Community Development
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Community Development

God revitalizes whole communities when we apply His 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 revitalization 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 Revitalization 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 were 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 exercised, 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 Revitalization

 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.

Because of this in mind, community revitalization must include each of these following phases: 

After much prayer and fasting has tilled the ground up ahead, we first must 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.

After just a few years of Favor, Carole reported, “In amazement, I watched change come to this seemingly forsaken nation, not through armies nor guns, but through saving, restoring, and renewing one heart at a time.

Community revitalization is important to us because we desire nothing less than a transformed life surrendered to Jesus. We could fill each stomach. We could build beautiful buildings. We could even pass out thousands of bibles, but if not one heart is baptized in the love of Christ, then we have not accomplished what we came to do. We can and will meet as many needs as we are capable of, but our mission field isn’t Uganda’s economy nor poor health systems, but the hearts of Ugandans.

A Replicated Training Model

As we have continued to replicate this model across Uganda and South Sudan, the Portable Bible School graduations are celebrated prominently by local government and religious leaders. With a new group of trained leaders and with coordination from Favor’s team, these new disciple-makers can strengthen the life of existing congregations or plant a new church. Here lies the beauty of always replacing oneself to see the following generations take up the torch in the Kingdom mission.

We are thorough in our approach to each community. Each time we begin to revitalize through the power of the Holy Spirit, we consider the unique characteristics of each village to ensure we serve to the specific needs of the people. How we teach in our PBSs and what programs we implement into the community are just some ways we try to customize to each village. Each educational and empowerment projects are customized to each community, planned, and implemented. Other common project components are a women’s empowerment project, Bible-based adult literacy, or constructing a new church building.

As the training nears completion, construction of a church in the village gives the community a hub for ongoing spiritual, health, and economic development including literacy training and its resources and materials. The church structure also provides a site for mobile medical clinics conducted by visiting doctors.

If the village lacks necessary amenities, such as access to clean water, Favor makes connections for resourcing and infrastructure. Once the church building is complete, ongoing mentoring continues for at least one year to guide and sustain community development. We can’t over emphasize the impact of a church building that we see in each village we reach. It gives a literal concrete symbol of faith reassuring the people of what God has done.

You can support a whole one-year community revitalization with a one-time gift of $9,000, or five people can give $150 monthly to support a whole revitalization project! These funds pay for trainer wages, travel, curriculum and Bible distribution, and meals for 100 participants during the Portable Bible School and Trauma Counseling. You will transform an entire community by applying the Word of God and multiplying leaders to make disciples for countless generations!

Community Revitalization Component Cost Breakdown

Favor runs the two-month Portable Bible School in every community we reach, plus 2-3 additional education and empowerment components, depending on the villages’ needs and particular aptitudes for fruitfulness:
Portable Bible School & Church Plant (Required)
$4,300
Adult Bible-Based Literacy* $1,500
Church Construction* $3,000
Comm. Health Education & Evangelism* $2,000
Mobile Medical Clinic* $2,500
Trauma Counseling* $1,500
Village Learning Center* $4,000
Women’s Empowerment* $3,000
*These variable components are added for a total of approx. $9,000 per community, depending on their unique needs.

Every community we serve receives a two-month portable Bible school.

Favor’s Portable Bible Schools mobilize new disciple makers in spiritual and physical war zones. Each bootcamp trains participants to live Biblically in Jesus’s Kingdom and multiply disciples in their context.

The Gospel of Jesus is advancing in the transformed lives of entire communities along the Nile River, into areas formerly ruled by witchcraft, Islam, and darkness. Favor’s Community Revitalization ministry is the bread and butter of sustainable national transformation of communities and culture throughout this region.

A large portion of Favor’s 230 national missionaries conduct this community revitalization process in over 100 communities per year, training over 10,000 new national disciple-makers annually in Portable Bible Schools and transforming the lives of entire communities around the principles of God’s Word.

