Trauma Counseling

Only God can turn the victims of war into the instruments of revival.

When our founder was beginning the ministry in Northern Uganda, she first called the American embassy in that region in order to coordinate her first steps. The phone call is memorable. The representative reminded her that Northern Uganda was Joseph Kony’s territory (terrorist rebel in the late 80s through the early 2000s) and that they STRONGLY suggested she not go. She responded, “Is this a suggestion or an order?” “It’s a strong suggestion. If you insist on going, we will cross you off the list,” they said. “What does that mean?” she asked. “There is no chance for you to return to [the US] except in a body bag,” they quipped.

Volatility has always been a factor wherever we have gone. In the beginning, our landscape was fraught with war. Now, it’s war, gang life, and much more. Favor’s Trauma Counseling ministry began during the war with the LRA in northern Uganda and post-war national recovery to see God bring healing and hope. Though founded in biblical curriculum and implementation, the services and healing we offer to traumatized communities are not always presented as a “religious” function, but as a two-week process that works.

During the time spent with our team in trauma counseling, participants learn about the love of Jesus demonstrated for them on the Cross, and receive His forgiveness, prayer, and more emotional healing with the whole group. People learn to extend forgiveness and be emotionally healthy people to their families and other relations.

The original Trauma Counseling curriculum we use was written by believing Christian psychologists from Australia, was peer-reviewed through publications at Boston University, and for many years has been adapted and contextualized for the many people groups we serve throughout South Sudan and Uganda.

Favor has discovered an immense demand and need for trauma counseling, as both nations from top to bottom has experienced brutal oppression and injustice in generations of civil war. We are working at great speed to bring trauma counseling to many contexts. We have hosted reconciliation meetings between tribes with continuous violent raids. In South Sudan, we are bringing counseling to the military units throughout the young nation.

“Please bring your trauma counseling. We’re all traumatized in South Sudan… I’m traumatized.”

– Minister of the Interior for South Sudan

Many communities in Uganda and South Sudan possess deep, unresolved emotional wounds. Our trauma counseling program 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. Some 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 and has made reintegration into communities difficult. Many extend their behavior into the community which in turn perpetuates trauma with the family and community. Our trauma program provides counselors who have intensive training to provide care and experience breaking the ongoing cycle of hurt, anger and retribution.

Our program has two parts. The first section focuses on developing emotional strength, and the second teaches about forgiveness. Throughout the program the counselors teach 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 restoring these individuals to society. Once the people have completed the trauma counseling, they are often ready and eager to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. In many communities, this work precedes a 2-month long Portable Bible School to train and disciple.

April 2020 Results of Trauma Counseling from all field locations in South Sudan

Tribe/Location# TRAINED# TC BOOKS DISTRIBUTED# SALVATIONS
Pagook975033
Kolmerek705082
Baidit1209680
Winliet Island0028
Chuomcok16112040
Mayath1059812
Total553414275

You can support a trauma counseling project for one village with a one-time gift of $2,000, or two people could give $85 monthly to support a whole trauma counseling project in only one year! The result will be individuals and families receiving God’s forgiveness, receiving new life in Christ, and extending emotionally healthy relationships for generations to come.

Will you help today?

A Word from Favor

“You want God to do the impossible? Put your feet into the impossibility, and watch God divide the water… You watch God do the supernatural, but go step on it. Go step on it.”

— Carole Ward

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