Wednesday, August 6, 2008

An evening of hope

Last night was a somber evening – one that intrigued us and saddened us. One where we tried desperately to understand reasonings for war and human cruelty. One that opened our eyes to the realities of injustice.
Last night, Quami shared his testimony of how he came to know the Lord and how he came to work for COTN. Involved in that story, however, was the rebel war, which involved mass murder, rape, kidnapping, cannibalism and making children into soldiers. He told us the history of the rebellion and why it took place. He shared about getting arrested himself – mistaken for a rebel – and coming close to being executed.
It was because of Christ, he said, and "my belief in Him, that I was let go."
It was a difficult story to hear and yet fascinating at the same time. Especially for those of us who have seen the blockbuster movie Blood Diamond and wondered, “Was it really like that?” The answer is yes.
To help us understand what these Sierra Leoneans who we’re meeting everyday in villages actually went through, we watched a few minutes of some raw video footage that was taken during the rebel attacks on Freetown. Though it made it extremely real – much different than watching it in a Hollywood film – I don’t think Scott nor I expected it to be as raw as it was – dead bodies everywhere, people crying and running around. I had to close my eyes numerous times. And yet, that was real life for this country. That was it. Many of the children here in the home witnessed such a massacre and it puts things in perspective to have a tiny understanding of what they went through. It also breaks our hearts.
What was most ironic thing that evening, or just God at work, was that as we were watching those moments of real horror on the screen, the children in the homes began to sing. Their songs of joy to the Lord echoed, as they always do each evening, through the houses and the open windows – around the palm trees and surrounding bush. The sweet voices of mercy and hope. Their songs were proof that this country can overcome such a war and a reminder of the precious lives that have so much potential though they were once orphaned and alone. They were a strange few moments – watching and hearing two worlds collide, the past and the present. It gave me hope and it made me happy to be involved with such a ministry of love and rescue.

1 comment:

nancy said...

We lead such protected lives. Thank you for the insight. It helps to put our "problems" into perspective. I am so proud of you. Love, Aunt Nancy