Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Honoured to know her

Sometimes you meet someone, and you see a spark – a special light – something that shines through them and draws you to them in a unique, powerful, and almost irresistible way.

Nestar is one of those people. She is a rare gem, a force to be reckoned with, an inspiration, and an ambassador for truth. She is bold and beautiful, gracious and sweet, intelligent and strong. She is all of these things, but yet she is humble.

Nestar is from Uganda. She grew up in one of the most difficult environments any child has ever lived through. Her village was attacked when she was three years old. Family members were killed. They had to escape to save their lives. She has lived with the sounds of gunfire nearly every night of her life. Gunfire. Nearly every night. Let that sink in for a moment.

Nestar has been in Canada for 11 months. When she first arrived, her host family took her camping. She lay there in the tent, terrified, but too shy to say anything. At home in Uganda, sleeping in the bush was the equivalent of suicide. Rebels live in the bush. Murdering rebels. She wondered if she’d see morning.

Nestar has spent the last 11 months as an ambassador – bringing a little bit of Africa to Canadians. People across the country have fallen in love with her – and with good reason. You almost can’t resist loving her. But at the same time, you stand in awe of her. She is powerful. She is gifted. She is brilliant. She will change the world.

You can hear Nestar speak here. If you have a few minutes, you really must listen. Hearing Nestar speak will change you, even in just a small way. She will open your eyes to injustice. She will inspire you to act for change. She will change the way you think of Africans. She is no victim. She is no weakling. She is none of those things ethnocentric North Americans often attribute to Africans. She is grace and power all wrapped in one beautiful young woman.

Note: If you don’t have time to listen to the whole interview (and you really should find the time – it will be some of the most valuable time you’ll spend today), at least listen to the second half where she so brilliantly and graciously responds to narrow-minded callers who say things like “isn’t the hunger in Africa the result of their own sin?”


Michele said...

oh my.
WHOSE sin?
i need more grace, perhaps.

bbb said...

After listening to the interview, I can understand what you mean. She really does seem intelligent and well-spoken.

It boggles my mind how naive and narrow-minded some people can be!

Karmyn R said...

Out of the worst hardships strive the most beautiful people.

sin? ACK - How ignorant is that caller? makes me sad.

Lucia said...

I haven't listened yet, but I will.

She looks as if she has amazing inner strength and great beauty.

Hope said...

I'll listen on high speed at work tommorow.
It is always a blessing when we have people like this in our lives.

Pamela said...

gorgeous on the outside, too.

I'll listen to the interview tomorrow

Gina said...

What bravery! I am so sorry she had to go through the camping experience, although obviously her hosts thought they were doing something nice.

She is just stunning.

Liz said...

Hopefully our satellite will be back up on Saturday after we take down a tree. I'll listen then.

Very cute picture of Maddie!

Bailey said...

the elephants and the grass...

Anonymous said...

Nestar's experiences are powerful. And as far as I am concerned, she is doing exactly what God intended her to do. She is making a difference for herself and her community. Sin??? How can an infant be guilty of a sin that would cause God to punish by hunger? How is it that so many have sinned then? God is not punitive...He is loving. He is using Nestar to teach the rest of us how to help.

Our 16 year old daughter is coming home in 7 days from an African exchange. She too has had an awakening of social conscience and we are working with God and whoever we can to make a difference in the world she saw.

Power to Nestar and people like her. The world needs more gems like her.