Friday, August 19, 2011

The Beauty of it All...

"I am confidant of this: I will see the goodness of Yahweh in the land of the living."
Psalm 27:13

How do I begin to write about an experience that has been so rich on so many levels? My last blogs about Africa have only scratched the surface. I have not been able to blog over the past two days because there has been too much to process.

Isabella: Click here to read her story.

Wednesday felt so sacred I didn’t even take photos. The teaching was on forgiveness. A team member told the story of healing that God is currently taking her through. We were reminded of the need to forgive others the way God has forgiven us.

Stefani and Kate.

Many girls shared their difficulty in forgiving those who have harmed them both physically and emotionally. But this day wasn’t just for them. The need to forgive is universal. After the teaching was over, our team members probably cried more than the girls. It was a day of breakthrough for all of us.   In fact, we could not even dismiss ourselves for small group. Instead, we, along with the Sweetwater staff, and twenty-four girls, stayed in the sewing room to worship. We thanked God for His grace, forgiveness and  His everlasting love.

The Redemption Skit: A story of a girl whose heart was torn by circumstances. Yet she was redeemed by God's Truth.

Thursday was our final day at the Sweetwater House. Pastor Chris taught on redemption. He really helped to bring home Wednesday’s teaching by using Job as an example of praying for those who curse us. Then he reminded us that while Jesus was on the cross, He prayed for those who killed Him, saying, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” While we were in our small groups we all took the time to bless those who have hurt us by asking God to cover them with His grace. Then we talked about what it means to be redeemed, bought with a price, adopted, and set apart. Oh, it was a powerful time! 


Our week with the Sweetwater Girls ended with an unforgettable foot washing ceremony. We kneeled before the girls and it was an honor to serve them. As I poured water over their feet, I thought of all they have been through. I noticed the marks of tribal scars from rituals on the feet of those who had been rescued from slavery. My small group partner, Melanie, began to pray over the girls, thanking God that they have now been marked with the Holy Spirit and set apart in His love. I later found out that she had not even noticed the marks when she prayed that. She was simply being led by the Holy Spirit. All the while, a sweet, refreshing wind was gently blowing as we washed. It reminded me of John 3:8.

"Now that I, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, 
you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that  you should do as I have done for you." - Jesus {John 13: 14-15}

It was so hard to say goodbye when all was said and done. I hugged each girl tightly and soaked in the final moments at the home. Then the mission team piled into the van. We looked out at all the girls as they waved farewell. Some smiled brightly. Others cried. We blew kisses and drove away, forever changed by the beauty of it all, with their faces etched in our minds and their stories written on our hearts.  


Monique Zackery


  1. Beautiful, so beautiful. That is all I can say.

  2. Thank you for joining us on this trip via the blogs. Love you, Robin!!! xoxo


"Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." - Proverbs 16:24