridge, Daniel Zopoula has spoken out about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), dispelling common misconceptions about the condition in young people. Zopoula is himself wounded and personally scarred by the circumstances surrounding his upbringing, but has emerged with both dignity and integrity. In spite of a modest background in West Africa, he chose a path in social advocacy in Canada and has followed his lifelong passion, inspiring others to greatness guided by love and justice.

Highly devoted to Christian practice, Dr. Daniel Zopoula is the Bishop and founding Pastor at the Miz City Church in Lethbridge, Alberta, and a senior consultant at Life Direction Training and Consulting Incorporated. With a profound awareness of human nature and mental health, Zopoula is well placed to address the issue of PTSD in young people, explaining on his website recently that research has revealed children as young as one to six can develop PTSD. The symptoms in children differ from those experienced by adults, with young sufferers perhaps forgetting how to talk, acting out the traumatic event or events during play, exhibiting clingy behavior, having extreme temper tantrums, or being aggressive in their conduct.

Daniel Zopoula - Addresses Misconceptions about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Young People“Thankfully, PTSD can be effectively managed and treated with medication, especially when used alongside other techniques,” expressed Daniel Zopoula. Psychotherapy can help with the processing of the event, and self-management strategies can teach someone to manage their feelings and calm themselves, perhaps even with the help of a service animal such as a dog or a horse (equine assisted therapy). A myth that surrounds PTSD is that a person will eventually overcome their trauma in time. However, PTSD can occur some time after a disturbing event, or something can happen to trigger an onset of symptoms. People who experience repeated situations such as neglect, abuse or violence, may be diagnosed with complex PTSD, which may not develop until years after the event. “Another myth is a mistaken belief that where the trauma occurred in the past, it is too late to do anything about it,” Zopoula says. “It is never too late to address the trauma. If severe trauma has been experienced early on in life, then it can affect a child’s development.”

The public speaker, author, and trusted advisor, Daniel Zopoula is also an advocate for mental health. He explains that the exact cause of PTSD is not fully understood, but could be due to the human survival mechanism working to prepare you should the event occur again. It may be attributed to abnormally high levels of adrenaline, or perhaps it is due to changes in the brain as a result of the traumatic event or episode. Symptoms of PTSD can include intrusive memories or flashbacks, avoidance of certain subjects or places, negative mood swings or feeling numb and changes in emotional reactions or behavior. PTSD is triggered by a terrifying event, either experiencing it first-hand or being a witness. Children can be particularly vulnerable when circumstances deprive them of the protection and support they deserve in life and Zopoula aims to help wherever he can.

Born in Burkina Faso, West Africa, Dr. Daniel Zopoula studied the Bible and theology at a number of schools in Canada and the United States. Zopoula established the Bridges of Hope International Network in the late 1990s to give something tangible back to communities in developing nations. The multinational, non-profit organization is dedicated to overcoming poverty and injustice, assisting with economic development and providing practical assistance to children, families and communities. The charity has provided medical aid and micro-financing initiatives, among other programs, with the aim of encouraging growth and sustainability, leveraging contributions amongst the poorest of people in Canada and beyond.



Daniel Zopoula – Bishop, Author, and Charity Leader: http://danielzopoulanews.com



Daniel Zopoula — Highlights Importance of Unity in Struggling Communities: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/daniel-zopoula-highlights-importance-unity-030641299.html

Daniel Zopoula — Helps Families Overcome Poverty Through the Bridges of Hope: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/daniel-zopoula-helps-families-overcome-045404130.html


Daniel Zopoula Highlights Importance of Community Unity

West African Pastor, author, and inspirational speaker Daniel Zopoula has shared a remarkable message of the meaning of unity. He wants modern society to embrace this idea as he believes it can help struggling communities survive and improve them for the future. His own humble upbringing in Burkina Faso taught him valuable lessons about the necessity of perseverance in hostile circumstances. Zopoula regularly brings this message to his congregation at his southern Alberta church, and channels it through his other work counseling, writing, speaking, and consulting.

In addition to his own personal experiences, Daniel Zopoula has learned a great amount about the realities of struggle through working with his Bridges of Hope International Network charity, which he established in the 1990s. One recurring theme he has observed is the increased strength and potential for improvement of communities that display a unified character.

“Communities that support each other can make it through the most difficult of times,” Zopoula explains. “Those that fail to do this are often headed for disaster or total collapse.”

He reminds us how the Bible repeatedly urges people to live in unity:
“I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. Finally, all of you have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.”

Daniel Zopoula - Highlights Importance of Unity in Struggling CommunitiesIn following the advice of the Good Book, Zopoula shares his discoveries of the different ways communities can unite and their importance. The greatest danger to any community, Zopoula explains, is hopelessness. Compassionate individuals or organizations such as his charity, NGOs, and others can do their best to help bring hope, but the source of that important feeling must be the community itself. Regular meetings where hope and unity are reinforced can help these values become part of the community’s core, which are then repeated in daily interactions. With this foundation, the sense of unity spreads to many central areas. When challenged by outside forces that wish to exploit or harm them, a unified community can quickly recognize the danger and band together to protect themselves.

