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Blooming From Roots

by louis gander  
8/08/2014 / Testimonies


The night is very peaceful. Stars twinkle in the sky.
While God creates the beauty, man destroys - but why?

A-boom! Boom! Boom! A-bang, bang, bang! A-pop, pop, pop! Rat-a-tat-tat...
Our village undefended! The horror starts like that.

What is going on? I'm only six years old. Gunshots echo through the air!
Yelling, screaming - orders barked. Bullets everywhere!

(picture)
(Jellee, in blue, at her home with some of her family before the raid - age 6)

As fireworks, but louder - those AK-forty-sevens -
A-bang, bang, bang! A-pop, pop, pop! The booming shakes the heavens!

The rebels swarm like bumble bees! The terror snatches breath.
They frighten all the villagers. They sting us with their death!

They scare me so. I try to run. One catches me off-guard.
He slaps me and I start to bleed. He hits and kicks me hard.

They seize my father, torture him. They frighten me a lot!
They grab his arms, behead him there - and kill him on the spot.

The rebels move so swiftly! I'm just a little child!
My mom is screaming. I am too. These murderers are wild!

Two more hold my mother down - they kill as if a game!
"Shut up!" the rebel yells at me, "...or you will get the same!"

Oh, how I squirm and wiggle! He's holding me so tight.
He hurts my arms. I cry and scream! I am too young to fight.

He hits me hard with his big gun. It slams me to the ground.
He swears that I will get the same if I make one more sound.

Shocked, I am. I'm terrified. My friends still unaware -
of what is really happening. Is this a bad nightmare?

I scramble up and start to run - past one hut, then another.
Oh, will he kill me as he did my father and my mother?

I run as fast as I can run. I'm frightened as can be.
A lady grabs and picks me up - her arms protecting me.

I'm wailing as she runs to hide among 'da bush' and trees.
I hear the chaos all around now bent low on my knees.

I soon think it is safe enough for me to run away -
but I will be forever scarred. I won't forget this day.

For years I live with others, my makeshift families -
but oh, the torture I go through is more than man believes.

(Picture)
(Jellee at age 10)

Such sin conceives atrocious things, but that does not compare
to all the things they make me do. It's way too much to bear...

I lost my friends and family. It simply makes no sense!
I cannot find a peaceful place. I lose my innocence.

I bounce between the villages to find a life of peace -
but trial after failed trial, the sadness doesn't cease.

Then once again, it happens! And this I can't endure!
The rebels come in shooting! No village is secure!

I pray that they will go away. My heart is beating hard.
I hide again inside 'da bush' - emotionally scarred.

I try to hide the best I can with rebels coming near -
I hear the bushes moving and an angry voice I hear:

"We know you're hiding! Come on out, or we shoot again!"
And with those words they fire some more - a terrorizing sin.

A bullet hits my ankle. I quickly take my top -.
and tie it 'round my ankle - for it is all I've got.

And then I try to flee again. There's no way I can stay.
My left hand holds my ankle as I try to run away.

I hear something familiar. I look up to the skies.
A helicopter nears the road! A sight for weary eyes!

The emblem proves it's friendly. The bright 'red, white and blue'.
I run as fast as I can go. That is what I must do.

I hold my bleeding ankle and I also try to run.
My former top is soaked with blood. My last dash has begun.

I cannot stay and that's for sure - to left and right, I glance.
I look out through the clearing. This is my only chance!

I pass the dying bodies of - mothers, girls and boys.
But I must leave this awful place where sinful man destroys.

Through bullets, can I make it? I really do not know.
I start across the clearing. I stumble as I go.

It seems to take forever. I'm determined so, to put -
this nightmare far behind me. I hurt from head to foot.

The chopper blades are noisy. The dust blows in my face.
Some bullets zing right past my head. I quicken up my pace!

Just when I'm feeling hopeful, a bullet rips my side.
I fall with all the others and I think I'll miss my ride.

I have no strength to run again. I'm bleeding real bad.
I put my right hand on my side. That chance was all I had.

I'm feeling weak and failing fast. While dying here, I cry.
I vainly wave for someone's help - so futilely I try...

And then the lights go out. It's black. I've failed with the others -
those who came so very close - fathers, mothers, brothers...

When terror roots, a rebel shoots and death is what he gives -
yet blooming now from ugly roots, a lovely flower lives!

And two weeks later, I wake up, with coma finally over.
And though I ache from head to toe, I 'see' green fields of clover.

I 'see' a land so beautiful - a land that most can't see -
a land of milk and honey, of opportunity.

(picture)
(one of Jellee's gunshot wounds - this one from an AK-47)

Now five years later, it came true. I'm thankful still today.
Though I don't know who rescued me, I'm in the USA!

It seems as though I'm born again - and not just 'physically'.
I 'see' this land more beautifully - and it comes 'spiritually'.

An everlasting land in Heav'n - if Jesus lives within.
He picks us up right where we fall - if we've been born again.

The day is very peaceful. Although the terror looms,
As God creates the beauty, His precious child blooms.

Copyright 2020 by louis gander.
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