From the Ranch

From the Ranch

Poetry About People From Far Away

Happy Birthday Fairy Daughter
This poem came about, as several others did, as I came to know the people of Afghanistan through the eyes of my husband.  As he served in Afghanistan, he developed great admiration for their courage and watched in amazement as many with true hearts and intentions, served and risked  everything to know democracy and personal liberty for themselves and their country.  On facebook, I too began to know some of the young people of the beautiful land of Afghanistan.  

One young woman in particular caught my attention, and when I failed to note it was her birthday, and she scolded me. I thought, I can't send her a gift, but I can send her words from my heart, to express how much I appreciate our friendship, and the privilege of coming to know her.  

Happy Birthday Fairy Daughter

I have a dear friend on facebook, who brings to my life delight.
Though Ive never seen her face or from her eyes their light.

When I asked her, she said her favorite color is blue.
I knew when I asked it would be some such soothing hue.

The messages that she sends in intervals to me.
Tell of her youth, her true heart, and the woman of honor she will be.

In my mind, from her words, a delicate beauty I see.
From images of the women of her land, I can imagine her face, to some degree.

Kindness lives within her and on her face it must leave its distinctive mark.
Women without kindness, even though great beauties, have faces that are stark.

From her mouth only genuineness and truth does she speak.
This tells of the strength and courage she possesses, which is something all should seek.

Her heart, though she lives in a war zone, reaches to live in joy,
There are enemies in her country who endeavor always to destroy.

From a picture she saw of me, in her sweetness she named me Fairy Mother.
I ponder what thing so quickly could make me smile, and I can think of no other.

Every morning as I pray for each of my children, and all those my loved ones,
Though her face I do not know, among my childrens names, hers comes.

After I  read of five young Afghan women who had  joined The Afghan National Army, and had been accepted as pilots in training, I thought about what courage it took these young women to take this step.  I had been thinking of the women of Afghanistan for a long time, their personal liberties, what their day to day lives must be like, how hard they worked, how many children they lost to disease, hunger, terrorism, and recruitment by the terrorist.   I had read a discussion between some of the young patriots of Afghanistan on facebook concerning a young woman who risked everything to vote on their national election day.  Truly, she faced death, and then her ballot was disqualified.   The true liberty that this country enjoys is still on the horizon for the people of Afghanistan, and far more blood sacrifices will be required for such a precious blessing to be theirs. Just as they have been required, and will continue to be required of our country and theirs, and all nations whose people would self govern, and possess the right to pursue their own destinies, the threats against these precious God bestowed rights will continue.  People being what they are, self serving evil will rise again and again to threaten both of our republics.  Every sacrifice made, by every hero from both our nations, and the other forty four Coalition Forces nations, has been spent in the name of each of each and all of the nations' destinies.   

I knew the courage of these five young women would change the history of their country forever, and in tribute to the young women, and all the women of Afghanistan, I wrote the following:

Young Women With Dark Eyes and Dark Hair

Who are these young women with dark eyes and dark hair,
With beauty that runs so deep, and courage rare?
From what cloth were they cut, and where was it woven?
Who was the artist from whose mind the colors were chosen?

Of what fiber is the cloth and thread made,
That forms their true hearts which when they were bade,

By whispers to their souls of service to their country and us all,
Without hesitation bid them answer that call?

The fiber from which those threads took shape,
Was grown by the people of their nation who do not hate.

The seeds were planted in the soil by their fathers.
Then the fibers were collected at harvest by their brothers.

The thread of hope was spun by the hands of their skilled mothers.
None gave heed to the threats of others.

Then they were woven by their sisters, whose lives will be forever changed,
By the steps that they take and the destiny they arrange.

Finally from the Artist's hand, priceless treasure, a gift from Afghanistan,
Came to the people of the world who desire only with honor to stand.

Their mark and place in history their names will take.
When their life's work is made for the peace that lies at stake.

Who are these young women with dark eyes and dark hair,
With beauty that runs so deep, and courage rare?

The Heart of an Infantryman Is the Same In Any Language

Poetry continues to pour from my heart about the war as I observe its’ faces and hear its’ stories. I am really trying to discipline myself to make my own record, and share that record here. With that, this morning I offer a poem inspired by my husband telling me of observing Afghanistan men doing basic training after joining the Afghan National Army. I have made friends with some young people from Afghanistan, and I have been privileged to know of Afghanistan and her people through their eyes. We have discussed many issues, and I respect and admire these people, and have somewhat of an understanding of the personal sacrifice and risk it takes for them to raise up their country from the tyranny which has long haunted their land. I do not know that I could put myself and my family at the risk of death to help do the same were it my country. With the discontent toward the war on the part of many of the American people, it would trouble me that I might find myself left holding the bag, without the resources needed to complete the liberation of my country. That they do step out, bringing such risk to their lives, criticism from some of their own countrymen, and from people all around the world who doubt their true motivations, strikes me as uncommon moral courage.
So this morning I relate to you the thought process which my husband went through as he observed these strong and proud men at attention before their instructor, and some of them in sandals, and some with bare feet. You will also get the feel of what the heart is like of a dedicated, died in the wool, ever loyal, honor graduate of West Point and the Army War College, who is a colonel serving his last days of a 30 year career in Afghanistan and Iraq. You will note too how much I love and admire him as well as the people of Afghanistan.