“Though the advantages in each of these situations are clear,” Zopoula reveals, “the importance of unity is greater than the sum of its parts.”

Soon, a struggling community realizes that as a unified group, the possibility of survival and progress is a very real one. As is often observed, working towards improvement becomes a self‐fulfilling prophecy and opens the community up to greater visibility and increased assistance.

“I encourage the brave communities striving for better conditions and those assisting them to add the consideration of total unity to their plans,” Zopoula concluded.

Daniel Zopoula is the founding Pastor of the Miz City Church in Lethbridge, Alberta. Born in Burkina Faso, West Africa, Zopoula moved to Canada where he studied the Bible and theology at a number of schools, seminaries and institutes. He continued to become an accomplished public speaker, author, lecturer, entrepreneur, consultant and valued advisor. Among other philanthropic pursuits, he has run his own charity, the Bridges of Hope International Network, since the 1990s.

Recommended News

Daniel Zopoula — Helps Families Overcome Poverty Through the Bridges of Hope: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/daniel-zopoula-helps-families-overcome-045404130.html

Daniel Zopoula and Bridges of Hope Help Families

Founder and President of Bridges of Hope, Daniel Zopoula believes that poverty, inequality, and injustice have become three of today’s most important global issues. With over three billion people living on less than $2.50 a day and 80% of humanity surviving on less than $10 a day, it   is restricting people and the progress of society as a whole. Every day, Zopoula makes it his mission to guide families out of poverty and suffering with Bridges of Hope, a multinational charity he founded in the late 1990s.

Through the Bridges of Hope International Network, Daniel Zopoula has helped thousands of children and families overcome economic struggles in poor communities. For more than 20 years, the Canada‐based charity unites the efforts of multiple relief, development and advocacy organizations with the primary goal of relieving poverty. To date, they combat illiteracy and a lack of adequate health care encouraging sustainable economic development, and address critical areas of the world. Through various partnerships, more organizations can spread their reach to be more effective instruments of change for the future.

Daniel Zopoula - Helps Families Overcome Poverty Through the Bridges of Hope-2

According to leading business strategist company, The Valcort Group, one of the main reasons why charities and non‐profits fail is because of a lack of productive relationships. Many organizations focus heavily on connecting with donors, but neglect the importance of developing a support network with other like‐minded groups. Through Bridges of Hope, Daniel Zopoula has provided a place for organizations who share a common vision and goal to connect, partner with one another. As a result, his network helps more people than they otherwise would have been able to. Together, the partners of Bridges of Hope have over 30,000 beneficiaries, serve three million meals a year, and have contributed to the education of over 10,000 children across the   world.

Groups like Haiti Village Health, a non-profit providing health care and training to one of the most under‐serviced areas of Haiti, and Youth One, a Canadian organization providing young people a space to feel safe and engage in a healthier lifestyle, must do more.

“The charities and organizations we partner with are able to reduce their administrative and overhead costs, which means more of donor contributions go towards achieving goals, rather than trying to sustain a particular agency,” explains Zopoula.

Under the guiding principles of dignity and respect, Bridges of Hope is successfully working with other charities, as well as ministries, governments, donors, and individuals to reach the goal of ‘promoting poverty relief and community empowerment amongst the poorest nations of the earth.’ His continued efforts are a testament to Zopoula, who is demonstrating how powerful the concept of unity can be.

Born in a poor village in West Africa, Daniel Zopoula moved to Canada, where he completed his doctorate. After years of sending money back to his community in Burkina Faso and motivated by a deep desire to do more, he was the driving force behind the creations of Bridges of Hope. As the organization’s network grew, he has been directly responsible for helping thousands of children every year. He was awarded the Orders of Burkina Faso for his work advancing international development. Zopoula is the Canadian archbishop of the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches, a senior consultant for Life Direction Training and Consulting, an avid entrepreneur and public speaker, and author of More Than Nothing, published in 2008.

Ubuntu: We are all connected

Happy New Year!

May this year be for each a season of “Goodwill” to ALL people at ALL places(Luke 2:14). I champion to deliberately find every excuse to extend the generosity, profoundly over-extending goodwill to ALL

As the African Philosophy of Ubuntu teaches us, “I am what I am because of who we all are.” or “I am a person through other persons”. “A single straw of a broom can be broken easily, but the straws together are not easily broken.”

This truly is the essence of being and becoming; you can’t exist as a human being in isolation; you can’t be human all by yourself, you belong.  We are all connected! What you do affects the whole world. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity. You diminish when others are  diminished, when others are humiliated; you famish when others are famished, when others are tortured and oppressed. This is the year, this is the moment.

The government of fear is over! I am resolved, aggressively, provocatively and deliberately living to enable the community around to improve and become it’s uttermost. When we struggle to feed only ourselves, everyone goes hungry. But when we focus on our neighbour’s hunger, we discover there are ways to feed everyone. The world is my Parish.

