I met some Mountain Movers when I arrived in Arua. This group of amazing people were from different work backgrounds, cultures, and age groups. They are the other presenters, and each has a specific gifting and role for the conference. The group is a study in diversity. There are so many ways in which we all differ from one another, it is hard to find commonalities by just looking. However, when the talk turns to education, teachers, and empowering a generation to overcome the hardships of war…unity, vision, and fire emerge. Passion lights up eyes, and voices intensify. Watching passion under a microscope, it is up close and magnified.
The odds are against this group of Mountain Movers, and they know it. The giant they face in their quest to share hope with the refugees is significant. War has been going for the Sudanese people for 5 generations. They are war weary and tired. Their hope is gone and their mindset is, ‘why even try.’ They wait for the outside world to come and rescue, only to find they are on their own in their plight. The easiest way for them is to sit and wait for ration day to come around. To sit and wait for someone somewhere to help them. What many have not yet realized, is the war is in their minds as much as it is in their country. The trauma they have endured is significant, unimaginable even. Who would blame them for sitting down and giving up? No one. In fact, to see the victims and all they have been through has one of two effects, it either pulls hearts to give with no conditions, or it causes heads to turn away in helpless frustration because the problems are too enormous to fix.
However, group around the table discusses the Mountain in front of them with vision, despite the fact they have been working in and around the situation for years. They know it is a God-sized problem and will only have a God sized solution. They have detailed knowledge and experience of the complexities caused by war. They know the hopelessness of the people up close and personal, yet, they continue to hope. They continue to press forward to equip and empower, and envision. The passion carries some of them around the world and others to their own backyard. It demands they get into the trenches with teachers, in order to shore them up and bring them courage for the future, and dare them to dream once again. It sits with students and listens to better understand. It is what drives the Mountain Movers to continue fighting for children and teachers to develop to their fullest potential as well as to heal from the scars of war in body and mind. They are an inspiration and what I found, watching and listening to the voices, is passionate people attract other passionate people. It’s like they feed each other. The momentum grows until the vision is so big and the hope is so present it overflows.
They know a secret…the mustard seed. The tiny bit of faith God has given them is growing. It is watered with Living Water, and fed with the Hope he gives them. It is growing into a force with the power of love behind it. Hope Primary School is the plot of ground where the seeds are taking root. The teachers there SEE the possibility to make a better future. That alone, is a significant revelation. They are taking hold of their own futures, refusing to wait for someone else to do it for them. It is a hard road they are on with many obstacles. Hardships are the norm, and survival is a daily struggle. But their prayers have been heard, and God has sent the Mountain Movers to be in their corner. To encourage them. To partner with them. To walk beside them out of the warzones in their minds and into healing. To empower them to find freedom for themselves and their children. To grow strong enough, that when the war is over, they will return to their country whole…the brokenness healed by the power of love. It is a tall order. It cannot be done in human strength. Only God can do this work, and the Mountain Movers know this. They continue to allow him to grow the seed he has given them, and they continue to allow him to move the mountain.
(The internet is too slow to post pictures for some reason…they will come later. 🙂 )