Tuesday, May 25, 2010

We Have Made it Law to Pursue Joseph Kony.

Just over a year ago I posted a blog about an amazing organization called "Invisible Children."
In April of 2009, thousands of young people all around the country gathered overnight to symbolically abduct themselves in order to bring attention to those in Northern Uganda who had been abducted by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). After the march we stayed at the abduction site until a media outlet and a celebrity showed up to bring attention to the cause. Channel 12 news was there before the march even started and around midnight Steve-O from Jackass showed up as our "rescuer." Cities like Chicago stood for over a week waiting to be rescued. Finally the small group that stayed was rescued by Oprah and received attention on her show. Needless to say, Invisible Children got the attention they wanted.

Over the past 5 years Invisible Children has been working nonstop to get a bill in front of the government to help pass Joseph Kony's arrest warrant into a law. Last week, Congress sign the bill without one single objection. Such a huge accomplishment. The next step was getting the Bill in front of President Obama to be signed into a law.

Yesterday, May 24 2010, President Obama signed the Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009. In his statement from his Press Secretary at the White House he said, "Today, I signed into law the Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009. The legislation crystallizes the commitment of the United States to help bring an end to the brutality and destruction that have been a hallmark of the LRA across several countries for two decades, and to pursue a future of greater security and hope for the people of central Africa."

My favorite part of President Obama's statement is where he says: "I congratulate Congress for seizing on this important issue, and I congratulate the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have mobilized to respond to this unique crisis of conscience. We have heard from the advocacy organizations, non-governmental organizations, faith-based groups, humanitarian actors who lack access, and those who continue to work on this issue in our own government. We have seen your reporting, your websites, your blogs, and your video postcards — you have made the plight of the children visible to us all.

Your action represents the very best of American leadership around the world, and we are committed to working with you in pursuit of the future of peace and dignity that the people of who have suffered at the hands of the LRA deserve."

Goosebumps are the least of what I'm feeling right now. Margaret Mead said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Central Africa will be changed forever because of a group of people that saw a need and worked relentlessly to fix it. I am so, so excited to be a part of this movement.

To read President Obama's entire statement visit:

To learn more about Invisible Children visit:

Some background on the LRA:

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 (along with many other organizations) 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.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Response to Haiti's Earthquake

Due to the devastating earthquake in Haiti on Tuesday, Global Outreach (as well as other departments) has received many emails and phone calls wondering what we as a church are going to do to respond to this. This has been my (and close to the rest of our teams) response all day:

"Thank you for your concern for the people of Haiti. There is no doubt that this is a huge tragedy that is not only affected the Haitians but everyone around the world. Since Haiti is one of the poorest country in the Southern hemisphere, where the average person lives on $1 a day and 80% of the population is below poverty level, people from around the world have joined forces and are on there way to help.

Luckily, Central does not have any field workers in Haiti. We do know some families working in Haiti that are supported by other organizations and have received an email from them stating that they were not physically affected but were definitely mentally and spiritually challenged and have plans to go and help with the relief efforts.

In response to the question "what are we going to do about it?" We, as a church are violently praying that the Lord heals the souls and spirits of those that were and will continue to be affected by the devastating tragedy.

Alos, during our regular weekend services, Central will have boxes this weekend for financial or medical supplies donations for Project C.U.R.E. ( with whom we have a very strong relationship with. Project C.U.R.E. gave us the following list of items that would be most helpful:

  • Band-Aids

  • Gauze

  • Medical tape

  • Baby bottles and baby equipment

  • Baby diapers and wipes

  • Disinfectant and other skin-cleaning products

  • Crutches

  • First aid kits

  • Antibiotic ointments

  • Pain relievers

  • Leg and arm braces

  • Water purification tablets

We encourage you to not only donate materials or finances but to also pray for the people of Haiti and the workers from all the organizations that have gone to help with the relief efforts. Pray for strength and safety and pray the God will make his presence known amidst the wreckage. "

If you have any other questions regarding Central's efforts to aid in the relief of the Haitian people, please email me at

Monday, January 11, 2010

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My 2009

I know this is about 5 days late but I just have not had time to write lately and I have been thinking about what I wanted to say about 2009.

2009 was a year full of ups and downs. It was also a year full of growth and maturity and learning experiences. I feel like in the beginning of 2009 I was in every aspect an 18 year old, and now days before I turn 20 I feel way older than that. It's amazing how big of a difference 1 year can make. It would be very easy for me to focus on the "downs" from 2009 but my list of "ups" for 2009 would blow that list out of the water.

My 2009 "ups":
  • I'll start with a very important one: I grew madly and insanely in love with Joe DiMercurio :)
  • I celebrated my one year anniversary with Joe as well!
  • I also celebrated my one year anniversary being on staff with Central!
  • I started my Junior year of college at ASU and am officially "on track" for graduating in May 2011 with a Bachelors of Science in Communications!
  • My best friends Mike and Sarah got engaged!!!! (along with many other of my friends)
  • I got my passport!
  • I passed my one and only required math class on the 2nd try! (HUGE accomplishment for me.)
  • I did my first real photoshoot.
  • I went to Las Vegas!
  • I went to the San Diego Zoo (lifetime goal marked off!)
  • I only went through 2 cell phones!
  • I walked in the Invisible Children RESCUE march.
  • I served as the Men's Challenge for the 2nd year in a row.
  • I only got 1 piercing and no tattoos!
  • I cut back on Starbucks immensely.
  • I let down my guard and allowed amazing frienships to grow.
  • I worked on stopping my personal judgements of people and realized that not everybody is who others say they are.

All around I would say that 2009 was a pretty decent year. But I can't wait to see what is in store for 2010!