When leaders have the wisdom to promote peace over conflict–especially in a time of crisis–they can help others triumph over fear and despair. The global challenges of COVID-19 have many of us praying for God’s wisdom to prevail over all aspects of this crisis and looking for examples of wise leaders to encourage us toward hope.
Phial Dubula Gak is a young leader who knows how hard it can be to grow in wisdom and understanding―but he also knows how such a journey can change lives for the better, to the glory of God.
Dubula admits that he did not always make the wisest decisions when he was starting out as a leader, and often expressed his emotions through violence. He comes from a region in South Sudan where there are serious tensions between groups. One day he became involved in physical violence between members of two different ethnic groups. At the time, Dubula felt no remorse over contributing to this violence.
A few months later, Dubula was selected to participate in trauma healing and peace-building programs being carried out through World Renew partners.Through this training, he learned how leadership carried out with compassion and integrity can help people overcome hardship and improve their lives. He also realized that perpetuating stereotypes and prejudice against others can contribute to harm and trauma.
Today, 22-year-old Dubula is living in the Bidi Bidi refugee camp in Uganda. He is deeply grateful to be equipped to help solve problems and promote peace and justice among his fellow refugees. As a Vice Youth Representative in the Council of the Refugee Welfare System, he has come to appreciate the importance of mediation, negotiation, and coordination of activities as peaceful methods of responding to issues and avoiding violence.
“I have learned problem solving skills and the different methods of conflict management, how to treat others with respect and love, so as to demonstrate God’s love,” he said. “My life has completely changed from perpetrator of conflict to a changemaker.”
As Uganda and the rest of the world continue to grapple with challenges and hardships related to COVID-19, leaders such as Dubula can serve as beacons of hopeful possibility. May his example encourage you as you look for ways to lead with wisdom in your own life and support those carrying out this important work in a time of crisis.
-Ask God to give government and community leaders wisdom as they make decisions that are best for the people under their leadership. Pray that they will act to protect the health and peace of others and not be distracted by fear or self-interest.
-Pray for patience and guidance for World Renew staff, partners, and community members who are dealing with health issues and currently unable to access needed medical care due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
-Pray for rain for farmers in various rural communities where World Renew is at work who are experiencing dry spells that could threaten their ability to grow enough food.
-Pray for wisdom for staff as they navigate COVID-19-related reporting and traveling challenges that make it difficult to address other, equally-urgent needs, such as the locust invasion threatening crops in various communities in Uganda and Kenya.
-Pray that World Renew staff will have good health that they will look to God to calm their fears and anxieties.
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