Back in June, I went with a small team from FCC Hudson and The Village Church (Baldwin) to visit our mission partner Tutapona in Uganda. While there, we visited Tutapona’s trauma rehabilitation program and helped facilitate a staff enrichment retreat.
This was the second year we’ve met with Tutapona for the purpose of learning and worshipping together. So, it provided a good point of comparison for measuring what has changed. One change that stood out right away was the number of staff compared to last year - almost double in size at 38 people! We also saw changes in Tutapona’s programming. At Rwamwanja Refugee Settlement, we sat in on a session of a new curriculum they’re implementing in Uganda called GROW. This two-week program focuses on helping individuals who have experienced recent trauma to not simply return to “baseline,” but actually grow to a place of better emotional and mental health than before the trauma happened.
On the most meaningful evening of our retreat, Tim Manson, the Uganda Country Director, and co-founder Julie Gaede did a special presentation to celebrate Tutapona’s ten-year anniversary. It was moving to see each staff person (some who have been there from the very beginning) acknowledged and honored for their contributions. Tim and Julie both reflected on Tutapona’s history and shared how God has opened doors for the ministry to mature and expand through periods of uncertainty and challenge. In this, it became very clear what hasn’t changed over time for Tutapona.
That’s not just a number; Tutapona’s counselors have sat with these individuals in their suffering, listened to their stories of violence, rape, and loss, wept with them, counseled them, and loved them.
The Gaedes founded Tutapona on the vision of “the year of the Lord’s favor” proclaimed in Isaiah 61:1-3. Across ten years of prayerful ministry, they have seen God’s faithfulness in bestowing traumatized individuals with beauty instead of ashes, joy instead of mourning, and praise instead of despair.
Take advantage of this special, FREE opportunity to hear stories of lives restored and transformed. Let’s proclaim together the year(s) of the Lord’s favor.