My name is Autumn Buzzell and I live and work in Ghana, West Africa with City of Refuge Ministries. Here, I run our school, Faith Roots International Academy, and get to be a part in rescuing and the healing of children who have been trafficked into the fishing trade, orphaned, abandoned, and those who just need a little extra loving. What an amazing gift this life is!

Get Involved

Learn More


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

No Longer Slaves

DK came up to me tonight and opened his arms for a big hug.  He squeezed me so tight, I thought my ribs would collapse.  But, it made me grateful and it made me laugh and it reminded me of the little boy not so many years ago that begged for a hug each time I passed.  And then he said, "I'm almost as tall as you, Auntie Autumn", in his deep, resonate voice and I could tell, even in the midst of his bone-crushing hug, he was smiling.

I have these moments every now and then when I flash back to when I first came.  My first impressions.  And I look at how far we've come, and all I see is hope.

When I first came, DK's only English words at the time were "John Cena".  (Yeah, he is such a boy!)  And I see him now, this tall boy turned man, the same cheeky grin, the same gentle manner, the same joking laugh...but I see how settled he is, how secure in his understanding of love, how much he just "gets" now.

After the hug tonight, he sat down at the table and he asked, "Auntie Autumn, can I ask you a question?"

"Sure, DK!"

"You're really sure?"

"Sure, DK!"

"Really, really sure?", he asked with that sly grin on his face.

"Go for it."

"If God came down and asked you if you could go to heaven now or if you could stay and continue to tell others about Him, what would you do?"

I don't know where he got that question, but that sweet boy. 

"I would stay DK.  If God gave me the choice, I would stay.  Because my work isn't done here yet.  I have so much more love to give and so many more to tell about Jesus."

"Really, you would choose here instead of going to heaven right now?  But, you'd get to fly if you went to heaven!"

Oh, my DK. 

Recently, he's given himself the name "Hero".  He didn't really explain why, but we all just kind of went with it.  He's strong.  He's brave.  He's kind.  He's funny.  He has a penchant for desiring supernatural powers of flight.

And the truth of the matter is, he really is a hero.  Her is a hero to me.

This Sunday, we sang Jonathan David Helser's No Longer Slaves at our Spirit and the Bride worship service.  Can I tell you the deep sweetness of that song?  Can I tell you of the truth of those words?  When you stand in the middle of 50+ children that have been rescued from some of the worst situations of human trafficking and depravity, and you hear them singing out these lyrics:

I'm no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God

You just can't help but get a little teary.  You can't help but marvel at the sheer heroic acts that happen on a daily basis around here (we don't have flying children, but we have kids who are continually making choices to love well and engage in life).  You can't help but want to jump up and down for joy because all you see around you is freedom.

And tonight, I was reminded of that yet again with my boy. 

I think through the crazy stories that I have heard about his time on the lake...the nights of loneliness...the fear of death as he watched others die...the terror that reigned in the paddle of his slave-master...

And he's no longer a slave to any of that. 

And though he has always been a child of God, now he knows it.

And this song just stands that much stronger, has that much more heart, has that much more deeper understanding.

Tonight, I celebrate the freedom that is standing in the arms of a boy named DK. 

My hero.

No comments:

Post a Comment