Children of Uganda

Following up with my previous post about the TV--or technology in the 20th century for that matter--and how we in turn respond to the needs we see around us in the "global village", I bring you something quite sobering.

Have you seen Invisible Children? I have yet to get my hands on a copy of the film, and I'm not actually sure how to go about doing so. I called both video stores in Sparta and neither one is carrying it. Over the past couple months I have heard it mentioned, but I have yet to engage with anyone about the film. While doing some reading on JR's blog, I wound up stumbling across the website for the movie/mission/movement surrounding the Invisible Children of northern Uganda (For fun, this is the path that I went down to find this site: A>B>C>D>E. "Funny" sometimes how we come across things.)

Sadly, I knew very little about this long standing humanitarian crisis before doing more reading on it tonight. Very brief summary of the situation: Children in northern Uganda are being abducted in the middle of the night by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), a terrorist organization that is doing anything but representing the Lord. Young children are raped, made into sex slaves, forced to become soldiers in the army and trained to brutally kill others. Some escape, few in fact. Most do well to get one meal a day. To avoid abduction, some children pilgrimage to shelters in the night, where they find sanctuary.

This article helps you to step into northern Uganda to better understand the atrocities that are stealing children's lives. (Learn more about World Vision, a well established international organization helping to meet the tangible needs of a devastated world in the name of Jesus Christ.)

This article, from Chrisitianity Today, is also very informative. It addresses the ways in which we can offer help:

"There are a lot of sympathetic [members of Congress], but no significant leadership to move the issue to the point where there are congressional hearings, and hearings are one of the first important steps to focus administration and congressional attention on the severity of the issue," said Rory Anderson, senior Africa policy adviser for World Vision. "Hearings will not happen unless people contact their members of Congress and demand it."

The people most familiar with LRA terrorism agree that the best hope for ending the carnage is putting it on the radar screen of the Western world.

Akello Lwanga, a physician, spent two years treating LRA victims at an internally displaced persons camp in Pader. "If Americans saw this on TV as often as they see the Middle East," he said, "it would stop."

"People need to see what's happening in northern Uganda," said U.S. ambassador to Uganda Jimmy Kolker. "The suffering of these children is unimaginable. Absolutely, it is important for the public to know about this as a step toward bringing it to an end."

Ordinary Christians can help stop LRA terrorism. Presenting the issue to churches, continuing in intercessory prayer over the conflict, donating to Christian agencies that work with Ugandan children, and pressing government officials for action all work to save LRA victims.

Michael Oruni, director of Uganda's Children of War Rehabilitation Center, told CT he was urging Christians to get involved: "Imagine your own child taken away, being raped as your family is killed in front of your eyes. If it were you, what would you feel like?

"Kids in Uganda—kids just like yours—are taken every night and enslaved, raped, mutilated, murdered. You can make a difference. Talk to your government. Help us."
You can contact your congressmen or senators specifically on this issue HERE.

There is also this awesome pilgrimage called Global Night Commute going on in remembrance and honor of the invisible children who try to escape danger in northern Uganda. Check it out.

2 comments:

Chairman said...

Have you seen invisible children?

I do all the time. But then again, I'm on the ol' meds.

-Chairman

J.R. Woodward said...

Jonathan,

Thanks for posting this thoughtful article. I enjoy your blog.