The next morning, post dramatic escape from active gunfire, we were determined to return a little closer to home. Some people may call it crazy, but I call it a piece of normal. We weren’t planning to return to dodging bullets, but we did want to get as close as we could, within the realms of safety, to love on our family, release Kingdom, stand for peace and joy and represent HEAVEN. You know, the things we were created for.
So we checked with the government soldiers to hear the situation. (Remember- the good guys…) With the walkie-talkies hanging from their belts, we assumed they had the right info and asked about the situation of our dear village Kalembe. “The rebels are silent for right now so it is probably safe enough to go for the afternoon.”
Brilliant. So marking our steps with a gut feeling of peace and a back rub from Holy Spirit, we returned to the village we had just run for our lives from. And I’m SO glad we did.
Everywhere we went we went we saw our family, prayed for people and released HOPE. Hope that lifts hearts. Joy rang out as we hugged and laughed and rejoiced over the fact that we were all alive and living in his goodness!! It was such a beautiful and holy moment seeing God work so powerfully in such desperate times. I can say with such confidence that his presence is enough- because in that moment, I don’t know what else could have brought such life amidst such pain.
Along with pouring ourselves out they had so much to give us in return. I was so incredibly humbled as our dearest family expressed their concern for us. “We’re used to running for our lives, but for you- I bet that was your first time? We’ve been praying for you Sandra” Uh…
We were all so encouraged by one another. I will forever take away the little light that glimmered in their eyes.
Later that day we returned to the safe village and then home to Goma.
However Goma honestly wasn’t much safer. That night M23 rebels advanced on the city as most groups consider it a prize worth fighting for to make any kind of statement. Statement. Uh. Soldiers high in number and heavily armed were thankfully stopped by the UN blue caps. Once again we were reminded of the luxury of peace, and held tight to the silence of a day without gunfire or exploding bombs.
Currently, most people have returned to their homes in Kalembe. But sadly, the fighting persisted and the rebels succeeded. Our whole area is now rebel held. We’re told they’re “passive rebels” and for a while the construction on our property carried on until they money ran out and we decided to wait until the situation calmed to continue on.
Now as we process, I think we work through a hundred and two emotions.
The morning of the attack we asked our dear child who had fought in so many battles himself:
“What do you fear most?”
“I fear the rebels coming. If they come, they will surely take me again as I know how to fight.”
We haven’t seen him since.
It’s faces like that. The look in his eyes as he dreamed for a better life, that keeps us going back.
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