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Learning to Forgive

As you know, many of the children we have are children of child soldiers, who were abducted from their schools (just as the dear Nigerian girls were recently). A large number of these children grew, were forced to become soldiers, had babies (our students) and then were killed. However, some survived. I was sitting with Michael under the tree the day most students started to return to school, when one of our mommies of a long-term student waved to us, giving us a very warm, heart-felt smile. Michael explained later that she’d been a notorious commander in the LRA! Since she’s come back, she’s become very quiet. Two of our mommies were commanders of that vicious caliber and we can’t say how happy we are to be in a position of helping in their rehabilitation and healing. I feel it’s a remarkable element of our people’s culture, that they’ve all decided to forgive those who were abducted, understand that people were forced to do all they’d done, even the leaders, and forgive them and encourage them to try to get back a semblance of normalcy.

While most of our folk are very forgiving of those who were abducted during the Kony war, they have zero tolerance on the other hand for those they call witches. We had a number of people killed around our area with their brains removed or throats cut over the last months and everyone felt it was the fellow who owned the business and houses pictured here. Policeinvestigated and couldn’t prove it was this man, so everyone went their own cultural way for ‘justice’. They held a counsel and everyone said who they thought it was. The majority felt it was this man, for whatever reasons, so they proceeded to burn his car and everything he owns. Mob justice! It’s very wild and maybe they were right. … but maybe they weren’t. Like when they burned 11 houses right across the road from us last year—they burned the houses of completely the wrong clan! So all that to say, thank you so much for your prayers for our safety and protection. These are very volatile people. You’ll notice the photo of Michael with the ladies doing our farming right now in the photo page. They are wonderful people but so incredible fiery and energetic, it’s a real challenge to keep them happy and on an even keel, as their lives have been nothing but disappointment, hurt and disaster. Most had been conscripted into the LRA for many years so it’s good that Mike’s good humor and gentle ways work very well with them. Our prayer is that they can come to know a real peace in their lives and learn to trust the Lord and eventually, other humans.