I stood at a precipice, a crag of rock in a parched, thirsty land that mirrored the condition of my heart.
Kimberly Smith shares her personal stories as she seeks to stop human trafficking. Her mission happened to take her to Africa--to Sudan and Darfur. While there she met a "Lost Boy" (James) who refused to be rescued, who refused to be placed in an American home. He wanted to help his people. His mission might have been small--his resources limited. But come what may, he was going to do something or die trying. It didn't take many days for Kimberly to hear the same call. She had to do something--no matter how small, no matter how limited--to help. It would mean great sacrifice--living away from her husband and children for many months at a time. But she felt called by the Lord to do his will, to be his hands and feet.
The book shares the story of her journey. She relates many of the stories she heard along the way. Stories from men, women, and children. These stories are heartbreaking. These stories don't need emotional embellishment. Told simply, told matter-of-factly, they're moving, compelling, challenging. They are told by speakers dying to be heard, to be listened to. Their stories need to be told; their voices need to be heard. I found Tonj's story particularly compelling.
I would definitely recommend this one. While it isn't an easy book to read, it was so compelling and well-written.
I confessed Tonj, "I fear I would not be as faithful as you have been. I am honored you would trust me with your family's story and humbled to sit with you. Please tell me, how did you manage to suffer such extreme persecution--and even more horrifying--witness the rape and torture of your wife and still not give into the Muslims' demand to worship Allah?"
With his steadfast and simple theology, Tonj replied, "Allah isn't God, so how could I worship him?"
Tonj told me that he'd never owned a Bible and could not read it if he had. He was introduced to Jesus through word of mouth and explained, "I know Jesus is the Son of God and that same Jesus died on the cross for me and my family. Why would I betray Him because of evil men?" (131)
To be a witness for another seemed like such an insignificant call, and yet I had no idea that it would demand everything within me to learn to do this simple thing. (65)
I began to realize--up until I lost Teresa--that I thought faith was about the joy I reaped from walking with Christ. Teresa showed me living a life of faith starts with knowing the whole heart of God--what brings Him joy, and what breaks His heart. Once I knew both of these things, my life began to keep rhythm with His heartbeat, and I found myself reaching out to the Teresas of our world, just as He would. (77)
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible