Dear Friends and Family,
A couple of weeks ago, I went to an event hosted by the Invisible Children, an organization dedicated to raising the awareness of children caught in the civil war in Uganda. For over twenty years, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and the government of Uganda (GoU) have been fighting. Invisible Children has been working since 2003 to help peace talks and reduce the trauma to the civilians. Invisible Children is especially concerned with the children of Uganda. The LRA and Joseph Kony, their leader, attack civilians and kidnap young children, forcing them to fight to fight in their army. If they refuse, the LRA often tortures or kills them or their siblings or other family and friends. In the past few years Invisible Children, along with people all over the world, put on an event that helped stopped night commuting, the practice of children walking from the villages to cities every night to avoid being kidnapped for the army.
But there are still thousands of children in Joseph Kony's army. Invisible Children has been involved in trying to orchestrate peace talks between the LRA and the Uganda government for years, but every time they get close to a truce, it falls through. Invisible Children has orchestrated another event like the one that stopped night commuting, hoping to create enough attention and pressure to rescue these children. Tomorrow, thousands of people in cities all over the world are going to "abduct themselves for the abducted." Tomorrow, a few of my friends from church and I are traveling to Grand Rapids, MI, where we will meet up with hundreds of other people at an "abduction site" where we will leave photos of ourselves with friends and family, our faces circled. From there we're going to travel to an "LRA camp site" and wait to be rescued, just like those abducted children are waiting to be rescued. We're not going to leave our camp until we get the media and local moguls to come out to our site and recognize the crisis and our responsibility. At Grand Rapids, we're hoping to get Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, Mayor George Heartwell, and Pastor Rob Bell to come out and rescue us.
It may not seem like there's much that we can do over here for the children in the LRA. But if I'm camping out in Grand Rapids trying to spread awareness of the crisis with our local media and politicians, I thought I'd let the people I'm close with know too. Not only has Invisible Children had success with eliminating night commuting, but our country has a tremendous amount of influence, and they can make a difference too. There is a chance we can help rescue these children.
If you'd like to learn more, go to www.invisiblechildren.com. And watch your local news. There's probably a rescue going on near you.
"It is no use saying, 'We are doing our best.' You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary" - Winston Churchill