Dear friends,

God has again given Mending the Soul exceptional opportunities to train influential African leaders in the next 4 weeks at two different conferences. The first will be for 60+ Congolese refugee pastors. Currently some 4.5 million Congolese have had to flee their homes due to widespread, repeated rebel attacks/massacres as well as an Ebola epidemic. Rebels have even burned Ebola clinics in the city of Butembo to cause patients to flee into the city to intensify the Ebola epidemic. Many of the refugees have fled over the border into Uganda and are living in very dire conditions in several refugee camps. All of the residents of the camps are terribly traumatized. Their church and community leaders have had virtually no tools to guide them in trauma care. So, we will be conducting a five day By His Wounds trauma training for top level church leaders from several of the refugee camps. These leaders will in turn train other leaders and develop trauma ministry to their congregations after the conference. We will also spend time in some of the refugee camps ministering to residents.

A few days after the refugee leader training, five of us will travel to Goma, Congo to meet with approximately 35 Congolese pastors and chaplains who have already been trained in the By His Wounds curriculum and have been using it in their churches and communities. Most of these will be heads of ministries and each serve hundreds, in some cases thousands, of Congolese each year. At this four-day conference we will present a brand new trauma healing resource for lay people (the By His Wounds Workbook) and teach them how to use it, walking them through many of the exercises. We will also spend much time praying for them and teaching on self-care and healing prayer.

Our team members are:

  • Kelsey Hawk (presenter at refugee conference)
  • Dr. Ethie Gebeyehu (team and conference prayer director, presenter at both conferences)
  • Jumah Patrick (MTS African director, trip coordinator, presenter at both conferences)
  • Nora Poling (daily sharing her own story at refugee conference)
  • Celestia Tracy (leading individual application exercises at refugee conference; primary presenter of workbook training in Goma)
  • Steve Tracy (team leader, presenter at both conferences)

Trip Schedule

Congolese refugee camp pastors’ conference in Ft. Portal, Uganda—Nora, Ethie, Steve, Celestia, Jumah, Kelsey

  • April 27-28 Team flies to Kampala
  • April 29 Travel to Fort Portal
  • April 30-May 4 By His Wounds trauma conference for Congolese refugee pastors
  • May 5 Attend church and minister in refugee camps
  • May 6 AM-Minister in refugee camps
  • May 6 PM-May 7 Team debrief
  • May 8 Travel to Kampala
  • May 9-10 Service to partner ministries in Kampala
  • May 10—Kelsey returns to US

Workbook conference with Congolese leaders in Goma—Nora, Ethie, Steve, Celestia, Jumah

  • May 11 Travel to Goma, Congo via Rwanda; visit local ministries
  • May 12-15 By His Wounds Workbook conference for Congolese leaders
  • May 16 Final meetings; travel back to Uganda via Rwanda
  • May 16 Ethie and Nora return to US
  • Ma7 17-23 Steve and Celestia with Kakeetos
  • May 23 Steve and Celestia return to US

Prayer Requests:

  1. Please pray for our team that God will give us physical and emotional stamina, good health, and great sensitivity to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Pray that the great suffering we will experience all around us will drive us to deeper reliance on Christ. Pray that God will give us great wisdom in responding to overwhelming needs with very limited resources. Pray for our team’s psychological/emotional health.
  2. Please pray for the Congolese leaders we will be serving—that the Spirit will prepare their hearts for the conferences and that He will speak to them and encourage them during the conference. Pray especially that the Lord will bring great trauma healing and renewed hope to the attenders.
  3. Pray for our two conferences, that God will lead each of us who will be teaching and sharing. Pray that there will be a great sense of freedom and courage for the attenders to share with each other.
  4. Pray for protection from Satan’s attacks and disruptions. We have learned that doing trauma work in African settings like this is going deep into Satan’s home turf. He will attempt to attack our team and the attenders in a myriad of ways physically and emotionally. Pray with us against Satan’s attacks.
  5. Pray that I (Steve) can be a great encouragement to Abby and David Kakeeto, our daughter and son-in-law, and our two granddaughters Shalom and Tashia. Pray also that God will guide us as we investigate the viability of developing a trauma healing center in Uganda as a joint venture between MTS and API (Abby and David’s ministry).
  6. This will be a very taxing trip physically as well as emotionally. We have a very full and intense schedule. Please pray in particular for Celestia and for Nora’s physical health. Nora continues to defy her years and conducts multiple international ministry trips annually, often at great physical sacrifice. Celestia feels God leading her to go on this trip. She continues to experience intense pain and physical vulnerability so we are trusting God to give her the health and strength for this month of privileged service.

We are in great need of your faithful prayers. Only God can heal people and communities who have and continue to suffer so greatly. Every year we see God move in miraculous ways and we are trusting him to do that again! We will send trip updates as often as possible so you can hear what God is doing and how to keep praying. Thanks so much for your support.

In Christ,

“On him we have set our hope…as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.” 2 Cor 1:10-11

Posted: April 19, 2019