28 March 2006

Invisible Children

Dear Friends & Family!
Sunday night I got the opportunity to see an amazing film for the second time. The film is called "Invisible Children." It was made by three young men who left for an adventure in Africa the same day the war with Iraq began. They weren’t sure exactly what story they would come back with, but they knew they were entering dangerous territory. Initially they wanted to get into Southern Sudan, but ended up documenting children in Uganda who have been deeply impacted by the Ugandan war.
Let me share my paraphrase of the situation there and what these young filmmakers documented. Each night thousands of children walk into the cities to sleep under verandas, in hospitals, anywhere they feel safe from the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) which has made a habit of abducting children to brainwash and train into warriors, to abduct more children, etc and oppose the government. The founder Alice Lakwena, and the current leader, Joseph Kony, of the LRA claim to be led by a spirit and use witchcraft and intimidation as they lead their soldiers. Children as young as 5 are daily exposed to brutal killings in order to desensitize them and mold them into child soldiers.
One boy, Jacob, in the film said this:
"I have nothing. I don’t even have a blanket. We don’t have anything to do with food. Maybe we can eat once a day…so it is better when you kill us. And if possible, you can kill us, kill us. For us, we don’t want now to stay. …no one taking care of us. We are not going to school…" Jacob and his brother escaped from the LRA after their older brother was killed.
I first viewed this film, with some girls from my church about a year ago. Afterwards, we all just sat their and asked, "What can we do about this?" Children’s lives are much too precious to just ignore. The filmmakers have since formed a non-profit organization devoted to making the public aware of this situation and taking whatever steps they can to stop it. See, the American government knows about this situation, but when the filmmakers went to Washington to ask what they are doing about it, they were told that they needed to see the American people take an interest in the troubles in Uganda. You should check out their website to find out more: www.invisiblechildren.com.
My friend, Kara, works for Invisible Children in San Diego, and is sending me a few copies of the DVD to share with people I know. I am hoping to show the film to whoever would like to see it within the next few weeks.
Besides donating money (which is of course a great thing to do), one way I am planning to support Invisible Children, is in taking part in their "Global Commute Night." On April 29th, in 136 cities all across the country and a few in other countries, people are taking to the streets and doing just what the children of Uganda do every night, walking from their home to a safe-place, where they can sleep for the night, without fear of being abducted. I’m heading to San Francisco (the location hasn’t been solidified—but Union Square is what they think) that night. Will you join?
I know my few paragraphs can’t even begin to describe the impact this film has made on me and so many others. I hope you will visit their website and that you will have the opportunity to view the film as well. It is truly heart-changing.
I love you all, and I thank God for the protection he has provided me each night.

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