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TO CRY FOR GRACE
My name's Bri. This is where my story began.
We all have a story...
This is ours.
"In May 2016, I went on a trip with Dr. Barry Wecker to the island of Idjwi, in the middle of Lake Kivu, in between the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda, right in the heart of Africa.
That was when I met Grace.
Grace was a precious six year old orphan boy trapped in a body that was dying from malnutrition. He just stared at me with empty, scared eyes. Eyes that could have been mine if I had been born in a different time, a different place, a different situation. I bathed him, washed his clothes, and put him in one of my t-shirts and just held him. That was when I knew. I had to do more.
I was immediately flooded with the overwhelming reality that there were so many like Grace that needed help. I was confronted with two options: 1) because I couldn't do something for everyone, I would do nothing for everyone or 2) I would start with this one. Grace was the one I was going to start with. I began making plans to move to the DRC to take care of Grace and a couple of other children at risk for death due to their nutritional status.
Then on December 7, 2016, I received a message that Grace had died. My heart sank. I was too late. But no one was shocked – this was life on Idjwi. It was a different day, but the same situation: death had claimed another young life, and it probably would the next week as well. There was no one there to stop this senseless death, to love Grace as their own and save him from a grave that came too early.
But worst of all, when death finally had its way, there was no one there to cry for Grace.
They say that every ending has a new beginning, and as much as I wish that I had been able to keep Grace’s end from coming, his death was the beginning of a vision that I believe God placed on my heart - a vision to stop these preventable deaths and to extend hope and love to a people that have known death far too well and far too often.
What began as a simple vision and desire to help, To Cry For Grace is now a three-program malnutrition project, including a nutritional rehab children’s home, a malnutrition clinic and screening center, and a community education and resource program.
Grace may no longer be with us, but he has left an impression on the world and inspired a project that is saving children and softening hearts so that there will be people to cry for Grace and those gone too soon."
-Brianna Dale, Founder/Director of To Cry For Grace
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