Stark Contrasts: Hope and Violence

6/02/2015 04:29:00 PM sendtheroths 4 Comments

We bought a beautiful 80x80 meter plot of land on the outskirts of Goma today. It was just after church members experienced a night filled with heavy gunfire around the church. People were killed, but none of them were members from our church.

I received a text message from Andrew just as we signed the documents for the land.

“Don’t go by the airport today. Lots of shooting and panic.”

I told my Congolese teammates about his message. They said that the shooting and panic already happened. They were there for all of it. But I told them Andrew’s message made it seem like it was ongoing.

When we arrived in Birere, a bustling slum area in Goma where the church is located, the streets were empty. More people were killed. I was even told a story about one of the local prostitutes who was working during the night of the shooting. She was with the soldiers in their camp. When other soldiers came to infiltrate the camp, they took the prostitute and cut her up into pieces.

I can’t help but think that that prostitute did not deserve such a death. She deserved to live, to learn and to love. It makes me more passionate about the Esther Project—a ministry for intergenerational women to learn about their identity in Christ while also learning practical skills training, so that they don’t have to go into a life of prostitution.

Indeed, this was another day of stark contrasts: a day of joy and also a day of sadness. But that’s what hope looks like. It looks like great accomplishment in the midst of suffering. It looks like rejoicing in the midst of mourning. It looks like envisioning an alive and vibrant community in the future, despite that people are sawing off parts of the other peoples bodies presently.

We can’t live ignorant to what is going on here. People are dying and it doesn’t make the news. That prostitute won’t be talked about on CNN, even though she was also a beautiful young woman who was created in the image of God.

But she’ll make it on this blog. She’ll be remembered here. And the thousands of other women who have suffered similar deaths, but never once had it written about. She was someone’s daughter: Someone’s niece: Someone’s friend. Most importantly, she was God’s beloved—and we lost her.

But in the midst of this loss, there is a gain. If we can reach young ladies like her with this land, even before they are forced into such a lifestyle… it will help end a cycle where ladies are so vulnerable that they have to go to work for sex and then end up chopped up like animals.

Hope sees an end. And we see an end to this. This is why, despite the atrocities that surround us… we can go to bed at night with a sigh and say, “I thank God for today.” #TheNewHopeCommunity