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NBI President and trauma therapist Dr. Lori Basey shares a message from the Bible with a village filled with polio victims in Sierra Leone, West Africa.

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Taking It to the Villages—and the Streets

Faith-based Nonprofit Takes on Difficult, Sometimes Dangerous Assignments

With so much war and crime and darkness filling our world, it’s encouraging to know that there are people in the world who are willing to leave the comfort and safety of their homes to reach out a helping hand to those in dire need.

One such example is Lori Basey, co-founder and president of No Boundaries International-Oklahoma City.

I spoke with Lori to learn more about the organization one day outside the organization’s spacious offices on Britton Road in the revitalized Britton District, where she and other volunteers were painting the exterior.

“We started in 2006. I’m an occupational therapist and my specialty is complex trauma,” she began. “So, years ago, my husband and I and our friends would travel around helping people … in war-torn or disaster-related areas. It was out of that that we decided we just needed to do more.”

[Editor’s Note: Lori’s credentials are impressive. Since 1991, Lori, who also holds a doctorate of ministry, has specialized in acute psychiatric care, including trauma-informed therapeutic intervention following the Oklahoma City Murrah Federal Building bombing as well as the 9/11 disaster in NYC and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.]

The “that” referred to is the couple’s first visit to Sierra Leone in West Africa in 2005, where they witnessed some of the worst atrocities imaginable, from mass murder to children forced to become soldiers.

Lori came back to the States with a case of malaria, which led to a stay in Mercy’s ICU—and a determination to “do more.”

Lori joined up with Sandy Orchard, a nurse and current secretary of NBI-OKC, to establish the organization with the goal of mobilizing medically trained volunteers to help address needs as they found them.

“We started in 2006 here in Oklahoma City as a not-for-profit,” Lori recalled. “For the first five years we would go out to earthquakes, war and terrorism areas ... that kind of stuff.”

Acknowledging the inherent danger of this work, Lori says: “But that’s the best place to be. That’s where people need help the most.”

In 2011, the faith-based organization began addressing issues closer to home, as well as overseas, including human trafficking, homelessness, addiction and mental illness.

Lori said during one period, she and other NBI-OKC sat in an area of Oklahoma City known as a “human trafficking track,” where they “saw things we couldn’t unsee.”

“So, we thought, ‘it’s game on.’”

Thanks to students at Deer Creek High School who raised $80,000 for the nonprofit, NBI-OKC was able to purchase a food truck, which allows them to provide food where their clients here live—on the streets.

Lori spends much of her time training others through “brain boot camps” and other sessions on trauma and the psychology of trauma so that they, in turn, can help others.

“Everywhere we go, we train others to go out,” she said.

For instance, in Sierra Leone—where the nonprofit was gearing up to go at the time of this interview—"the needs are astronomical,” Lori said. “There’s been a 10-year war and a humanitarian crisis and so I’ll do a lot of ‘brain boot camps’ and lots of training about trauma and psychology of trauma and teach them how to heal and then go out and help others.”

NBI-OKC is spread across the metro, with the food truck and administrative offices located at 49 E. 15th in Edmond and the outreach office in a converted firehouse on the southside at 3416 S. Robinson. The third location, at 907 W. Britton Road (nicknamed “Base 907”), is situated in the revitalized area of Britton and is where much of the training takes place.

To date, hundreds of individuals (inside and outside NBI-OKC) have been trained in the “Restoration” program developed by Lori.  On the nonprofit’s website, this trauma-informed program is described as addressing “the heart-level hurts and trauma encountered in life utilizing biblical principles and neuroscience made easy.” Training is offered through one-on-one or group sessions as well as through a free e-course.

“I think anxiety is rampant. Depression is rampant. A lot of people are really struggling,” Lori said.

“People are more desperate than we’ve ever seen before. They need hygiene, they need food and, ultimately, they need connection and a relationship.”

  • NBI President and trauma therapist Dr. Lori Basey shares a message from the Bible with a village filled with polio victims in Sierra Leone, West Africa.
  • Dr. Basey, with OKC-based Komeo International Ministries partners Jerome and Shanna Crawford, take part in a live TV interview about their activities in Sierra
  • Dr. Lori Basey and the NBI team and partner ministry Komeo International Ministries, evangelizing in a polio camp in Sierra Leone
  • Back home in OKC, volunteers paint the exterior of "Base 907." (Photo by Andrew Griffin)