Thursday, April 26, 2012

Guilty Rainbows

Today was a very historic day here in Liberia. I'm not sure how much news coverage the Charles Taylor verdict received in the rest of the world, but that's what today was all about here in Liberia. This morning was amazingly quiet around our neighborhood, and there was hardly any traffic on RIA Highway. The verdict from The Hague was set to be read at 9am Liberia time, so we turned on the radio of one of our pick-ups and sat inside the house to listen to the live coverage. It was after 11am (we ate breakfast, hung out, tried to not fall asleep, watered my plants, and hung out some more) before the verdict was read. Former Liberian President, Taylor, was found guilty of aiding and abetting on all 11 counts of crimes against humanity during the bloody civil-war in neighboring Sierra Leon. That's the interesting thing--Taylor was only being tried for crimes committed in Sierra Leon....there was nothing about the atrocities that happened in Liberia.

As the verdict was read over BBC, they cut to a BBC journalist on the phone in Monrovia. You could hear the crowd yelling and cheering in the background--supposedly people were lined up on Tubman Boulevard with the radios, awaiting the verdict. But the reporter said something about  people reacting to a strange rainbow around the sun. I'm pretty sure we all thought, "yea right," but then Cramer went outside and started yelling at us to grab our sunglasses and come and look. We ran outside in our PJs, and it was true--there was a rainbow ring around the sun. I immediately got chills, and felt like I was in some apocalyptic movie or something. It was beautiful, but strangely eery at the same time.
This afternoon's rainbow around the sun.
I immediately thought about the passage that God had led me to back in January when I was at home. I was sitting in church on Sunday morning, thinking about Liberia, and God said, "Jeremiah 33." I flipped my Bible open, and began reading. Right then and there I felt like God was showing me His promise for Liberia and her people. I marked it, and have frequently re-read it since then.

So when I saw the rainbow around the sun, I could only think about Jeremiah 33, and about God's promises for Liberia. Liberia fell deep into the pit of evil, but she is slowly working her way out. Liberia has come so far, but she still has so much father to go.

Tonight's sliver of a moon.
“Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security. I will bring Judah and Israel back from captivity and will rebuild them as they were before. I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against me and will forgive all their sins of rebellion against me. Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it." [Jeremiah 33:6-9]

YES! That's what I'm talking about--abundant peace, security, rebuild, cleanse, forgive, renown, joy, praise, honor, awe, prosperity...

As I sat on my front porch tonight, eating my rice and collard greens, I could only think about God, and how faithful He is! And then I started thinking about all of the possibilities for Liberia's future...and then I was just thankful to God for all of it, and excited for what's to come!

[P.S. Taylor's sentencing is set for sometime in May. There are many people in Liberia who support Taylor and think that he's innocent. Many people were hoping that after a not-guilty verdict, he would return home to Liberia. You can continue to pray that peace would prevail in Liberia!]

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