Background: Applying God's Word Holistically
Twenty-five years of war in northern Uganda and sixty years in South Sudan have torn apart the social fabric of generations. Communities now in war or postwar are often missing a healthy church, an educational system, and an economic structure. Favor’s model of community development has been informed by almost 20 years of work and recognizes the church and the Word of God as the center of sustainable, ongoing community development. This has become our bread and butter!
A Mobile Model
Our model functions as a mobile vehicle that we replicate to each village we arrive at. Over the past 20 years, we have fashioned this model to be mobile, accessible, and transferable across Uganda and South Sudan. Each village presents their own set of obstacles ranging from unique dialects, customs, and history. Therefore the model works as an independent arm of the ministry that carries the bulk of our Gospel mission. It’s trench warfare! Our Community Development model is where the frontlines are –where the rubber meets the road.
Over the years, Favor has encountered much witchcraft and occult practices. The staff received a call one day from a village, named Anaka, a few hours away that was experiencing demonic terrors. Anaka leaders had heard of the great things God had been doing through Favor, so they asked, “Can your God help us?”
In response, we sent teams of new leaders that had been raised up from within Favor. Team after team after team was sent out 2-by-2 like Jesus did with the disciples to meet each need of the village tearing down the darkness the enemy had veiled over them. After a few weeks, hundreds of villagers gave their life to Jesus, demons were exorcised, new believers were trained in a Portable Bible School. The incredible thing is that after months of revival and continued training, another village far off called and reported similar accounts of demonic terror in their village. Favor staff saw the opportunity for the new Anaka believers by sending them to care and minister to that community. After a few weeks, we got reports of the Anaka believers bringing revival to this new village.
Our Steps For Community Development
Jesus teaches us to always replicate ourselves. Like the Anaka village, Favor wants to empower the humble hands of each community to then share and teach the next community. Everyone participates in the beautiful mission of God.
With this in mind, community development must include each of these following phases:
- After much prayer and fasting has tilled the ground up ahead, we must first make contact through an individual or special opportunity. We initiate by developing relationships with village leaders and gaining their support. Once we have accomplished that, we begin!
- A trained staff team will come for a 3-day Outreach. Believe us when we say it’s an exciting experience. Revival is busting out of the seams in Uganda and South Sudan during these outreaches. But, once these new believers commit to a life with Christ, the work is not over. This leads to a significant turning point for the village.
- A Portable Bible School (PBS) team arrives to develop the education of biblical truths and life skills for 2 months. After this point, ministry staff begins to evaluate what the community needs in order to plant a Church.
- We raise up pastors and church leaders before we can begin organizing and resourcing for church construction.
- Finally, custom components (i.e. trauma counseling, medical clinic outreaches, business projects for village revenue, women empowerment) are grafted in.
Even as we arrive to these last steps, we know that work is never really done. As Favor has grown, we have built bible schools and other forms of ways to further train and provide useful resources to all the people of Uganda and South Sudan.