Following Jesus to Rwanda: Drs. Langberg and Monroe Lead GTRI Immersion Experience
Trauma is the mission field of the 21st century. Trauma disrupts life, dissolves relationships, and hinders faith development wherever it is experienced. As an expression of the Gospel, missional Christians follow Jesus into the world to care for the least of these suffering the effects of trauma.
The Global Trauma Recovery Institute (GTRI) provides high quality continuing educational resources, skills training, and case consultation for mental health clinicians, ministry leaders, and professionals interested in addressing the needs of psychosocial trauma victims around the world.
The first GTRI cohort recently returned from Rwanda. In a country devastated by the genocide in 1994, they witnessed healing and hope—light penetrating darkness (John 1:5). Drs. Langberg and Monroe participated in the birth of the Rwandan Association of Christian Counselors, under the leadership of Baraka Paulette Uwingeneye, a counselor they have invested in for years. They also partnered with the Bible Society of Rwanda to lead a trauma healing conference. The group taught pastors, counselors, nonprofit leaders, representatives from the National University of Rwanda, and Bible Society volunteers on trauma, shame, addictions, suicide, and domestic violence. GTRI students counseled, participated in small group discussions, and provided case consultations to Rwandan counselors and leaders. Drs. Langberg and Monroe also partnered with an Anglican Bishop and provided trauma training to a group of pastors and leaders within that denomination.
The group visited Kigeme Refugee Camp where 18,000 Congolese live, many of whom have experienced significant loss and trauma. After touring the camp, the group met with 30 refugees who are trauma healing facilitators in the camp and heard story after story of healing. "Trauma takes us far away from God... these classes help us to grow closer again. We are standing because of God..." shared one facilitator.
In the words of Carine Toussaint, GTRI graduate and director of global outreach for Stone Hill Church:
We accomplished all we set out to do—encourage, strengthen, and equip those engaged in the hard work of global trauma and recovery. We, as GTRI students, wanted to have an “out of the book” learning experience as to how people cope with trauma and learn to live side-by-side with perpetrators after forgiveness, reconciliation, and mediation takes place. Rwanda gave us all those lessons and more. We had the opportunity to counsel one-on-one and in small groups. I learned from pastors, teachers, and lay counselors on post-traumatic symptoms and treatment. I cried, laughed, danced, and sang with some of the most courageous people I have ever met. I felt the heartbeat of Africa.
Emmanuel’s (General Secretary of the Bible Society of Rwanda) words will stay with me forever: “We thought we were dead or just animals. They called us cockroaches. You came; you sat with us; you listened; you saw us. We remembered that we were alive. We remembered that we were human.”
If you are interested in learning more about the GTRI, visit their website or contact