Exile Blog

20 Recently Rescued Child Soldiers Baptized!

These 17 boys and girls were rescued by the UN in DR Congo. After their rescue, they were later brought to an EI care center to receive the care they desperately need — so they may be restored and empowered.A tradition at EI is for “senior” program beneficiaries (Young Peacemakers) to wash the feet of each newcomer and pray for them.

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These 17 boys and girls were rescued by the UN in DR Congo. After their rescue, they were later brought to an EI care center to receive the care they desperately need — so they may be restored and empowered.A tradition at EI is for “senior” program beneficiaries (Young Peacemakers) to wash the feet of each newcomer and pray for them.

It’s not about clean feet.

It is a symbol of old baggage being washed away. A symbol of old identities (“child soldier”, “killer”, “tainted goods”) being washed away and replaced with a bit of hope. Each newcomer is given a new identity. No longer shall they ever be seen as a “child soldier”. From henceforth, they will be known as Young Peacemakers.

Because names are powerful.

After this particular ceremony, one of the boys jumped up, spoke passionately about the heart transformation going on within himself, and asked to be baptized! Soon after, all had expressed the same desire… to be baptized as a symbol of their new life in Christ! Beautiful tears of redemption and hope were shed on this day!

In August, these 17, plus 3 other boys and girls – all formerly captives / all now young peacemakers – walked into a local lake and were baptized!

Each are immersed in the care they desperately need. Each are on a path of healing (of mind, body and spirit). Each are on a path to become leaders for peace capable of transforming communities!

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