Thursday, March 8, 2012

KONY 2012

Song for this post: "Change" ~ Carrie Underwood

Today I was going to write about who won the contest from a few weeks ago.  I was going to show you my new nails and tout about a house warming gift I got. I actually already saved a draft post with notes to make sure I covered everything. But, I'm going to interrupt all of that for something important. My last blog was about what it was like working for a charity and, when I started this one, I promised myself I would keep it light. But, I'm me. You're you. You know me. I can't help myself.

When I was 18 I was lucky enough to be heavily influenced by an international organization called Winepress Ministries. This ministry is how I met 2 of the most important, influential people I will ever know:  Pastor Harold Eberle, and Ode Eyeoyibo.

Pastor Harold Eberle is the head of Winepress Ministries. He's also spent the past many many years on multiple trips to Uganda and the Congo helping those in need, setting up schools, medical facilities, and churches.  I wish I could say I had gone with him on one of those trips. Unfortunately, I hadn't. But he did send us back a letter once.  It was a letter about the people he met and spoke with...the women who had been raped repeatedly...the children who's parents had been brutalized in front of them, who's siblings had been murdered. Pastor Harold spoke in detail about the stories he had been told and the atrocities he'd seen the fallout of.  At 18 years old, there were details in there that were difficult to hear. Some of those words I will never forget. The images they created burned themselves into my mind. I remember all of us sitting in the church while Jon read the letter written to all of us from our Pastor and crying...all of us were crying.  All of our hearts were breaking for these children on the other side of the earth that few knew about.

That's where Invisible Children comes in.  I remember learning about the organization back then.  I remember meeting some of them 10 years ago and learning about what was going on in Uganda and in the Congo and how horrifying it was...and how our legislators weren't doing much to step in. There seemed to be an attitude of "Oh it's just another African country that's war torn...there's always at least one."  I called every charity I could think of. A friend of mine and I petitioned our church to offer our services. I asked the people at Winepress if I could help. I asked another charity I knew who was involved if I could go with. We tried to set up branches for charities in our town.  Nothing really took hold. No one really wanted to help. So I gave up.  I admit it. I remember being shocked by how cavalier people looked at it and feeling helpless for being just another middle-class, privileged, white, Christian girl who wanted to make a difference.  Of course, I couldn't possibly have the vaguest comprehension under God what it's like to live in an area of the world like that.

And you'd be right.

But you know what I DO have? A fucking heart. A conscience. A soul. Compassion. A duty and a responsibility to do right. So do you.

Thank you Invisible Children for keeping at it and raising such incredible awareness. The work you did then that I so admired and still do has hit the masses and change is happening at a fast pace.

Thank you.

For all of you reading this, do something.  It's so easy to pick out what's wrong with a cause.  Finding the wrong is also a really great way to divert from the glaring truth that you are doing nothing but complaining.  Stop being a waste of our time. Stop being complacent.  Can't afford to donate?  Give up that pack of cigerettes for a week.  Or print flyers and hand them out. Talk to EVERYONE you see about it. Maybe you'll end up talking to someone who has the means to make a BIG difference. You never know. It really takes SO little to affect change.

Be a part of something great. Have a conscience. Be connected.  Give your love.

We all belong to each other.

I never mentioned how Ode affected me.  That's another post.  Click his name earlier in this post for some awesome spoken word from him. In the meantime, go do something great. Be a part of something important.

Stop complaining. Do.

Spread the word: 
Click for a custom made Facebook profile cover photo.
Click for the downloadable KONY 2012 zine.