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A middle-class woman in rural America and war-affected children in Africa find common ground in their journeys from brokenness to redemption.Author and psychologist Bethany Haley Williams shares how her own emotional healing led her into treacherous war zones, where she provides care to former child soldiers and young girls used as sex slaves. Faced with her own battle with shame and a rocky journey toward healing, Bethany founded Exile International, a non-profit that implements art/expressive therapy and long-term, rehabilitative care to restore and empower war-affected children--including children rescued from Joseph Kony's LRA (Lord's Resistance Army). One of those rescued young men, Solomon, was abducted at the age of ten after being forced to watch LRA soldiers maim and murder his father and grandfather. His younger siblings were left behind, and his mother was instructed to "raise them well...for one day we'll return to take them too." Solomon is one of hundreds of thousands of boys and girls who have had their innocence stolen and are forced to do the unthinkable on a daily basis. But their horrific experiences are just the beginning. The real story is what happens after. Once these children learn to face their pasts, they are given hope for a future and a vision for changing the fabric of their countries by becoming leaders for peace and advocates of the power of forgiveness. of forgiveness. "If the world could learn forgiveness, resilience, and joy to this level, it would be radically changed. And these young survivors would be our greatest teachers." --Bethany Haley
What would cause an eighteen-year-old senior class president and homecoming queen from Nashville, Tennessee, to disappoint her parents by forgoing college, break her little brother's heart, lose all but a handful of her friends (because the rest of them think she has gone off the deep end), and break up with the love of her life, all so she could move to Uganda, where she knew only one person but didn't know any of the language? A passion to make a difference. Katie Davis left over Christmas break her senior year for a short mission trip to Uganda and her life was turned completely inside out. She found herself so moved by the people and children of Uganda that she knew her calling was to return and care for them. She has given up a relatively comfortable life--at a young age--to care for the less fortunate of this world. She was so moved by the need she witnessed, she's centered her life around meeting that need. Katie, a charismatic and articulate young woman, is in the process of adopting 13 children in Uganda, and she completely trusts God for daily provision for her and her family. Despite the rough conditions in which Katie lives, she has found a life of service to God to be one of great joy. Katie's children bring constant delight and help her help others by welcoming whoever comes to their door. As the challenges grow, so does Katie's faith and her certainty that what she's doing in Uganda, one person at a time, will have far-reaching rewards. It isn't the life she planned, but it is the life she loves. To further her reach into the needs of Ugandans, Katie established Amazima Ministries. The ministry matches orphaned children with sponsors worldwide. Each sponsor's $300/year provides schooling, school supplies, three hot meals a day, minor medical care, and spiritual encouragement. Katie expected to have forty children in the program; she had signed up 150 by January 2008; today it sponsors over 400. Another aspect of the ministry is a feeding program created for the displaced Karamojong people--Uganda's poorest citizens. The program feeds lunch to over 1200 children Monday-Friday and sends them home with a plate of food; it also offers basic medical care, Bible study, and general health training. Katie avis, now 22, is more than fascinating, she's inspiring, as she has wholeheartedly answered the call to serve.