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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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All-embracing love

My name is Ishmael Daramy, and I am a Muslim who was loved by the Lutheran church in a way I cannot explain.

I was a diamond digger at Baama Conta, Kenema District. My former friend, a Muslim, had arranged for me to meet him at our usual place. He wasn't waiting for me, but the rebels were. He had set me up. At 8:30 a.m., June 26,1996, rebels amputated both of my hands.

I believe God works through God's servants to share, console, heal and give hope to the hopeless. The Lutheran church has helped my wife and me and our five children through counseling, microcredit and a family support system. Through the church, the Lord has provided for me. Now I make and sell tie-dye.

My definition of love has been broadened through the love I received from the Christian community. I can forgive the rebels. I have even seen some of the people that cut my hands. But I can never forget because my scars bring me daily pain. I can never be the man I used to be.

All Muslims and Christians should work together for world peace and teach against extremism.


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