Thursday, February 11, 2010

homecoming

Since Tuesday night I have been so anxious to share this experience with you. 

Christine is from the Congro, but I titled this post "homecoming" because on Tuesday night Christine came home to her husband and three sons.

A little background on this families story. I will try to keep it short!

This family lived in the Congo during a time of civil unrest. Rebel armies seem to foreign to me that they are something that I cannot even understand. For whatever reason, {I believe it had something to do with being associated with a certain political group or religion} they believed that the father's life was at risk. 

Because they felt that he was ask risk, the church sent him away to a safe place during this time of uncertainity. While their father was away, the mother and one of her sons went to the well to get water for the family. 

She never returned. She was kidnapped by the rebel army. The same army that the father was in hiding from. 

The young boys {between the ages of 6 and 13} were left at home and quickly realized that she was not coming back. The oldest boy, Peter, assumed the father role and fled the house in fear that the rebels would soon come to their home for them as well. 

They did the only thing they knew to do - they ran. They traveled on foot for 300 miles. Can you even imagine the weight of responsibility. After approx. 300 miles of traveling, the boys were eventually picked up by the Red Cross. Through a long process, they were transferred to an orphanage in Kenya. It was not until two-three years later that they heard word that their father was alive. They were reunited and after a bunch of red tape, they came to the USA as refugees. 

They have been living in Lexington for over five years. 

From 2001 until 2008 they assumed that their mother had been killed by this rebel army. 

In 2008 they were told that she was ALIVE! 

Since 2008, they have been going through multiple processes to bring her home to them. It takes a little longer when the nation you are from believes that you are deceased!

Praise God, on Tuesday night she came home. 

It had been nine years since they last saw one another.

The boys waited anxiously, holding roses for their mother.  


Waiting in amazement that the day was actually here. It was really happening.
 

  

 Then, they saw her coming down from the escalator. At the first sight of her one of the boys shouted with joy "THAT IS MY MOM!" and threw his rose into the air!

It was one of the most amazing embraces I have ever seen. So full of joy and so overwhelming. 
Her youngest son was the first to grab her. They hugged and cried into each others arms.


  

  
 

 

Second to seeing her embrace her sons and husband, was this hug. This blond women, Paula, has been a mother figure to these boys for the past five years. She met them through the High School soccer team.

She is truly a saint. Literally every time that these brothers were anywhere E and I would ask them if they needed a ride and their response was always "no, Ms. Paula is coming to get us."  

When these two women embraced, I heard Christine say "my sister." That is truly amazing to me. Only because of the love of God, Ms. Paula cared for these boys. Although they had never met, Christine heard of the way this women cared for her family, and because of their shared faith she called her sister. Christine knew that they are both precious children of God, and "sister" was the only appropriate way to greet her. 

 

  
This picture makes me laugh. While this was going on I heard someone say "there's no way these people are going to get this one for the 11:00 news ... he's preaching to them a full sermon." 



 

Christine and her three boys. Just to give you a reference, she had not seen the one of the far right since he was six years old. I also love how they all dressed up so fancy to greet her!

Pure joy.



 

 

And last but not least - one of my favorite parts of the night was hearing a 1st grade boy tell Christine that he has been praying for her to come home each morning and each night for two years.

No wonder God tells us to have faith like a child.

12 comments:

jenna said...

this made me cry! i love it!

Jade Cook said...

i cried too. thanks for sharing this story. shaun saw them on the news and told me a little about their story. so amazing. if you are interested in reading a book on this subject you should definitely pick up A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah. it's heart breaking and amazing. you won't want to put it down!

Michael & Joe Joe said...

That is such an amazing story! Oh they are so beautiful! So glad you go to experience that and glad you shared it. It's hard to imagine its such a reality. We were blessed to live in such a peaceful country, so there was not nearly as much heartache due to rebel violence. After understanding the culture though, I realized that it could be an easy thing to occur. I saw how they could quickly form, as many feel they have no voice in their country and if they dont like something going on there is nothing they can do. Sometimes leaders dont listen and they take a stand. Sometimes that brings violence and then it continues to landslide. It's sad and wrong, but pray for them. Pray for the families of such tragedies. Pray for the leaders of many African nations who are trying to change things in their country and give more people a voice, choices, aide when they need it instead of feeling they have to be violent. Pray that the leaders would be honest people full of integrity and open to accountability. And even pray that the students on campuses across the continent of Africa would be impacted by the Holy Spirit and trained in discipling their peers. Our prayers for the ministry going on at Mzumbe university in Tanzania were that the students we encountered would be true faithful disciples, and that that would stay with them as they went on to become positive leaders in their country and help stop such violence and reunite families. The same is happening all over Africa. God is at work.

Julie said...

Also bawling and blowing my nose. So amazing. God is so good.

Adventures of a CrAzY LaDy! said...

tears from me as well...what a great story!

domecfam said...

are you kidding me??? what an amazing story. wow. God is so faithful. how are you connecting to these boys? Church?

Rachel said...

Andrea-
Yeah, they go to our church. The boys are amazing and really funny. Two are still in high school and the oldest plays soccer at UK. At the airport I heard one of the boys say "this Sunday will be our first Sunday back in church as a family!"

KBroome said...

Wow, what an amazing story. In the midst of so much worldly despair, it's so good to hear a story of God's faithfulness to his children. Thanks for sharing.

Anne said...

I love this so much. How awesome is God! Thanks so much for sharing this story.

Jenn said...

What a wonderful reunion! Thanks for sharing

hannah holden said...

Praise God! Awesome story!!!

Julie said...

Rach,
I just saw this video on our news. Just a few days late...
I cried again. But they said one of the kids is going to University of Evansville next fall. That is so fun! We should meet him!!