Diane Langberg PhD Counseling Practice in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania (PA) Diane Langberg, PhD Psychologist in Jenkintown, PA

Many years ago a young woman came to see me about her childhood sexual abuse. I was a young psychologist and had no knowledge of such things. The resources at that time were almost non-existent. But I believed her. I told her that she would have to teach me about being abused before I could understand how to help. So she did. 

I learned that families were not always safe and that great evil was done in the name of Christ. I began to understand how oppression silences human beings, shatters relationships and renders them helpless. 

Enter Vietnam vets who taught me about war and what it does to soldiers. They return home and are expected to act as if nothing had happened. Women also came who were being battered, and more women and men who had been abused as children. Their suffering looked very much like veterans from war zones.  I was being taught about trauma and about evil and suffering.

Sadly, I was later introduced to abuse in the house of God. What happened in families also occurred in God’s family. I learned about shepherds – called to be God’s shepherds - who were feeding on their sheep; about leadership that denied what had happened in order to “preserve the church.” I began to understand that protecting the form when the substance is rotten breaks the heart of our God.

And then the shepherd-pastors came – those who had abused the sheep entrusted to their care. I saw them use the same mechanisms of self-deception and abuse of power that fathers, mothers, uncles and grandparents used with their children and family members. The addictive power of habituated sin enslaved them - even while they continued to “serve” in the house of God.

Twenty-five years into my career I began to speak internationally and found that nations also follow the same pattern as families and the church. Nations oppress and silence, abuse and use. They destroy human dignity, creativity and relationship.

In a visit to Burma I found an entire nation that looked like an abused family. In Rwanda I saw the effects of unspeakable trauma perpetrated by neighbors and fellow church members. Gender violence is destroying lives in Zambia, and in Brazil - “incest is simply part of the culture.” 

In the midst of the lessons of trauma and evil and suffering, I have seen the work of the Redeemer. He fills his people with his life and uses them in ordinary ways, doing small things, to bringing his healing and hope to this sin-stricken world. 

He has given me the privilege of learning something about participating in his great work. He has allowed me to see individuals set free - learn to speak truth - and by their love and obedience turn families, churches and communities around. 

This is a work that occurs little by little. He uses common, ordinary people doing very human things to bring his life down into this dead world. The result is glory to himself. 

I have learned many lessons. I have seen awful sights. I have listened to countless tragedies. One thing I know: unless you and I are gripped by the truths of the cross of Christ in our own lives, the hope of the cross will not pass from our lives to others, for we cannot give them what we do not have. May God draw you to himself so he might use you to bring his life to others and glory to the one who alone is worthy
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Diane with Burmese Women

Road in Rwanda
Kigali, Rwanda

South African Children
Capetown, South Africa

Hill in Kilgali

Hut in Burma
"You cannot encounter hell in a life, a city or a nation without also finding there, in that same place, the heart and cross of the God-Man. He was and is in Rwanda – a country that has suffered slaughter, hatred, frenzy and darkness. Christ carried Rwanda. He is there in that devastation and he longs to do a redemptive work." --Diane Langberg, Ph.D.


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