"Pray the Devil Back to Hell."
"No," I said, "but I would love to."
The next day she dropped it by our house saying,
"I think you need to see this."
|Original Artwork--Olaf Hajek Poster Design--PrettyCo|
Leymah Gbowee, leader of the peaceful protesters said, "In the past we were silent, but after being killed, raped, dehumanized, and infected with diseases, and watching our children and families destroyed, war taught us that the future lies in saying NO to violence and YES to peace!"
|Photo Credit--Michael Angelo for Wonderland|
|Photo Credit--Pewee Flomoku|
The women began talking to leaders of their churches and mosques informing them of their plans for getting involved in the peace process and breaking their bondage of silence.
With increasing boldness, through radio announcements they called the women of Liberia to rally. To make a greater visual statement, they encouraged women to dress in white as a symbol of peace.
Determined to rally until they got attention from the President, they sat in front of a strategic location--the fish market--praying and singing day after day. They weren't afraid. Their attitude was, "If I get killed just remember I was fighting for peace." The President's convoy would pass this location day after day without acknowledging them.
Their cry onto the streets was: "Peace and no more war; our children are dying. We are tired of suffering. We want peace."
Eventually the Muslim and Christian women soon began to empathize with each other, and thousands of women mobilized their efforts. And finally the women's perseverance paid off--President Taylor agreed to meet with them.
And then they did something even more daring! They staged a "sit in" outside of the Presidential Palace, blocking all the doors and windows and preventing anyone from leaving the peace talks without a resolution. Isn't that amazing? Their influence made a difference and peace negotiations eventually resulted in a peace agreement which helped end the war that killed over 200,000 people.
The story didn't end there though. These great women remained involved because there was still much work to do. So they moved forward in forgiving, reconciling and living together in peace. They wanted disarmament and an elected democracy. Three years later, Liberia was the first African country to elect a woman as President.
These Liberian women are heroes in my book of life. They sacrificed everything for the sake of peace. And their cry was heard in the heavens above by God, the Father of us all.
Thank you, women of Liberia, for being excellent role models for women in the world. Thank you for your bravery and for standing up for the children. You are an inspiration!
Grace & peace be with you and in your country.
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