Friday, May 8, 2009

congo and peacetree

The Falling Whistles blog has been extra-compelling this week.

But not all emergencies are equal and what is occurring in east Africa
demands urgent response. John Prendergast of the Enough Project describes
it this way:

“The two hornet’s nests are two central African militias that most
Americans have never heard of: the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA, and the
Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, known as the FDLR.
For over 15 years, these militias have committed some of the world’s worst human rights abuses with near total impunity for their actions. The LRA is a Ugandan militia specializing in the abduction of children to be used as soldiers and sex slaves.
The FDLR, whose leadership contains some of those responsible for Rwanda’s
genocide in 1994, uses mass rape as its war tactic of choice.”

A recent journalist arriving home called Congo “one of the world’s most
complicated countries.” There are moments when the sheer size makes us want to
tuck our tails and give up. A country the size of Western Europe. 5.6
million dead. 70% of the world’s rapes. 68 million people and over
300 languages. Nearly 2000 dying With so much we
are often left wondering where to even begin.

In September 1989 a small group of people held a protest rally in Leipzig,
East Germany. The very next day the neighboring town held their own
protest. The small action rippled through the country with explosive
momentum until only a month later 1,000,000 people gathered for one of the great
protests of all time. Together they tore down, some with their bare hands,
the Berlin Wall.

On November 21 2004, Ukraine held a presidential election amidst an
extremely corrupt and charged political culture. The results came back and
despite exit poles putting the peoples candidate 11% ahead, the candidate of the
ruling party had won by 3%. Knowing they had been cheated from justice,
individuals across the country stood up and began to walk to the capital city.
Without a history of peaceful protest, most of the people had never participated
in a political event – and yet, on November 23 they marched with over 500,000

They were named the Orange Jackets for the orange raincoats they were
given by aid agencies and for an entire month these people slept outside in the
rain and snow. Purposefully and peacefully, so-called ordinary citizens
simply…waited. And then, on December 26, there was a re-vote. And fifteen days
later the people won their victory. Justice was served and freedom was


I want to embody Jesus like the Peacetree Community in Australia.

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