One of the core tenets of our program is a focus on wholeness — recognizing that things like food, water, and an education are only pieces of a puzzle that must also include a focus on spiritual growth and emotional care.
So far this year, African Leadership has held trauma-healing workshops in the Adjumani and Koboko refugee camps in northern Uganda. In these workshops, local church leaders learn how to identify, respond to, and care for those who have been traumatized by what they’ve experienced in South Sudan — and they often end up being healed themselves in the process. Pastor Salah James, a participant in the Koboko workshop, shared:
I thank God for this wonderful training. It has changed my life in that when all my properties were taken by the soldiers, I was left to suffer until I became a beggar, begging people to help me with money for survival. On top of this suffering, my child died suddenly. Because of all these pains, I was traumatized badly and I became angry with the people who caused this war which brought this suffering to me. As an overseer of my church, the trauma has affected the way I preach and teach. Even the way I relate with people had changed negatively. The training became like a mirror to me, realizing all my weaknesses.
During the trauma training, I learned the lesson of the three villages. When crisis happened, there is grief and forgiveness. Let God also forgive them. With these great lessons, it has touched me and changed me. I am now free.
Thank you so much for rescuing me and others with this great training, especially with such conditions and hard times of civil war in our country. May God bless you.
After the training, Tito, our South Sudan Country Director who oversaw the workshops, reflected on the way the time together changed the hearts of those involved, and will therefore change the hearts of all those they minister to:
These men and women discovered the importance of trauma training which is redeeming to their lives, families, and ministries. It became a turning point in their lives as they expressed their experiences. Indeed, they were all traumatized as a result of war in South Sudan that forced them to seek refuge in Uganda. I was encouraged when most of them said they were healed and freed from pain. Their ministries will never be the same again as a result of the training.
The need is huge. It looks like a drop of ink in the ocean. But the Word of God will never go in vain; it will always achieve the purpose intended for. That is where my encouragement is found.