Have you ever been in terrifying fear for your life? This episode of the dHarmic Evolution podcast is James’ song “Eritrean Eyes”, inspired by a friend of James’. For the purposes of this episode, James will refer to his friend as Martha.
James gives a brief background on the country of Eritrea, located in the Horn of Africa between Sudan and Ethiopia and bordering the Red Sea. From the 1980s until 2000, Eritrea was at war or at the brink of war with Ethiopia, and times for Martha and her family were quite rough. One day, her father didn’t return home and it was presumed that he had been recruited to join the military, which was very common during those years. Another time, her uncle was rushing home to beat the curfew and when he was right outside their door, he was shot dead.
The glimmer of hope for Martha’s family, however, was that her grandmother was a wealthy businesswoman who had saved up the money necessary to smuggle their whole family out of the country under the cover of darkness. This excursion started with the family being smuggled under an onion truck and walking through deep sand and ended safely in the United States. Many years later, Martha was finally able to see her father again, which was an answer to her prayers.
Martha has since built a life in the US, loving freedom, Jesus, working hard, and being a dedicated mother. When James met Martha, his eyes were opened to her upbringing and culture as well as the prevalence of the persecution of Christians around the world. Additionally, the border between Eritrea and Ethiopia recently opened, and the people on both sides of the border have been pleasantly surprised by the positive impacts of this simple act of peace.
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