Since being here in Uganda, we have been exposed to a most beautiful place on earth and a people of faith and gentility. But we have also learned of terrible brutality beyond any description. Yesterday is one example.
We interviewed Denis Ayella, a man who was abducted into the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army headed by Joseph Kony) at age nine. Later in his young life, he chose to turn to God and start an orphanage to save children with similar backgrounds to his. The contrast is amazing. But as Denis told in horrific graphic detail of his parents death in front of him, his flight and being shot and captured, and the soul-destroying training and experiences of being a child soldier, we wept and hurt along with him and felt our hearts break.
All this has begged a question: How shall we tell such stories sufficient to illustrate the contrast while celebrating the victories over evil?
And now, my son, I dwell no longer upon this horrible scene. Behold, thou knowest the wickedness of this people; thou knowest that they are without principle, and past feeling. Moroni 9:20
We will share enough of the story to convey the evil in man without detailing its ugliness – then move onto the positive and beautiful that has arisen from the ashes.
From the one hour video we shot of Denis yesterday, I will save perhaps 5 minutes to share the basic storyline of his early life. Then I’ll spend the rest of the time showing how he has blossomed and is blessing the lives of the vulnerable.
This is not an easy thing. While here in Africa, we have seen and heard of unspeakable things that are beyond anything in the history of the world. The atrocities cannot be fully comprehended nor should they be. I suppose that makes the beauties all the more remarkable. When we came here, we expected to see a people of great faith and gratitude for the simplest blessings of life. And we have. But we did not expect the opposite in the form of violence and brutality. That has truly been a shocker, and very sobering.
I earnestly pray that God will bless this people with a kinder heart and a greater faith as the good overcomes the evil. I have full faith that it will happen, but hope it increases now so innocent lives are saved, and personal scars healed. When that happens, Africa will arise and shine as it can.