Thursday, June 9, 2011

Tell Papa God Tankee

This is Margaret. She's a widow from the civil war that ravaged Sierra Leone from 1991 to 2002. So much much hurt...unspeakable crimes even by the hands of children being used as child soldiers. In the midst of all this, I imagine it wouldn't be hard to ask "Where is God?" and turn your back. Margaret formed a group of War Widows, took in orphans and sought after the Lord. She is one of the most loving, giving and selfless people I have ever met. What an amazing example of what it truly looks like to love the Lord with all of your heart, mind, soul & strength. With no place else to go, after being widowed from this horrible war Margaret moved to a displacement camp with thousands of others. They still live there today. As our team walked to visit Margaret for the first time, her group of War Widows were gathering for their weekly bible study. They stood with joy and started to sing, an amazing song of praise "Tell Papa God Tankee" they sang, for all that He does.I was so taken with these lovely women whom each has endured more pain and suffering than I could ever imagine. Their eye's speak without words of the heartbreaking things they have witnessed and the husbands, families, and children that have been taken from them. They are living testaments of survival, humility, and amazing grace. After meeting these ladies I felt like I wanted to run back to visit them every chance I could. One of our team members brought supplies and taught these ladies how to make some special bracelets that she will be selling for them. The money from these bracelets will help these wonderful women continue to beat the odds and thrive. I formed a special relationship with a few of these sweet women and I was able to purchase and bring home just a few of their bracelets for a some special people. I grew to love the hands that made these bracelets, and now their stories have impacted mine. This has made a bracelet much more than a "souvenir" it has become a true gift of love. That, whether the receiver knows it or not, signifies more to me than I can explain. These bracelets are amazing reminders of the life lessons these ladies can teach us.

Is it truly possible...after everything you love is taken from you...everything...and the place in which you live is filled with such pain, and despair that it is a miracle you still have breath in your lungs... Can you seek first His Kingdom & His Righteousness and Thank Him for all He has done. Yes! Only with His strength. With Him all things are possible.
"Tell Papa God Tankee!" they sang.

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