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Lighthouse Network’s Uganda Trip Focuses on Psychological Help and Healing for Those Traumatized by Joseph Kony

Lighthouse Network Seeks to Assist Those Joseph Kony and Lord’s Resistance Army Has Harmed

In 2006, Lighthouse Network, traveled to Uganda to come to the aid of those tortured physically, sexually, mentally and spiritually, by Joseph Kony and The Lords’ Resistance Army (LRA). Lighthouse Network provided psychological counseling and training for 150 pastors and ministry leaders who then were able to help thousands of children who were devastatingly brutalized by the evil acts of the LRA members.

This summer, in August of 2012, Karl Benzio, MD and Lighthouse Network, have been asked to bring their special expertise in trauma and abuse to Gulu, in Northern Uganda to work with 300 children ages six to 18, and their 50 mentors, who have been rescued and placed in “refugee”-type camps in this land where they are being kept and educated. Although some of their daily food, clothing, and shelter needs have been addressed, not much has been done to help them psychologically process and heal from their inhumane experiences. In fact, some of the homes are headed by children, and most of the mentors, age 18 – 45, have been ravaged by abuse themselves. Lighthouse Network will be treating the 50 mentors and 480 children who were victims, perpetrators, and or witnesses to the abusive activities of Joseph Kony and the LRA. This unique combination of equipping and camp experience for the kids hasn’t happened in the area that was ground-zero for the LRA atrocities.

Lighthouse Network strives to help people every day who have mental health problems which may lead to addiction problems, and in this area of Uganda, where lives have literally been shattered and ripped apart. Our team is equipped to handle whatever life situations may arise. We know we will see every imaginable coping mechanism that humans rely on just to get through the day, and the saddest part of all of this is that most of these suffering are just children. We are honored to serve God by helping these struggling children and their mentors.

Long after Hitler’s death, the tortured were still terrorized by Hitler’s actions. So in Uganda, the war isn’t really over until the kids are healed. We are going to help those kids feel accepted, forgiven, valued, loved, and healed. Then they can achieve their God-given potential as they realize they are not discarded trash, but human beings with purpose and honor.

The children are attempting to become educated and live “normal” lives, yet still suffer the consequences of the unthinkable events through which Joseph Kony and the LRA put them: Captivity, enslavement, every type of abuse, forced to fight in Kony’s army, and then forcing them to physically, sexually, and psychologically abuse and brutalize other adults and children, even their own parents or siblings. The KONY 2012 video describing the shocking situation in Northern Uganda can be viewed at: http://vimeo.com/37119711
Lighthouse Network will be working with ALARM Ministries (African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries) on the summer 2012 trip to Uganda.

ALARM Ministries (African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries)

karl-benzio-1Dr. Karl Benzio MD, Christian Psychiatrist, writer, speaker, media guest expert, social issue activist, and the founder and clinical director of Lighthouse Network. Benzio brings scientific expertise and biblical principles together to examine common daily struggles and help people successfully navigate life’s storms. His experiences include teaching pastors, ministry leaders and students about counseling, leadership, parenting, marriage, and conflict resolution skills in traumatized areas like Uganda, Kenya and post-Hussein Iraq. He is currently a member of Focus on the Family’s Physicians Resource Council, the Pennsylvania Director of the American Academy of Medical Ethics, and serves on many other social policy task forces. His specialties include adolescents, addictions, decision-making and infusing spirituality into treatment. Benzio shares psycho-spiritual insights via his Stepping Stones daily devotional, on his one-minute daily radio feature “Life Change with Dr. Karl,” on 425 Christian radio stations and on iDisciple.org.

Email: KBenzio@LighthouseNetwork.org

Twitter: @drkarlb