Bare and Sandaled Feet

He strode purposely from his office, but stopped to stare at their bare and sandaled feet.
Afghan Soldiers in training, at attention in perfect military bearing, his gaze their eyes did not meet.

How could they run, how could they make a stand?
Were their feet not cut by the rocks, burned in the hot sand?

He continued his powerful stride, but now he detoured to command.
His questions were met with assurance that boots had been ordered, plenty to meet the demand.

He returned to his work where he labored far into the night,
Then made his way to his quarters, laid down, and turned out the light.

Soon thoughts of work faded, and were replaced by scenes of the blessings of his life.
He thought of friends, family, his beloved home, and his strong and adoring wife.

The beats of his heart slowed, and in his mind appeared The Long Gray Line in motion.
Familiar feelings rose, and as each night, again he vowed his “last true measure of devotion.”

As sleep stole over him a smile was on his face, at the memory of the strength of the bare and sandaled feet,
And his mind saw visions of a firestorm of courage and valor, which soon the enemy would meet.

Written by Debra LeCompte, November 6, 2010
Dedicated to the love of my life, Colonel Randy LeCompte, and his Infantryman’s heart,
West Point, and The Long Gray Line,
The Soldiers of The Afghan National Army, and
The Kabul Milli Boot Factory, Kabul, Afghanistan

I love photographs, truly one picture can be worth a thousand words, Al Hassan H. Fahmi, of Baghdad, Iraq took this one. Last Tuesday, a week ago, as a group of children from St. George Church, Baghdad, Iraq, were on their way by bus to church for their communion classes, a suicide bomber left this world for the next as their bus passed.  He was Taliban of Al Qaeda, and the purpose of this bombing is believed to have been an effort to free Taliban members held prisoner in a nearby Iraqi jail.  As the children later related the story to their pastor and our dear friend, Brother Andrew White, they told him that they began singing and praying, because God had delivered and protected them from the blast.  These children know well the explosions of violence which occur daily in Iraq.  In their lifetimes all they have ever known is war.  They were born during war, and its horrors and its thefts of security and peace are constant companions to them and everyone else in Iraq.  Yet the faith in Jesus Christ of these children did not leave them crying and screaming at the death and injuries around them, but because of  their faith, they remained calm as the bus sped on, trying to escape the danger.
They had not escaped at that point however, and another huge blast shook the bus, blowing out all the windows and badly damaging the bus.  Here is Brother Andrew's account of what happened:

From Baghdad, Canon White
Terrible Bomb Blast of Our Children’s Bus and They're  All Alive

Dear Friends,

We are used to of bad days but today it has been in a different league. Central to our work and ministry here are our children. One of the biggest services of the year is when some of our children have their first communion. This service is at the end of August. The children prepare everyday with
about two hours of sessions. They all come to church in our bus and are then taken home.

As they were on their way home today they were caught up in a major bomb. The bus was not too badly damaged and it continued it journey. All of children started singing the Lord’s Prayer. As they were in the midst of their prayer a huge bomb exploded. All the glass of the windows shattered, people fell to the floor injured and one of the teachers was in a very bad way. They were all taken to hospital but were all discharged as none of them had life threatening illnesses. In a normal country there is no way that some of the teachers would have been discharged. One person was hardly breathing and in profound shock. She was brought to the church and I looked after her until she was more stable. Only then could I leave to visit all the children.

It was wonderful seeing all the children. Despite their injuries they were all smiling, their parents were not some were in floods of tears on learning what happened. The fact is that today was miraculous. When you see the state of the bus it is simply a major miracle that nobody died or was more seriously injured. The children knew quite clearly why, they just kept telling me that they were alright because they were praying and G-d was with them and He was.

Many tears were shed and there are huge things still to do and there are people who still need treatment. Please pray for us as we try and recover from another trauma.

Grace, Peace and Blessings,


While they were badly shaken, and of course needed comfort, they are doing very well now.  A couple of days later, Brother Andrew posted the picture at this link, and I have not been able to escape its captivating message, you won't be either...

I wrote the following poem in tribute to these amazing children, and God's power and glory! 

For of Such is the Kingdom of God

The picture I see shows them smiling and beguiling, love and peace is seen in each eye.
Some would not understand how it can be that these beautiful children do not cry.

Death brushed by these happy young faithful, and from the crowd took nineteen.
Enemies within had brought death, and until the destruction had remained unseen.

With the first blast of violence, in the bus they began sweetly to pray and sing,
Like Paul when he was in prison in a hole in the ground, and God gave him wings.

Then came the second roaring blast, which left their bus shattered and damaged.
God’s guardian angels brought His protection, to these precious, no harm was managed.

God’s divine knowledge and understanding, we know our children does not always spare.
Even then in life wrecking grief, we know always the sure mercies of His love and care.

This time, while I do not comprehend what hidden wisdom has held back His hand,
I find such faith in their young lives, and inspiration, as they for Jesus take their stand.

This miracle reminds me of words spoken long ago to little children by the one who is My Rock.
When he said, “it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom, so fear not little flock.”

I sometimes worry about Brother Andrew, he travels the world seeking support for the Christians of St. George, they do not have an easy life.  At any moment their faith could cost them, or someone they love, their life.  You will find links on Brother Andrew's facebook page,  and the St. George's page where you can make your own pledge of support for the work in Iraq, and follow there what The Living God is doing in Iraq.  God's blessings will surely be yours if you keep these faithful in Iraq, especially these beautiful and courageous young Christians, in your prayers.