No one walks  alone into higher realms. As expressed in the title of the acclaimed, and Number one hit song released in January, 1970, with gospel overtones, and recorded by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, unity is our only “Bridge over Trouble Water.” Without a bridge that leads to unity with others, who will support us through our perilous times, we will fall and sink, hopelessly, into the troubled water.

With unfeigned love, always, still becoming,
++ Daniel Zopoula

Critical Carefrontation:

Critical Carefrontation:

Self-management Practices

  • Desiring to be at peace with people is a good thing
  • Use conflict as an opportunity to serve others
  • Encourage good practice by personal example
  • Deal only with issues that are too important to overlook
  • Overlook minor offenses
  • Guard your attitude from negative thinking

Helpful conflict management thinking

  • “It is my intention to provoke your thinking.”
  • “It is not my intention to offend you.”
  • “People decide to be offended.”
  • “Please decide not to be offended.”
  • People are responsible to be gentle
  • People are responsible to be forthright
  • People are responsible to challenge ideas
  • People are responsible to detach their self worth from their ideas.

From the “Critical Confrontation” Principles

  • Start with Heart. The clearer you are on goals, the less you’re controlled by fears.
  • Learn to Look. What you see is what you get.
  • Make it Safe. Defensiveness is not a sign of too much candor, but too little safety.
  • Master my Stories. To take control of your emotions, take control of your stories.
  • STATE my Path. How to be persuasive without being abrasive or evasive. Work to say things in the most acceptable way possible.
  • Explore others’ Path. When you learn to do this you have a responsibility to increase the pool of shared meaning…
  • Move to Action. How you end a crucial conversation is as important as how you begin it. At the beginning you need safety, at the end closure. Tricky parts are beginning and end.

Why does it help to stop and examine your motives?

  • Because the motive you can’t see controls you.
  • Because you aren’t that good an actor.
  • Because if you can see it you can change it.
  • Because questions provoke the brain.

Police raid Nigeria ‘baby farm’


Police raid Nigeria ‘baby farm’


Police have raided a private hospital in Nigeria where they suspect new-born babies were being sold to traffickers.

Police found the hospital in the south-eastern town of Enugu, when a 17-year-old girl escaped.

Four people – two nurses and the hospital’s owners – have been arrested in connection with the “baby farm”, police said.

Seven pregnant young women discovered in the hospital during the raid are now in the care of the state government.


State police commissioner Sani Magaji told the BBC Hausa service that a 17-year-old who was days away from giving birth had escaped from the hospital.

The women, according to the police, had spent up to six months in the hospital, waiting to give birth.

Their babies would be sold for as little as 15,000 naira ($127, £72), the police said.

It is suspected the babies were to be sold to traffickers who sell children into forced labour or prostitution.

The BBC’s Abdussalam Ahmed in Enugu says several similar cases have been discovered in Nigeria in recent years.

Poor, unmarried women face tough choices if they get pregnant in Nigeria.

Unmarried mothers face exclusion from society, our correspondent says.

Abortion is illegal except in rare cases, and illegally obtained abortions are very dangerous.

In May, a Nigerian woman was jailed in the UK for trying to smuggle a baby into the country in order to get on the list for a council flat.

Police have not been able to trace the child’s real parents.


Page last updated at 12:44 GMT, Wednesday, 8 October 2008 13:44 UK

Merry Christmas!

Christmas is here again, and with it, the memories and imagination of family, joy, sadness, grief, melancholy, Hope, etc. For many, perhaps the stress of consumerism and the idols our culture has immortalized might be too much to endure and one might be tempted to escape into the dark places; depression, resentment, confusion and isolation!

Once more, I am reminded of the message of the angel to Mary this Christmas in the gospel according to Saint Luke 1:36-37 –  “she who was called barren” is barren no more, for “nothing will be impossible with God.” Earlier, in verse 30-31, the Angel had greeted the virgin Mary with the words: “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God and behold, you will conceive …”

In my judgment, a human can only access the past through memory and the future through imagination,  essentially drawing symbols and metaphors of victimism or victory from these.

This Christmas season, as we look again to the horizon of a new year, may we find comfort and hope in the words of Christ our Redeemer, conveyed and proclaimed by the angels, immortalized through Calvary: 1) Do not be afraid 2) you will conceive 3) you have found favor with God  4) nothing will be impossible with God.

Truly, the Christmas message is a message of “Barren No more!” the gospel story is a story of “Barren no more!” For God has incarnated humanity;  Rejoice, Oh Rejoice! Emanuel Has Come to thee O Israel! God is with us

Brothers and Sisters, the end of my letter is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned

These words, I carefully and prayerfully commit to you in love. But unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Our  entire team  express our deepest gratitude to  you the kind hearted people who contributed your time, passion and  resources towards our being and becoming.

In faith and verity,
Always, Still becoming,
Rev. Dr. Daniel & Sara, Zopoula