So, several years ago, my roomate Kirsten handed me "The Hunger Games" to read and immediately, I was hooked. We patiently waited for number two to come out and then anxiously awaited number 3 to come out...just waiting to hear what would happen to Katniss, Peeta, and the gang from "Catching Fire".
Well, knowing that the movie was coming out in the States, I have been hoping that our Accra Mall movie theater would bring it in. And finally, we heard the news...it would be arriving in May. So, I looked up the books on my kindle and reread the whole series.
It was an interesting experience reading it through again this time and I think a big part of my strange emotional journey through the series had to do with the work that we do here.
When I first read through the series, I thought a lot about the Roman arenas and the desire for entertainment leading to the shedding of blood...ultimately the shedding of blood from hundreds of Christian martyrs.
But this time, I really felt the battle of the "child" inside this story. Katniss and Peeta would probably be considered teenagers, but when you get to the Mockingjay, there is just so much pain and disillusionment, confusion, anger...all of it. It makes one wonder if there could ever be complete healing from such an ordeal...
And then I look here in the country that I live and work. Childhoods robbed as young as 3 and 4 years of age in exchange for hard labor on a lake. Names forgotten. Parents forgotten. Excruciating pain from waterborne illnesses and disfigurements, deaths, abuse--so much pain.
And I look at the happy faces of my children here. I see DK who spent five years out on the lake and the amazing, smart, happy boy that he is today (though he can be moody coming into his pre-teen years). I look at Abigail and her huge smile. I see Dora and the funny way she laughs and falls down and loves so purely. And Mary and the way that she has grown so much academically that she has blown her teacher away!
There is healing to be had, but there will always be a story to be told. And it's in those moments when the story of what WAS is so overwhelming for them, that we have to watch out for...it's in those moments when we need to be present and ready to speak truth and love purely...it's in those moments that we become the hands and feet and voice of Jesus.
We are planning on rescuing 18 more children in the upcoming months. Our investigations have already begun and I'm praying about the kids that will come and live in our new house. I'm praying that the battles that they have lived through won't define them, but will make them even more determined to see that FREEDOM is available to more children. I don't want them to be disillusioned with life, but learn to understand the love that is available through Christ. And I want to see them brought into healing...powerful healing. I'm praying against the WAR that they are living in now and praying them into a future...a hope...a love that will change their lives.