Tuesday, October 18, 2011

LRA: Africa

From Aaron

I read the news.
I see the tweets.
I see the Facebook comments.

There are mixed opinions about the fact that President Obama is sending 100 American troops to Africa to help combat the Lord's Resistance Army.

"The government of Uganda claims that the LRA has only 500 or 1,000 soldiers in total, but other sources estimate that there could be as many as 3,000 soldiers, along with about 1,500 women and children. The bulk of the soldiers fighting for the LRA are children...Since the LRA first started fighting in 1987 they may have forced well over 10,000 boys and girls into combat, often killing family, neighbors and school teachers in the process.

Many of these children were put on the front lines so the casualty rate for these children has been high. They have often used children to fight because they are easy to replace by raiding schools or villages."  (Wikipedia)

You can read CNN's story about sending US Troops to Africa here.

What is more interesting is to read the comments under the story.  Some of them are from idiots.  Some are from racists.  Some are from people who are only interested in seeing Obama fail.  Some of the comments are from people who know way more about Africa, war, and public policy than I do.  Many of those people raise some valid points.

I know that it puts more American lives in danger.
I know that America has its own problems that need to be addressed.
I know that war costs money and the economy is sluggish.
And I also know that most political moves have some hidden political agenda.

I know.

But I also know that God cares way more about justice than he does about our economy.
He cares more about human life than he does about American politics.

I know that there aren't easy answers.

But I don't know how anyone can read the news, hear the stories, and see these images and not be moved.

Let Us Be Free: A Plea for Relief from the Violence of the LRA from DTJ on Vimeo.

Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.


Holly said...

Lovely post. I remember walking once in the streets of eastern DRC and seeing a man with lips, nose and ears that were missing, obviously they were cut off. It's hard to be opposed to anything that could help end such horrific violence (not only done to children) but also to the men and women that try to fight back or protect their families.

Angie said...

Well said. I couldn't believe those comments. Made me want to move out of the US when I read them (similar to the way I felt when I heard "the Donald" might make a go at the presidency). I guess living in another country doesn't necessarilly immunize you against that sort of grief.

You and Heather have a gift. You guys put words and action to what burns in my heart. Thank you.

Maggie said...


Allison in Kentucky said...

About time the US stepped up. I applaud Obama for making the move. And isn't it frightening to see the mindset of so many people through their comments?! Goodness.

Susan, wife of 1, mother of 4 said...

Beautiful. Thank you for posting. You are changing hearts.

Robin said...

The video made me sick. I can't believe people do that sort of thing to others.

Stacey said...

Hi Aaron,
I so appreciate this post. For years, a pastor named Sam Childers and his wife Lynn, have been a friend to our ministry here. He has shared his heart for Sudan and the call that God has placed on his life for the children there. To rescue and spare them.

You may or may not have heard of it, but a movie documenting his life has just been released by Hollywood. The Machine Gun Preacher. If you have the opportunity, I would encourage you and anyone who reads here to watch it.



I say this knowing full well that both you and Heather...your life and testimony shared with us, has changed my life as well.

Anyway, I could not be happier that God is sending reinforcements to help the people there.

Children have been forced to kill their mothers (and others I'm sure) and women are tortured in unspeakable ways, not to mention the lives that are being taken.

There's a pep rally going on in my heart! Thanks for this post!

Sharon Wheeless said...

Let's also remember to pray for the mental and spiritual well-being of our military as they do their work. Just as we pray hard for the protection of the kids and their families and communities, we can't forget that our troops are going to be seeing the very worst side of humanity. Many of them are not much older than the kids to whom they are delivering aid. I ask God to give them the discernment they need as well.

Bob & Judy said...

Just kind of randomly downloaded an audio book, The Tragedy of the Korosko by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Written in 1898, I think.

All the very same sound bites, except about Great Britain. You know - we can't be the police for the world; we have to look after our own interests; when we intervene, we just catch flak....

Here are a good couple of lines from 120 years ago:

"I think that behind national interests and diplomacy and all that there lies a great guiding
force--a Providence, in fact-- which is for ever getting the best out of each nation and using it for the good of the whole. When a nation ceases to respond, it is time that she went into hospital for a few centuries, like Spain or Greece--the virtue has gone out of her. A man or a nation is not placed upon this earth to do merely what is pleasant and what is profitable. It is often called upon to carry out what is both unpleasant and unprofitable, but if it is obviously right it is
mere shirking not to undertake it."

I surely don't know the answers, but the questions are not new.

Senegal Daily said...

Thank you so much for this post.

Rush~ said...

An issue very close to my heart here and I'm grateful you posted about it. As someone who lived in Uganda for a short time (short because it got cut short but that's a long story not for here.) I want peace in N. Uganda and families and culture to be restored. They are a beautiful and incredibly resilient and even forgiving people considering all they've endured. Yet, there's a part of me nervous about the U.S. getting involved. I wonder what the reason is and am praying they don't do more harm than good to be honest.

For peace in Uganda,