So if you spend much time at all online, you know that this video posted by Invisible Children about LRA terrorist, Joseph Kony, has gone viral in a huge way. It was posted on my Facebook wall yesterday by a dear friend, and after viewing it, I shared the link and asked others to watch it, too.
I really didn’t expect all the negativity I’m seeing about it online this morning.
If you visit the IC website, you can read their rebuttals to the accusations they’re receiving of financial and other mismanagement, manipulating truth to promote themselves, etc. I’m not going to go into that here — heaven knows I’ve seen enough of it online already and it’s only 11:00 a.m.
True, the LRA has been out of North Uganda for years now. They’re currently wreaking havoc in neighboring countries, and Uganda is still dealing quite painfully with the aftermath. Many African nations are reeling from this type of terrorism. Obviously, the political situation there is far too complex to summarize in a simple blog post. But if you want to know more about it, research it for yourself.
And if you do want to research any of this for yourself, then I say that Invisible Children has been quite successful in fulfilling their mission to create awareness in a way that has impacted the world.
I’m a Christian, so everything I do passes through that filter. It has to. My opinions and viewpoints are molded by it, by necessity. And it is through that filter that I appreciate what IC has done — educated people about atrocities being committed on our globe, in our lifetime. Even today.
Because of each of those victimized children is a battered, torn, abused body surrounding a beautiful soul that God created and LOVES.
And if I love Him, I can’t get bogged down in technicalities and criticisms and questions and keep my mind cluttered with all the what-ifs. If I love Him, and I know this is happening, and has happened, and I see those horribly disfigured faces and those little girl “brides” and blank-eyed boys my sons’ ages holding machine guns and yet, I do nothing — then my faith is dead.
I have spent the last six months learning about Uganda and building relationships with people there. I know that colors my perspective on this. I’ve heard so many individual stories, researched the orphan crisis and read enough to know that this is a country living with a depth of pain that most of us cannot even fathom.
Did you know that these abducted kids, even if they do survive, usually can’t go home? It’s been hammered into their brains that they would shame their families if they returned, so instead of going home after escape or release, they end up in places like the ones ministered to by SixtyFeet.
Yes, folks, there are real prisons with metal bars holding children — CHILDREN — some of whom whose only “crime” was to have parents who abandoned them.
Last year, I wanted God to open my eyes, and He did. He always does respond to that kind of prayer, sometimes so fully that you almost wish you hadn’t prayed it.
Because once you know, you’re held accountable for doing something.
I’m not saying you have to donate to IC — I don’t plan to. But if you care about this pain, if you care about kids, if viewing that Kony2012 video has challenged you to make a difference in this world, there are so many worthy ways of doing so.
Sponsor a child through Compassion International. See that little cutie in my sidebar? >>>> You could make that child’s life so much better. Just click the picture.
Click that link above to Sixty Feet and help them bring food, clean water and HOPE to imprisoned children.
Visit Blood of Jesus Ministries-Uganda and help my friend Ronald educate, feed and clothe the 25 children he stepped up to care for because they needed someone to love them and keep them out of places like M1.
Sign up to go on a trip to one of 13 countries with Visiting Orphans.
Adopt. Or donate to the Abba Fund and help another family adopt and change one child’s life for good.
Visit Watoto and help them rescue, raise and rebuild.
I could go on and on listing resources I’ve learned about in the past six months, but you get the idea. There are amazing people doing amazing things around the world. And if you’d rather keep your support closer to home, I’m sure you can find countless ways to reach out to your own city or neighborhood.
But first, we have to know. We have to see the pain around us. That is why I like the Kony2012 video. It’s opening eyes. It’s shattering complacency. It’s making people consider, possibly for the first time ever, pausing their own lives and agendas long enough to really make a difference for another human being.
And at the end of the day, I can’t find fault with that — at all.