Wednesday, October 31, 2012

"There is not enough room here...."

           “There is not enough room here…”

I look into his eyes. What have they seen?
I look down at his hands. What was he made to 
do? I look at the scars, and I wonder what stories
they could tell.
The things he was forced to do and experience at 
the hands of the LRA are unspeakable to anyone 
other than a chosen few. To repeat it to any average 
person would almost be traumatizing – but these 
children experienced it. They have lived through it. 
And so many have already forgiven the very ones 
who forced them to kill their own families.
“Here are two handkerchiefs. Both representing tear 
catchers. Both reminding us that our tears are collected 
in the bottle of our Creator. Our happy tears of hopes and 
dreams as well as our sad tears of pain. They are both 
equally important to Him.” 
I was inviting him to draw memories of his pain on one 
handkerchief and to draw his dreams on the other. He 
stared at them blankly, then looked up at me as his words 
came slowly, “There is not enough room here for me to 
draw all of my pain.”

This young man… this wise teacher is now mentoring, 

loving, and teaching the very children he once abducted. 
Love pours out of him and his very life sings like a poem
 – speaking with the wisdom of Solomon and the rhyme 
of David.  I watch as he sits in extended moments of 
silence thanking his Savior for small morsels of food.  
I watch as he outwardly praises his Redeemer for the 
tiny gifts he is given to feed the many orphaned 
children in his home. The children he, by himself, 
has taken in to care for.
Once a commander in Joseph Kony’s LRA army – 
now a tender giver of the Grace that has been gifted 
to him. He was saved for a reason. Perhaps, and in 
part, as a testimony to power of Redemption. He is 
a Peacemaker.
“I will sacrifice myself. I will sacrifice myself to take care 
of her…” he says. I look in near disbelief of the extent to 
which he believes in and lives out sacrificial love. I watch 
as he lightly beats his chest over his heart, and he says it 
again with diligence, “I will sacrifice myself.”
These words are spoken about a woman who was 
tortured by the LRA so severely that she travels in and 
out of mental instability. This day we had found her 
lying in the dirt outside of her home. She was catatonic.
“What kind of brutality did she live through to put her in
this state?” I wonder. But I don’t want to know. Not 
today. So many stories of torture this week… I’m not 
sure I can hear any more details and still be able sleep.  
I do know this: The LRA attempted to gorge out her 
left eye. It is now shaded over with grey and blue and 
blindness.  Her children have raised themselves and are 
ostracized by the community because their mother is 
known as “the crazy women” in the village.  Thankfully, 
four of her children are now sponsored- they have food, 
educationand a safe place to live. The youngest girl was 
born a few days after her mother, hemorrhaging, returned 
from the bush. She is a miracle child… and her smile is 
breathtaking! The mother’s name is Grace, and I believe 
with all of my heart that she will be healed of her pain.  
She will walk and be freed from this residue of brutality. 
I believe that.
There are some things in life that you are not supposed to 
survive, but you do.
There are some stories that could not be real,but they are.
Like stories of Forgiveness that are not human. Stories of 
Redemption that are not often seen on this side of heaven. 
But they are seen. They are not only seen, but they are lived. 
Out loud. By children.
These are real lives and stories. Stories that belong to 
children. Lived by children. Told by children. And they 
will not stop with children – that is, they will not fail to 
be heard. I will not let them.
“Yes. I sat with Kony. He has a witchdoctor who tells him
 what to do. Then he will go and tell the commanders the 
number of people who need to be killed. ‘We need 42 ears,’ 
or we need this many parts of the body. Then we were 
forced to go and collect them. It didn’t matter if the people 
were dead or alive. If we did not bring back the right 
number, we were punished severely and others were 
killed. But we were just children.”
Sitting with these children. Crying with them. Praying with 
I feel like I am in the presence of giants. Royalty.
To hear what they have experienced…. to listen to their
 hearts for peace and forgiveness… to hold their hands 
and know what those hands were forced to do. It is 
beyond words.
But there are words. Their stories must be told. Not just 
their stories of survival. But their stories of life. There 
must be a platform for those voices to be heard… an 
avenue for their stories to be told.
I believe these children can and will change the world 
with their stories of forgiveness and dreams for peace. 
To not only survive the torture of rebels, but to be a 
testimony of peace from their stories of war. I believe 
that the forgiveness, love for peace and redemption 
they breathe out by their lives is the testimony that 
outweighs any evil they have experienced.
I believe Kony will be stopped and that his victims – 
these survivors – will sing of being saved.
I believe that the children the world almost breaks 
will grow up to save it.
And I will not stop believing.  
Thank you for your support in helping us help 
these children.
His, b.

Grace was taken to a hospital last week because 
she was, again, in a catatonic state and was not 
eating. Her care will be approximately $700. 
You can donate directly for her care here.

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