A Brief Introduction to Favor
“Lord, send me where no one wants to go, to do what no one wants to do.”
Favor was founded in Uganda in the middle of a horrific rebel war. At the time, the government and the people were unable to fend for themselves against Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). Over 66,000 children were abducted, trained to kill, and turned into child soldiers where they committed atrocities against their own people.
A UN representative summarized it like this, “I cannot find any other part of the world that is having an emergency on the scale of Uganda, that is getting such little international attention.”
Hope was lost and military options to defeat the LRA had failed. Two million people were forcibly interned in camps called Internally Displaced People (IDP) under horrendous conditions with no healthcare, no sanitation, and very little food. The same spiritual darkness that bore Joseph Kony and his rebels was lurking over the camps. A whole generation and a society was marked for annihilation… until God intervened by gathering courageous prayer warriors from the land – and across the world.
To everyone’s surprise, Carole Ward, a 3rd-generation missionary, began to cry out for God to call her to a lifetime of serving in Uganda. She prayed this bold prayer, “Send me where no one wants to go and to do what no one wants to do.”
In response, the Lord sent Carole Ward, a trained nurse and battle-hardened prayer warrior, to northern Uganda, into the heart of the war zone. He baptized her with a supernatural love for the people that drove out all fear of rebel ambushes as she drove alone across the Nile into the lands that everyone fled.
Though needs were imminent and infinite, she began by doing nothing but 6 months of prayer and hugging and washing the feet of broken lives in the internment camps. The Holy Spirit filled her with a powerful vision to reach the forgotten people of this country by serving and training them into national leaders, to multiply and accelerate the Gospel to the rest of the land. She began simply by renting a house and put a sign on the front that read, “House of Prayer, 7a-7p.” Many indeed came with their brokenness that the Lord would later use to proclaim freedom to their neighbors, families, and country.
God confirmed His Word with countless dramatic signs, wonders, and miracles. A fresh unity emerged within a formerly fragmented church body and deliverance from spiritual bondage, poverty, and hopelessness was what God did in the lives of precious victims of war.
“We will go to hell and back, if you will hold the ropes.”
In time, after much intercessory prayer, many came to join Carole in the ministry of evangelism, Bible teaching, and caring for the orphans. When the government required registration to continue the work in this dangerous area, Carole formed the ministry in 2004, with two Ugandans. Though the needs were enormous, God told her, “Build My house, and I’ll build yours!” (1 Chronicles 17:10 & 25).
Soon after, Favor opened a simple community called the House of Prayer in Gulu, the regional capital in the center of the war. It became a center for a missionary movement that was in part instrumental to end the war through the power of the Gospel.
The ministry quickly grew to 90 national leaders in a few years. Those 90 leaders:
- Distributed 80,000+ Bibles,
- Trained 7,000+ pastors,
- Built a school with 400 attending,
- Graduated 500+ leaders from a Bible college,
- Reached 50,000+ through trauma counseling,
- Built the first Christian radio station,
- Held crusades with 1 million+ attending,
- Trained government leaders,
- Conducted mobile medical clinics for 8,000+ patients.
A real turning point in our story was the National Prayer Gathering in Gulu. The Lord prompted us to organize a gathering in the War Memorial Stadium to unify the tribes, leaders, churches, and regions in Uganda in repentant prayer for the ending of the war. We planned a 77 hour prayer meeting, 11 hours a day for 7 days in December 2005. Radio stations were contacted to spread the news and word spread like wildfire. The day finally approached and over 1,000 people, including political leaders, gathered inside this humble stadium to join in intense, radical, united prayer.
As a result, the war stopped and many significant stories of radical transformation followed. Pastors reported that they sensed heaven opening in a new way. Government officials called and testified of a strong sense that the spiritual climate over the area had changed. Miracles were occurring in local churches. It even led to inaugurating the month of January as the month of prayer.
Some time later, Joseph Kony’s right-hand general converted to Christianity and attended Favor’s New Life Bible College. When he learned of the prayer gathering that we held at the War Memorial Stadium and the specific time it happened, he testified that it was at the same time that Joseph Kony told him the demons who gave him power over the land had left him!
After a time, the LRA evacuated out of Uganda, bringing an effective peace. The LRA made many attempts to re-enter Uganda after the end of the war, and fill Joseph Kony’s vacant seat, but each one failed. As people returned to their homes, the Gospel accelerated across northern Uganda with salvations and discipleship. And the government admitted the healing of the land was brought about not by military might or diplomatic negotiations, but by prayer and fasting.
Those who were once victims of war are now zealous to serve the ending of wars in neighboring South Sudan.
We began to focus more direct efforts to South Sudan in 2007 by sending missionaries and Portable Bible School (PBS) programs. We organized a legal presence in the nation through trusted Portable Bible School graduates and purchased our first office space in Juba in 2015. That same year we hosted a national prayer meeting in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, just as we did in Uganda, to bring God’s repentance, revival, and restoration.
As a result, the first set of peace treaties between hostile political leaders were signed, and many South Sudanese leaders requested a prayer gathering be hosted in each of the 10 states along with many other discipleship ministries that Favor offers.