“It is estimated that more than 1 billion people have been affected by extreme violence, embodied in the experience of war, ethnic conflict, torture and terrorism… Left unabated, trauma will continue to compromise development gains and force organizations to forfeit important opportunities to positively influence health, recovery and sustainable development.”
Dr. Richard F. Mollica, director of the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and editor of “Global Mental Health: Trauma and Recovery"
From John Walter, President of African Leadership:
There are 7 billion people in the world. Which means, 1 in 7 of us carry around seeds of hopelessness and despair.
What is that hopelessness stopping us from doing?
In Africa where conflict and violence are often part of the everyday, entire communities can be affected by this grief. It’s hard to imagine, hard to repair, but harder still to stand by and allow whole generations, towns and countries to live life without hope.
If we stand by, we risk significant obstacles to two things that you and I care about in our work together: evangelism and relief/development. We know that, when traumatic events and their aftereffects linger in a heart and in a culture, they blunt the effectiveness of these critical ministries of word and deed. And they are so critical:
• When we share the Gospel – evangelism – we want a person to know a loving God and Father. For the trauma survivor, that’s a tough sell. Many of them wonder how a God could let such tragedy happen to them or to someone they love. Or, if they do still acknowledge a Creator, their thoughts most often turn to why that force is out to get them. The personal God is a vicious or uncaring one, based on their experience.
• When we work with African leaders to build the well or care for the orphan – development – we hope and build for the future. Again, that’s hard to do when someone is stuck in the pain of the past which rears its ugly head each and every day.
To engage in either of these efforts without first engaging the reality of life means we will miss the mark.
We work with experts in this field who combine a deep and passionate love for Jesus and the Bible with decades of experience in mental health. And in the months and years to come, we hope to introduce even more of you to profound stories of grit and perseverance, and yes – even healing – from wounds most of us would think were not survivable.