Her name is Leah.
Even though she is in her 20’s, she has already lived a long life.
In the mid 1990’s, Burundi was at war. Tribal genocide was rampant, and her fellow countrymen were dying. Think of the movie “Hotel Rwanda”. Except in Burundi. Where Leah lived.
Her family heard there was a country nearby that would shelter them. Protect them. Save their lives. It was their father who decided that they should go there.
So they walked. For six weeks. 1,300 miles.
Leah was 8.
Leah lived in the refugee camp in Tanzania for 12 years. She essentially “passed” the magic question interview that the US Government gives to political refugees that allows them to legally come live in the United States. Her family, including her father who saved their lives, did not.
Pregnant Leah and her Congolese husband (they met, married and lost two babies to death in the camp) were relocated to Salt Lake City, Utah three years ago. Home of the “Mormons.”
They converted to the LDS Church and have been living and serving faithfully. They are attending some classes to help prepare them to go to and be “sealed” (married) for eternity in the temple. She beams when she speaks of it.
Their journey together has now brought them Kansas City. The first place that she wanted to go to after her arrival was to see the Kansas City Temple and the Walmart. :)
Imagine her surprise when I told her that she is one of the first church members in the world to see the first temple window installed. She smiled in her gracious, happy, gentle way.
“Heavenly Father is so nice” she said.
I couldn’t agree more.