Now being home and finally having some time to process all that has happened, I finally feel I can share some of what I experienced while there. I will write from my journal, which I wrote the morning I left. All the stories are true, but the names I changed. But this is why I do what I do.

Here at 6:00 in the morning I sit, somewhere over Africa, completely enamored by what I have just seen and experienced. I went to Africa searching, not for something I would find there, but rather, something I would find inside of me. My heart has been captured by these little ones and I saw a whole country of them. These we met and were able to get to spend time with, you would never believe the dark world of memories that exists on the other side. The evil that has been done to them, I didn’t even know existed. Their stories of survival, not physical, but rather emotional – this makes them heroes. To imagine that even today their hearts burst with love, this must be a miracle. I believe this cause is one that is worth fighting for. A man of justice would not let go of their tears. What I have seen here in this country I will never forget. The children – my heart will always be theirs.

Early in the morning as I quietly sat atop of the Bethany mountain, below I could hear the screams of many children. Abuse, rape, verbal assaults, all are possibilities. I have tried as best as I can to recall and remember the stories of the children we were with. I don’t want to forget their lives, what they have been through and more importantly, their transformation. When DJ was brought to the home, it was only a matter of time before he began to share how his uncle would beat him with a lead pipe to the head. Sylvia, she was also beat. Before her parents death, they would tie her to the bed post and flog her small, hungry body and then was sexually abused. Although Miranda never discussed in length the nature of her rape, when she ran away from her only remaining family, her grandmother, and quickly came to the children’s home – she quickly had to be separated at night from the other girls. She would crawl into bed with some of the other girls and try to have sex with them. She doesn’t know what sex is and what it is meant for, she was just doing all that she has known – she is 7. The youngest of all the children, little Jeremy, he was found by someone in a rubbish bin, left for dead. No story, no name, no history, no anything – but now he has a life, hope and a cause to live for. After their mother passed away, Scott and Tom had no where to go. They wandered the countryside for over a year eating frogs, grasshoppers and crickets. They went from abandoned building to abandoned building just surviving on anything they could find. Richard, he also wandered for years. Once his mom passed away, he ventured to Mbabane to live as a beggar on the streets with other street children. After a number of horrifying experiences, he made his way to Skeki to find his father, who was a police officer there. Upon arrival, they told him he died 3 years ago. Nothing left of a life. Steve, he made certain he would either get kicked out of the home or he would have them kill him. He had lost so many family members, he thought everyone died because of him. He begged for death, for he didn’t want his new found family at the home to die because of his “curse”. Their love lasted though and he is now aspiring to be a pilot and has already been up in a plane. Mkoso, a 4 year old preschool student, she was fully raped on her way home from school, 2 days before we left. How can a 4 year old be raped – our western minds have no capacity for this type of injustice. They say that most of the children have been raped – only a miracle of God can give them life. And this is what has happened here in this place.