May 13, 2010

Be The Change

I get stressed out. I get discouraged. I get tired and sometimes I give up- for a few minutes. Then I get up, dust myself off and get back to it. I don't think I will every stop advocating and fundraising for the Congo no matter how frustrating it is sometimes. It takes up a lot of my time, but it is worth every minute. And the reason that it is worth it is because change is happening!

Do you remember the post I wrote about a month ago about the crimes committed by the Lord's Resistance Army? About the children they were burning alive, about the women and children they were kidnapping, about the men they were mutilating? It's a hard story to get out of your brain. I also asked you to email or call your senators and text Hillary Clinton and ask them to do something about it. Now, I have a little tracker buried on my blog that shows me when you click a link on here. I saw just how many of you clicked off this blog and found out how to contact your senators. It was a LOT of you! And several of you left comments saying that you contacted your senators. And several of you have emailed me and said that you actually got letters in the mail from your senators about what they were doing to bring about change in the Congo! I call my senator's office so much, we are all chummy. The day after I did that post, the person who answers the phone at my senator's office told me that they had a high volume of people contacting the senator about the Congo in the previous 24 hours. That was you guys! You made your senators take notice! My heart did a huge smile! (Ironically enough, my senators are on my speed dial but I had to call my sister-in-law on mother's day to find out my mother-in-law's phone number! Weird, huh?!)

Last night, all of our hard work started to pay off! Last night Congress passed the Lord's Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act that calls for the US to lead the international effort to end the threat to innocent civilians by the LRA. This is HUGE. The passing of this bill tells these warlords that they can not continue to get away with killing innocent people. It puts pressure on the international community to take action and create change.

Senator Jim McGovern felt so moved by this legislation that moments before the bill passed he gave a shout out from the House floor to all the grass-roots activists who made this bill a priority for Congress. He said, "These Americans, thousands of them, understood that the children and people of northern Uganda, the DRC, and southern Sudan have no voice in Washington. So they were determined to become their voice. They realized that these African children and families were invisible to Washington policymakers, so they decided to make them visible. They realized there is too much suffering, too much pain, too much destruction, too much killing in this region of Africa so many thousands of miles away – and that there was just too much silence here in Washington. So they built a grassroots and national movement of hope for peace, for justice, for reconciliation, for reconstruction, for the recovery of the human spirit. To which I can only say a great big, "AMEN!"

A healthy, prosperous, safe Africa is essential for the global economy and for global health in so many ways. This is just one small way to help make that happen. So thank you from the bottom of my heart for continuing to care! You all are awesome!

If you are local (around the Louisville, KY area) we are having a benefit yard sale this Saturday to raise money for the orphanages we support in Congo. (You can email me for our address) We asked our church, our friends and neighbors and complete strangers to donate items for us to sell and they came through with flying colors. Our basement can't hold another thing! And before we've even sold the first item, the yard sale has made $350 in monetary donations. It is so awesome to have such a supportive community surrounding us and rallying behind the voiceless in the DRC! Thank you for the role you've played in that! I really do think I have the best readers a blogger could ever ask for!

"Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” -Howard Thurman

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