….. and Rwanda and Sudan and Kenya and Uganda! I would love to invite you to take a short trip into my journal with the eXile international team in Africa over the past few weeks. See into the hearts of some beautiful children who have survived war. Watch for the hands of God. Listen for the songs of glory. Hear their hearts of gratitude for the support you have given. We could not do this without you. We are thankful! So are they!
CONGO Day 3: “I am writing this from DR Congo where we just left 60 boys who were once forced to kill. 60 boys abducted by 5 different rebel groups. Thirty of them are part of a program at The Peace Lives Center that exile international is excited to partner with. I don’t have words for today. Only an overwhelming feeling that True Life lives in the center of redemption, and God’s grace is an ocean that He is ready to baptize us in.
We have just come from the mountains of Masisi. Having to practically talk Didi into taking us because of recent violence and riots this week. A few aid workers were killed not long ago. We watched with full hearts as 30 once boy soldiers became men of peace. Last year we washed the feet of these boys following our art trauma program. We prayed for each one individually and gave them bibles. Their FIRST Swahili bibles!
Today we drove with them into the mountains and sat beside of them as they washed the feet of 30 more former child soldiers who are the next “peace team” to receive trauma care and peace building training. I watched Augustine as he sat at the feet of these boys; both of our hands in the water. Him washing one foot. Me washing the other. Both praying a prayer of peace. The water was as dirty as the depth of their scars, and the bonding I could feel with my spirit was untouchable. Redemption at this level is just breathtaking.
“We thought we would die in the bush, but now we are bringing peace. It is God’s vision."
These boys usually sleep three to one twin bed. Teenage boys. No mattresses. Their floor is broken lava rock and their beds are mats on bamboo sticks. But at least it isn't the bush. At least they didn't wake up next to their guns this morning.
But because of generous donations (and Jessie raising funds for her birthday in lieu of gifts) this year was different. THIS year, we built a new home for them! Side by side. Because of YOU, we were able to buy new beds with mattresses. Because of YOU we are able to make sure they get healing groups for their war trauma each week.A few more thousand dollars, and we can build concrete floors in the homes over the broken lava rock. About $7000 more dollars and we can purchase the land next door to build more homes one day! God continues to be faithful….
“The new boys in the transit center heard about the Peace Lives Center. They heard of the boys singing at church and living again. They asked to come. Many ask to come, so we pray for the room to take them in”
Thank you for helping us help them! We are deeply grateful and wish you a beautiful weekend of giving thanks with those you love. Stay tuned for more blogs, and we invite you to our next event The Snow Ballhttp://www.snowballnashville.com Dec 8th at Cannery Ballroom. Come hear more of our new projects!