Thursday, April 2, 2009


I like to dance but it’s not a pretty sight. I am not actually sure if it’s technically dancing. I find the groove in the music and just kind of go with it. I like to ‘jive’ but, over the years, my potential dance partners have dwindled, maybe due to the threat of shoulder dislocations or concussion.

I have danced for joy. I have danced to celebrate. I have danced to mourn. I have danced to escape. I have even danced around a fire, under the midnight sun, with a group of guys. I believe in that instance my brother was naked, but I’ll let him tell that story if he wants.

The best experience I have ever had dancing though was in Goma, DR Congo. There is a medical program there called Heal Africa, run by a remarkable couple, Jo and Lyn Lusi. Through war and volcano eruptions, they have built and rebuilt their hospital over the last two decades.

They begin each day with a church service. I found my spot in the back beside Jo. That morning a group of woman patients, who had formed a small choir, would sing. The women were waiting for surgery. Many had come hundreds of miles to be at the hospital. They all had the same problem. They had been torn apart through brutal rape – a common weapon in the ongoing violence in the Eastern Congo.

The group of ten or so gathered at the front and began to sing, swaying together as they did. God would not be sitting on his throne in heaven, the song went in Swahili, he’d be too busy dancing. Soon, we were on our feet. It was so easy to get lost in their song.

Jo and I shared a smile as we really danced there in the back of the church. How can this joy be mingled with such horror? Those women were not going to be victims, they refused to give up. Their song was not of sorrow but of resolve, and of healing.

In those moments we stood with them, our dance was prayer.


  1. Thanks for sharing this... a Powerful story!

  2. I have danced with you and I have seen you dance. I know that for all of us, but especially for you, dancing is therapeutic, no matter the reason to dance. You should dance more my friend. It is one aspect of your creative side coming out. I will dance with you - but I will wear a jock...

  3. I LOVED this! I am going to dance more for sure, even when my youngest daughter (who is easily embarrassed by me, and trust me I provide LOTS of opportunities!) tell me to stop. I would like to know more about this hospital.

  4. Sally Leist from KenyaApril 6, 2009 at 7:31 AM

    What great news. HOPE in the midst of HORROR. God is big and continues to hang in there when we turn away again and again. I'm so glad you were able to celebrate His constant presence at a point of our most broken. I'm continually amazed that He can handle our rage, disobedience and cruelty to the rest of His creation. He truly is a gracious God. Thanks for writing and sharing your journey. Sally Leist

  5. I will love the dance more now. Thank you!