After completing a Portable Bible School, Favor will implement some of the following components to see the Kingdom in practice:

pbs graduation blog header

“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace.”

— The Apostle Paul, Philippians 1:3-7

2021 Plan for Community Revitalization Expansion

Favor has a viable, specific plan for blanketing all of South Sudan’s 64 tribes with transformed communities. To exceed our capacity of running Portable Bible Schools (184 in 2020 graduating 22,374 trained indigenous leaders!) we will start 20 “Mission Stations” throughout the land, which you can learn more about in this presentation.

REEP Vision Sharing Dec 2020: A Summary Presentation of the Strategic 5-Year Vision to Blanket Nations

View the Replay

View the Slides

View the Slides

How Favor missionary teams multiply and accelerate indigenous leadership by the power of the Gospel and holistic community transformation

Read the Strategic Vision to Blanket Nations (84 pages)

Favor is raising $2,262,000 throughout 2021 to revitalize 205 communities with the Gospel, leadership, and education, plus permanently increasing our capacity to serve 300+ communities annually. We purposely seek out Unengaged Unreached People Groups (UUPGs) as prospective locations.

Will you help today?

Revitalizing communities is what we do.

We have witnessed how individual and community transformation go hand-in-hand, and so Favor disciples entire communities at a time through portable Bible schools, trauma counseling, church planting, health and medical clinics, and more. The result is a revitalized community with more economic empowerment, educating their children, reconciled with neighbors, and centered around the life of the church.

Favor International is a movement training and equipping indigenous leaders for 18 years in East African war zones to sustainably change their communities with the power of the Gospel. Through community development and Portable Bibles Schools (PBSs), leadership training, and radio programming from our offices in Gulu, Uganda, and Juba, the capital of South Sudan, Favor exists to serve and mobilize God-empowered “discipleship factories” of indigenous leaders making disciples who make disciples.

 

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Community Revitalization Components We Add to Portable Bible Schools

Favor is passionate about planting churches. The Gospel lived in community is essential to reaching and transforming lives. One church planted in unreached communities can affect countless people.

The process begins as our Community Revitalization team strategically targets communities and villages with little to no Christian influence. Once sites have been selected, meetings are conducted with village leaders to obtain support and schedule a three-day evangelistic outreach. The outreach yields a new body of believers and an ongoing prayer community. Next, these new believers are engaged in training and discipleship through our two-month Portable Bible School. Potential leaders are identified and equipped to lead the new congregation and to train others as pastors and church planters.

Many communities in Uganda and South Sudan possess deep, unresolved emotional wounds. Favor’s trauma counseling focuses on people who have experienced highly stressful life events. Every person has a story of tragedy and fear. War has been a constant reality for numerous decades. 66,000 children in Northern Uganda alone were abducted and brainwashed into combatants and sexual slaves. Most people, in both countries, have had relatives murdered or maimed often right before their eyes. Many have been forced to kill or be killed. Due to the constant instability, millions of individuals were placed in camps, where many died due to horrific conditions. These experiences have left individuals with behavioral symptoms indicative of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Evangelism & Discipleship Meetingand has made reintegration into communities difficult. Their negative behavior and inability to contribute positively to the community in turn perpetuates an ongoing cycle of hurt, anger and retribution.

Our trauma program provides counselors who have intensive training to provide transformational care. Our program has two parts. The first section focuses on developing emotional strength, and the second teaches about forgiveness. Throughout the program counselors show people how to connect to one another and counter stress with positive activity. In addition, stories and sharing time help the participants understand pain and trauma from another perspective while giving them the opportunity to discuss the events they’ve experienced. Trauma counseling is important for these people to find healing, gain strength, and develop skills to become successful in life.

