When standing upright, supported by two crutches and huge metal leg braces, Argentine is a tiny woman reaching no more than four and a half feet. Yet this tiny woman has overcome towering obstacles, growing up with polio in a rural village at the heart of the ongoing fighting in Eastern Congo.
As a child she lost the use of her legs, and was never able to attend school. As the war in Eastern Congo grew worse and worse, her mother was left with the weight of an incredible question. How could she protect her young disabled daughter from the armed men who would sometimes invade their town? Even young children growing up in Eastern Congo learn to flee. But what do you do with a daughter whose legs can't carry her across the room, much less out of danger? With seven younger children to think about as well, and no money to move to a safer area, Argentine's mother was often forced to carry Argentine into the woods and hide her there, returning at night to sleep with her under the brush. To this day, Argentine tells this story and marvels at the love of her mother, and the faithfulness of a God who has carried her so far.
Today, Argentine is able to live independently and support herself in relative safety, through the work of her own hands. This is an incredible accomplishment for any young woman in Eastern Congo, and even greater for a disabled woman. In 2013 Argentine was forced to flee Congo because of the escalating warm but she brought her sewing machine with her. At the time she was 5 months pregnant and very scared. In a hospital near the refugee camp she gave birth to a healthy little girl named Rachel. When Rachel was first born, Argentine was almost overcome, trying to imagine how she would care for her daughter in a refugee camp, on her own, so far from home. Yet she is a woman of enormous faith and determination and she has built a life for herself and her daughter in that camp entirely through her sewing.
Whever Argentine has found herself, whether at home, in the woods, or in a refugee camp, she sings. And her songs, with a beautiful clear voice, are always filled with thanks to God. In the video section of our website, listen to the singing in the background of some of the videos, it is always Argentine leading the singing, completely unrehearsed. These are the songs that pour from her heart.