Wednesday, April 22, 2009

April 25th. Invisible Children.

This Saturday thousands of people will be gathering in the state they are living in for one cause.
To make a statement.
To get attention.
To show their support.
To gain more support.
On April 25th, 2009 the international community will unite to make a statement asking for the release of the abducted children in Uganda being forced to fight in the Lord's Resistance Army under the control of Joseph Kony. Thousands of participants will gather in 100 cities across the
world to symbolically abduct themselves to free the abducted.

A little background:

For 23 years, the government of Uganda and a rebel group called the Lords Resistance Army, led by a man named Joseph Kony, has engaged in Africa’s longest war. In recent years, peace was seemingly within reach, largely due to the Juba Peace Talks that began in July 2006. However, despite a ceasefire signed between the LRA and Ugandan government, efforts toward peace through the Juba Peace Talks were stalled on several occasions by Kony’s refusal to sign the final peace agreement. Kony’s absence at the peace agreement signing on November 29, 2008 proved his promises to be futile and ultimately disabled the peace talks. Furthermore, the ICC has obtained evidence that Kony used the ceasefire during the peace talks to regroup, regain strength and resume child abductions. Joseph Kony is the world’s first individual indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.
Since September 2008, hostility in the Orientale province in DR Congo and Western Equatoria in
South Sudan has reached a feverish pitch. In apparent desperation and a renewed will to spread
terror to DR Congo, the LRA murdered over six hundred and abducted more than one hundred and sixty children to fight amongst its ranks. More than 104,000 Congolese have been displaced since Christmas in attempts to escape the LRA forces. A civil war, originally contained within Uganda’s borders, has now evolved into a widespread regional crisis.

Invisible Children, in concert with other policy organizations including Resolve Uganda, The Enough Project, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, now believes an international effort to apprehend Kony and rescue his child soldiers is the most viable way to end the most neglected humanitarian emergency in the world today.

So what can we do about it?
Demanding ACTION. Aim to draw attention to the conflict because drastic times call for drastic measures. So we’re calling on various media outlets and cultural/political leaders (a.k.a. “moguls”) to come to The Rescue. Because if no one sees what is happening to these children, then nothing will happen. Change will never come. Nowadays, seeing is believing. But what if they saw something unbelievable? That’s what we’re getting at.

Your abduction will begin on April 25th at 3pm when you leave your home and meet at a designated “abduction site”. For Phoenix, the abductions site is Tempe Town Lake. Then you will march as a group, on foot, in a single file line holding onto a rope to the event location called the “LRA Camp” while carrying any supplies you will need for the night on your backs. The Phoenix "LRA Camp" is at Hayden Lawn on the ASU campus. Invisible Children will arrange for photographers and videographers to film this symbolic march.

Once you’ve arrived at the LRA Camp, you will set up your “camp” and then wait to be “rescued”. A “successful” rescue requires two things. First, an approved media outlet from your area must show up and cover the event. Second, you and your city must arrange for the attendance of at least one pre-determined cultural or political leader. We are calling this person the “mogul” or “rescuer.” One of the confirmed Phoenix Rescuers is Steve-O from Jackass.

While at the LRA camp, you will write letters to your political representatives, create art/photo projects and seek out media attention in an effort to petition our governments to develop a strategy and support existing efforts to rescue Kony’s child soldiers. For all cities that are successful in getting the media coverage and their Rescuer to come and speak on April 25th, you will stay the night at the LRA camp and make the march back home at dawn on April 26th.

I am personally asking every single one of you to join us on Saturday. Let's make a difference.

For more information please vsit:

Monday, April 20, 2009

Too Late To Apologize?

I officially haven't blogged in a month. I have had the urge multiple times but have never just sat down and did it. So here goes.

This past weekend at Central we had a guest speaker, Tommy Politz, from Dallas Texas come and kick off our new message series called Resonate. The whole series is going to be about relationships. Not just marriage or dating, but all kinds of relationship. I am stoked. I am all about relationships and creating connections with people so to hear a message series about how to do that in a Godly way is totally right up my alley. We started off the series talking about forgiveness. Tommy got up and gave his testimony and showed us a true example of forgiveness. One thing he said was "Forgiveness is not a justice issue, It's a heart issue." Forgiveness has always been a problem with me. For some reason I have a really hard time letting go of things. When someone wrongs me I put a wall up and block them out. I don't know if its a defense mechanism or just my stupid pride getting in the way but its just something I've always struggled with. About 8 months ago I came across a verse that I'm sure I've read a thousand times but it talked about how God will not forgive you if you do not forgive others. And let's be honest, after all I've done in my life I need God's forgiveness. But then it got me thinking. Is it really worth it to hold grudges? To block people out because of one thing? So over these past months I've been really trying to work on forgiveness daily. It takes effort and it takes me knocking down my pride and allowing myself to be vulnerable and honest. Now, I'm not saying I'm an expert forgiver but I am definitely getting better at it.
Tommy ended his message with somewhat of a challenge. He said think of that one person that you have had a hard time forgiving. Someone that hurt you or abandoned you or lied to you, whatever it was, think of that person and begin to pray for them. Honestly and wholeheartedly pray for them.
What struck me was the think of that one person, I really couldn't name one. Which made me extremely happy, thinking how far I've come that I've forgiven all the hurt from my past.
But I began to think, if we asked who that one person was to everyone we knew, how many of them would say my name? Is there someone out there that I have hurt and not asked for forgiveness from? There has to be. I HATE saying sorry and I HATE asking for forgiveness, it means I did something wrong and I hate admitting that I've done something wrong. Again, a pride issue that I need to work on. There was one person I thought of. One person that I know I had never apologized to. I don't know how many people could say my name, but this one person jumped directly into my head. This morning when I had a couple free minutes I got on facebook and swallowed my pride and asked for forgiveness from the person that I had thought of. A year ago, I could have never done that. Now, I'm just excited that I have come far enough to be able to something like that.

So what if we all examined our lives? Could your name be the one that popped into someones head? Is there someone that we need to apologize to? If so, let's do it.