As I have mentioned, the other day we had the absolute honour of sitting down – Sarah, myself, a translator and 4 different women who are former child soldiers from the LRA. We met with each woman one at a time and listened through our tears as they shared their tales. We will share more on this for sure – but I wanted to share one observation we made.
For most of these women, when they did manage to escape and return home from the war – they were not welcomed with open arms and a celebration. In most instances, they weren’t welcomed at all. Families were ashamed that their child had been a soldier killing, looting and causing havoc to a nation. It didn’t matter that their children had been abducted and forced into these situations. Their families turned their backs. They crossed their arms instead of wrapping them around these fragile women.
And this was the point in each woman’s story that seemed to hurt them the most. They could share the stories of being kidnapped at 10, given to men as a child bride, beaten, death, rape, and pain. But when they talked about how their family’s mistreated them – their voices cracked and they eyes swelled with tears.
It reminded me how we are all created to love – but also to be loved. And how this is more than just a nice feeling – it’s a need. Greater than anything else in life.
Today - please take a moment to love someone… they may desperately need it.
I’ll give the girls an extra big hug tonight.
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