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I admit it: I am a total wimp when it comes to scary movies. My tolerance for things jumping out at me in the dark is nearly nonexistent. When I was a little girl, nothing terrified me more than the black-and-white movie Creature from the Black Lagoon.

I spent my childhood praying that the monsters wouldn't get me. Even now, I seldom watch horror movies because they still frighten me, but I braved watching Alien on TV a few years ago. I covered my face with my hands and peeked through my fingers, trying to make the monster tiny and less threatening. The most grotesque part of the movie is when the alien, which has inadvertently been swallowed by a character, bursts out of the man's belly, spewing blood and body fluids everywhere. I thought to myself, What could be worse than having one of those disgusting monsters actually growing inside of me?

Imagine my horror five years ago when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I realized that a real live thing had taken residence in my body—an "alien" that was trying to kill me. Thankfully, surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation brought a halt to the monster's plans. But as dreadful as that experience was, I've since come to believe that an even more malevolent creature grows unabated in my soul.

Earlier this year, an interviewer asked me what I believe about evil. I said that the Bible teaches we are inherently evil, with the capacity to do good when Christ reigns over our lives. She was amazed, thinking that people are basically good with some capacity for evil. The Bible says just the opposite.

"I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out" (Rom. 7:18).

The first time I visited Rwanda, I went ...

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October 2008

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