Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

13 August 2009

The ache of incomplete

In 1989... a horrible civil war ravaged the country of Liberia for nearly 15 years. In North America, we didn't hear much about Charles Taylor and the magnitude of the terror he unleashed on this West African nation. It's likely when blips would make it's way onto our radar... most would tsk disapproving and mutter something about "those countries". My sister spent the better part of a year docked on Mercy Ship in Monrovia and she'll tell you that nation is still in shambles.

From 1990 until this very day, there are an estimated 35,000 Liberians who have fled into neighboring Ghana and set up a refugee camp called Buduburam. During our time in Ghana, we got to tour the camp itself and had the chance to befriend a number of displaced Liberians including a quirky dude named "Boyky" pictured here on the left at his Bible College graduation.

Boyky (and numerous others) told us some of the worst stories you could ever imagine about armed children coming into homes and slaughtering their families. For real. It's not a Leo Dicaprio movie. It's the reality of real people who we met, had Bible studies with, and who I taught to play catch and swing a baseball bat.

Every week Albert, Boyky and us would go to a hostel in Accra at night and run a Bible study to encourage the Christians living in this rather unseemly place. There were a number of Liberians in the group who would share as we dug into God's word and tried to figure it all out together. Often Boyky would bring his cool little guitar and would sing, so one night I brought my video camera and captured this amazing version of an old song "In the Arms of Sweet Deliverance".

The sound of his voice singing "when last our traveling days are gone, I will rest somewhere beyond the sky" is forever burned in my spirit. Boyky talked a lot about the suffering of his people... but always did it knowing that God is good. He was a tireless worker, learner, and worshiper. You could tell there was a longing for home in everything he did. The ache of incomplete. We all have it since this world is not our home... but what he had experienced in life made his calling on "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" hauntingly poignant.

We're not home yet. It's a good thing not to get comfortable where we all. The ache of incomplete is kinda like a Paul esc thorn in the flesh. I think the lonely feeling that we all sometimes feel when we look up at the stars at night and miss long lost friends or family who have gone home first, shouldn't discourage us. It should be a reminder to not grown weary in doing good. It should be a reminder that He's gone to prepare a place for us. It should motivate us to press on in faith. It's what our calling is... and it's more than enough.

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1 comment:

jonathan said...

Hey Dave, if you notice this post, maybe you could post the words sung in the video above. I can't quite hear them all and would love to know his rendition of it. That song has been one of meaning in my life and I can imagine how much power it had hearing him sing it knowing his story and the story of those he would sing it with.

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