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#137 Child of war sings hope

My hope file is bulging so I swore I wouldn’t write about another talent show hopeful for a while, but that was before my friend Judith sent the video about Emmanuel Kelly’s audition for Australia’s X Factor. After watching it, I’m sitting here in a puddle of tears.

Emmanuel is a handsome young man, with a fine voice and the confidence to use it. He and his brother were born in war-torn Iraq. They were victims of chemical warfare, born without fully formed arms or legs. Nuns found the two boys in a shoe box in a Baghdad Park and brought them to an orphanage.

The woman who was to become their mother met the boys in the orphanage and brought them to Australia for surgery. Thanks to her love and strength and to their own vibrant natures, they have grown up with a sense of possibility rather than limitations.

So on the night of the X Factor audition, Emmanuel was nervous but eager. The judges’ surprise at seeing his disfigured body showed in their eyes. When he began to sing John Lennon’s “Imagine”, the surprise turned to admiration, the same emotion that brought the audience to its feet. Now Emmanuel goes on to “boot camp” and the possibility of realizing his dream of becoming a professional singer.

Whatever happens next, Emmanuel Kelly has won the hearts of Australians and anyone else who has watched the audition.

I suspect another mother’s eyes brimmed with tears as she watched Emmanuel. Judith and Emmanuel’s mother both fell in love with children in orphanages, boys who faced years of medical procedures. Thanks to their fierce determination, both mothers have raised fine young men whose courage, intelligence and spirit is a gift to the world.


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j - September 22, 2011

Hope, love, faith and family are powerful… I would love to meet this family someday to celebrate our sons!

Thanks, Cathryn, for posting it—Next time you go to Australia, will you find them for us?

Daisy Martinez - October 5, 2011

When someone sent me the video about Emmanuel Kelly, I was filled with compassion. I began to pray for him and his family that God would bless them in every aspect of their lives.

Is it possible that I could be informed of the progress of this family?

Thank you.

Pastor Daisy Martinez

    admin - October 5, 2011

    Thanks for inquiring about Emmanuel. He was dropped from X-Factor, but he continues to sing. I don’t have direct contact information for him, but you can find updates online by searching Emmanuel Mustafa-Kelly or Ahmed Mustafa-Kelly. Both young men are talented and beautiful.

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