Free to forgive
Richard Stearns, the president of World Vision, has a book called The Hole in Our Gospel. In this book he tells a remarkable story about a woman named Margaret Achero. Margaret was caught in the incredible fighting in northern Uganda, fighting that was propagated by the Lord's Resistance Army.
One day, Margaret, who was six months pregnant, was out in her garden working with several women from her village, when out of the bush appeared a small battalion that had entered their village. The group of soldiers was really a group of children led by an adult commander. It's common in some parts of Africa for children to be snatched away from their families to be brainwashed to commit unbelievable atrocities against other people.
So Margaret and her friends found themselves face to face with this band of soldiers. The soldiers had come to the village to look for food and supplies, and as they weren't satisfied with what they received, they began to unleash a massacre on Margaret's friends. The child soldiers were killing these women with their machetes. When they turned toward Margaret, the commander told them to stop. He felt it would be bad luck on the troops to kill a pregnant woman. So instead, he gave a command for the children to cut off Margaret's nose, ears, and lips. They did, and then they left her in the field to die, so the blood wouldn't be on their hands.
But Margaret was rescued. She was taken to a hospital where she went through multiple operations and was then taken to a rehab center headed up by World Vision. The World Vision counselors began to deal with not just the physical trauma but the emotional, spiritual, and relational trauma that Margaret had undergone that day in the field. Her heart began ...
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David Daniels is pastor of Pantego Bible Church in Fort Worth, Texas, and co-founder and executive board member of Beta Upsilon Chi (Brothers Under Christ), a national Christian fraternity.