A mother’s greatest desire is for her children’s well-being and success. However, in rural Uganda and South Sudan many mothers struggle daily to make ends meet. Gender inequalities entrap the women, who are viewed as subservient to men, and girls are not sent to school. Tragic losses, easily preventable by simple education and medical care, punctuate the struggle to break free from this cycle of poverty. Favor’s Women’s Empowerment Program ends this cycle by equipping women to generate their own income through training in skills, emotional wholeness, parenting and financial management. This income gains them a measure of respect and independence from their husbands and funds the medical and educational needs of all their children.

Favor leadership teams select women who have demonstrated faithfulness through regular tithing and attendance at church and Community Revitalization sessions. Every empowerment meeting starts with individual and community goal setting. Through conversation, the team helps the women discover solutions uniquely suited to their circumstances. Based on interest, skills and resources the women may choose from a variety of vocational projects: artisan training in beads and textiles; cows and plows farming; animal husbandry involving poultry, pigs or goats; tailoring; bread making. Once decided, our team helps the women form their own structure and accountability system. The women leave these meetings with a solution in hand and joyful in the newfound knowledge of their God-given gifts.

Favor is passionate about building churches. The church becomes a central gathering place for the communities and is one of the most effective means of reaching and transforming lives. A physical building communicates that the Gospel is here to stay, helping communities rebuild around the physical and spiritual construction of a healthy church.

The entire community is involved in the construction process by providing labor, food for workers and available resources. When finished, the structure houses not only Sunday services and prayer meetings, but also serves as a community hub for ongoing teaching and training in literacy, health and economic development. Ongoing mentoring also takes place on location as our staff walks with the new faith community throughout the following year to guide and sustain the village’s continued development.

There is a tremendous need for reliable and applicable community health information in Uganda and South Sudan. Access to formal education is severely limited and illiteracy rates are extremely high. Therefore, what most westerners would consider common knowledge about disease processes, germ theory and basic hygiene principles is widely unknown. Community Health Education is a vital and integral part of the Rural Education and Empowerment Program. During the two-month Portable Bible Schools, daily classes are taught on recognizing certain disease symptoms, preventing illnesses, and treating common disorders. Care is taken to respect village folklore and tribal treatments while ensuring proper medical knowledge is learned in order to build a healthy and productive community.

Favor strongly believes that every child should have the opportunity to survive and thrive in education. The children in Uganda and South Sudan face tremendous barriers that include extreme poverty, limited resources, and a lack of safe water and transportation. Public education does not exist in these countries as families are required to pay for their children’s schooling. Even those children fortunate enough to attend school face a 100:1 teacher/student ratio. Additionally, early marriage is prevalent resulting in females having even less access to education. To address this desperate need, Favor International opened a primary school in 2008 that serves over 400 students. We maintain a 30:1 student to teacher ratio. Along with traditional academic studies the students are also instructed in the Bible and Christian living. Our school has been recognized for outstanding academic achievement by the Educational District. Although we take great pride in what has been accomplished, it is only the beginning.  We are continually striving to expand our educational programs. Uganda has the world’s youngest population- 78% are below the age of 30 and has one of the highest youth unemployment rates. The median age of the population in Uganda is 15.8 years. Our approach is to increase access to quality education by expanding and building new facilities including secondary schools.

Favor also has an adult literacy program as part of the two-month Portable Bible School. Many are motivated to learn to read using the Bible as their instructional guide. They improve their reading skills using God’s Word. Literacy is a key factor in alleviating poverty. We train and support these adult  students and see them  increase in productivity, innovation, and renewed hope for the future. Education combined with spiritual growth is a life and nation transforming event.

Mobile medical clinics are a practical extension of the Community Health Education program. Access to reliable medical diagnosis and treatment in urban areas is substandard and nonexistent in rural villages. Individuals will not be productive nor will communities thrive with unhealthy and diseased people. Favor’s goal is to bring dependable and professional medical access to established villages.

A Word from Favor

“When penitent, pleading, prevailing, persevering, persistent prayer takes priority and preeminence over pride, people pleasing, programs, preconceived ideas, problems, pulpits, and performances, then and only then…will My presence and power permeate this planet once again!!”

— Carole Ward

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