Exile Blog

Letter from the founders

Dear friends,

Thank you for joining with us to bring Christ’s love and restoration to nearly 5,000 children. Child survivors of war are healing, programs are multiplying, and we’re seeing the dream come true — child survivors of war becoming peace leaders for the cause of Christ.

“I could never have imagined that I would be alive today!”

Isaac spoke these words with such joy and passion. His smile must be one of the brightest we have ever seen. Such a contrast to the pain he has survived — abducted at a young age, trained to use a gun against his will, forced to kill and fight in a war he did not create. Yet to see him worship the God who saved him… it brings chills.

Isaac recently sat together with us and told us about his university courses and his dream to be in parliament someday. His energy and passion are contagious! Truly, if anyone can overcome such wounds of war and bring a nation toward peace… it’s him!

2019 at Exile International brought both tragedy and triumph. Tears and joy. Brokenness and beauty.

We started the year with a dear friend and staff member in Congo kidnapped on her way home from a weekly worship service. Tragedy.

Yet, in a miraculous turn of events, she was alone when she awoke after the drugs wore off and was able to walk out of the forest and find safety. Triumph.

The spring brought incredible joy. Our US team visited our Congo team and worked alongside a group of Exile graduates to build a Ninja Warrior Course for the youth! The kids absolutely were beside themselves!!! We worked hard, sang lots, and played even harder! And, yes, fell off a few times. Play helps heal trauma and pain.

The end of summer brought the unthinkable to the Exile family.

4 of Exile’s Congo team were ambushed in a rebel ambush while in transit from rural programs. The car was shot up and Joseph, Exile’s DR Congo Programs Director, was shot 5 times — leaving him paralyzed from the waist down and fighting for his life.

We had never experienced such tragedy in our lives until that moment. The unthinkable was now the reality we were living in. A reality we couldn’t stop or get out of.

There is no pause or stop button in war. You are forced to live it — even if it takes your life away.

This event brought us face to face with evil. We could either let it suck the hope and light out of us, or choose to stand firmer in our faith. Well, from his ICU bed, Joseph continued to lead.

“Whether I walk or I do not walk, I will still work for God.”

“He has called me to serve His wounded children. I have served this mission for 11 years, and I will serve him for 11 more.” — Joseph

We simply cannot allow evil to win. And we choose not to allow evil to have the last word. You see, evil only wins if we lie down and quit. Darkness can only envelope the light if we let our flame burn out. So we say no. With Joseph, we choose to continue the fight.

We are fighting the darkness by lighting more candles of hope and redemption.

A God-sized vision — provide healing & hope for 100,000 child survivors of war

We have a vision and a plan to bring healing & hope 100,000 rescued child soldiers and children orphaned by war by 2040. To see child survivors empowered to be leaders, transform their communities and end cycles of poverty and violence.

This is possible because program graduates are replicating the care programs that transformed their lives! Child survivors are fighting back against the darkness. Disciples are making disciples!

Graduate-led Replication — The Multiplier Effect

Today, more than half of Exile’s programs are led by program graduates! They are reaching unreached communities, multiplying hope, and spreading light across a region that has, for far too long, been plagued by war.

Once enslaved as child soldiers. Once on the streets as children orphaned by war. Now… now bringing healing, hope, and good news to their communities! For these children – evil will not have the last word. Only redemption, love, and Christ will have the last word!

Would you join us in believing and choosing hope?

Join us in praying for protection over Exile’s staff and healing over child survivors of war. Join us in a movement of radical redemption and hope. We need everyone joining us in this fight for the enslaved and the orphaned. Together we can do more! 

Will you team up with us to reach our year-end goal? Only $70,000 left to go. You can make your year-end gift to Exile International online or by check by December 31st.

Your partnership and your donations make each child’s healing and hope possible!

We are grateful for you,
Matthew & Bethany Williams
Founders of Exile International

 

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