Wendy and Grant LeMarquand

Wendy LeMarquand, a physician who works with her husband, the Rt. Rev. Grant LeMarquand, in Ethiopia, writes about welcoming 70 refugees to their home:

As they entered our compound, they reminded me of the lines of refugees we saw heading into Akule refugee camp two years ago: women with their meager belongings on the heads, little babies in their arms, and children, silent, stony faced, walking alongside. One difference — razor-sharp spears and deadly pangas (machetes) were carried by a few of them, mostly boys, 8 or 9 years old. They had heard that “people were coming to kill them,” and they fled to us for refuge.

“What can we do?”, I wondered. “We have no stores of food and no means of defending them.” Inwardly I stepped back into Peace, and greeted each with a smile. I looked into the dull eyes and hardened faces. The sun beat down. “Water,” I thought. “Give each a cup of water.” As I gave each a cup of water, I looked into their eyes. It was the children who softened first. Slowly, shy smiles answered mine. Eyes began to brighten. It was lunch time.

“They must be hungry,” I thought. I remembered yesterday, when the lunch prepared for 10 people stretched to amply feed almost 30. I had bread and ‘Injera’ enough for ten. But what was that with such a crowd? “Test Me in this,” the thought seemed to come. Grant went to get some peanut butter crackers left by our visiting team from South Carolina. Everyone had at least 4 or 5 pieces of the bread, Injera and crackers (“biscotti”). Some of our Anuak students were with us. They and Grant led us in prayer. Johann, who had been driving various ones to safety, reported that the roads were empty of invaders. Federal troops lined the now too-quiet streets. Our neighbors relaxed, and leaving their precious bundles of possession temporarily in our care they left for home, with thanks and with blessings on their lips.

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