Friday, March 20, 2009

The War

Yesterday, we played at a show in Chino, CA. During the day we had some free time. We played soccer in the amazing California weather, and ate some chiken fajitas for lunch. We were having a perfectly comfortable and normal day before it was ruined in a beautiful way. The whole band sat in front of my computer, completely captivated and heart broken.

A few years ago I heard about a little film that changed the lives of my friends that watched it. It's about three college guys that went to Africa with no real plan... they just wanted to DO something, and document the stuggles of the Sudanese. On their trip they made an unexpected discovery. For over twenty years a war has raged in northern Uganda. You might say, "What's the big deal? Africa's full of wars, right?" It most certainly IS a big deal, and this war is unique in it's tradgedy.

A rebel army called the "Lord's Resistance Army" has been fighting the government of Uganda for years. They're about as far from the "Lord" as anything can be. They're lead by a ruthless maniac by the name of Joseph Kony. They've been responsible for the death of thousands of innocent lives, including women and children. What makes this war different from all of the other conflicts in Africa?

Over half of the LRA's soldiers are boys between the ages of 10-18. These innocent children are kidnapped from villages at night, and they're forced to watch violents acts. Then they themselves, are forced to murder. Kony indocrinates them and exploits them for his twisted means. These kids are just like any other child in the world.... they have hopes and dreams but their lives have been stolen away by forces of darkness. And there's thousands of children that live in fear for their lives, knowing THEY could be the next abduction.

You might think, "This is something that happenned a few years ago, right? Surley it must be over by now!" Well... unfortunaltely it's not. As you read this, there are children in Uganda & the Congo being kidnapped and forced to kill. Just last Christmas (Dec 25, 2008) the LRA massacared hundreds of people and abducted 160 children! That was THIS Christmas! How can we let this happen? Raise your voice, and let's show the world that these Invisible Children have faces.

What can you do? Well, go watch THIS short film online, and listen to their plan for action. Come on Leeland bloggers... let's DO something!

PS. If you're already familiar with this story... what have you done to respond?

20 comments:

Abraham said...

Hey i was there! im abraham i dont think you remember me. but definitely was a great night of worship. and i think the song we sang over africa is gonna bear fruit. god bless you guys.

Dana said...

My youth group watched a video on that same topic... Actully it may be the same one youe watched, well anyway when I the video i just broke down and thought why arent we doing anything about this!! Why don't we ever hear about it! I makes me soo sad to think they are crying out for help but many people havent done alot. Jeez i would love to do what ever i could to help!

Bethany said...

I just posted the link to my Facebook

Alyssa said...

Buy the bracelets too. Each of the different colored bracelets comes with a short film telling the story of a specific child in Uganda who has been affected by the war. Not only do they make a fashion statement, but they help change the lives of these kids. Every $20 spent to buy the dvd/bracelet goes directly into a scholarship fund for a child in Uganda. Plus, the bracelets are handmade in Uganda from reeds and recycled wire. Way cool.

Nataleigh said...

I saw the movie a few years ago and I cried myself to sleep. It was so horrible to see these children being forced to become something no adult should be, let alone a child. God has called me to spend my life loving on and blessing His children around the world. This summer our High School group is sending a team to Midigo,Uganda. I am so excited to be a part of this team going to share the gospel with the lost and dying in Africa, ever since seeing Invisible Children I have had a longing to go to Africa but didn't have the opportunity until now. Please keep our team in your prayers as we fund raise and prepare to go into the mission field also pray for the people in Uganda and Sudan that they will receive the hope of the Lord. Thanks!

a_EsCoBeDo said...

I was at the show yesterday and you guys blow it out of the water!! God was there last night, I felt him... It was priceless!! You guys opened my eyes to what is happening over in these other countries... WOW is all I have to say. I think you guys are amazing and are truly making a difference!
I pray that God continues to bless you all.... LOVE YOU LEELAND!!! Hope you come back to California soon so we can WORSHIP again!!! Thank you!!

Love Ashley!

a_EsCoBeDo said...

I was at the show yesterday and you guys blow it out of the water!! God was there last night, I felt him... It was priceless!! You guys opened my eyes to what is happening over in these other countries... WOW is all I have to say. I think you guys are amazing and are truly making a difference!
I pray that God continues to bless you all.... LOVE YOU LEELAND!!! Hope you come back to California soon so we can WORSHIP again!!! Thank you!!

Love Ashley!

LeelandLatinoamerica said...

i.
This is very shoking. I saw the film. It is unbelievable what they have achieved. We will extend this everywhere.
My sister bought in the year'98 for $ 20 dollars in Africa won an order for a family was fed, with just $ 20 bucks they lived in these animals. It's incredible.
We must begin to expand this information, we are all going to do something bigger.
Thank you for sharing this on the blog.
I hope you are well, love is not forgotten.
Kisses.

forevermegg-03 said...

Yeah, my sister went to high school with Bobby Bailey.

It broke my heart watching it awhile ago.

Daryl Smith said...

Hey Guys,

My name is Daryl and I was at the Chino show last night. I just wanted to encourage you guys that God is doing amazing things through you. He used last night to impact me as a worship leader in a really big and long overdue way. It was a very rich & powerful experience and I've been so excited about it since. If you're interested, I posted about it on my blog (www.darylsmith.blogspot.com). I know you guys must be crazy busy, but check it if you're able.

Thanks again and God bless!

-Daryl

Princess Samantha said...

Man, you guys, I feel bad for being so young! >:( I wish I could do more! I wish I could go do something like those guys and change the world!!! One day...one day...one day...

Kalli said...

Hey Leeland, I was at the show last night in Chino and i can honestly say I felt God's presence filling people's hearts in that room. Your passion for God shows so much it touches our hearts and makes us strive to be better Christians. I can say I will definitely be praying every day for the children in Africa, who until last night I had not known the full story of their sufferings. You are right in saying something Christians always have in any circumstance is prayer... and I will use that to help the children in Africa since I physically can't be there. I was truly blessed by you guys and can't wait to see you again.

carly said...

ever since ive heard about "invisible children" ive had a passion for it.i bought the movie and a bracelet. one day i hope to help in a much bigger way.

praying for you guys.God bless.

-carly b.

thegirlwhocriedlove said...

I'm so glad you guys posted this!! You have such a great outlet to raise awareness of whats going on in Uganda. I've been following invisible children for a few years now, since I was in high school, we raised a lot of money and even managed to get a showing of the movie in our high school in our students for africa group. I haven't been able to do much to help since I started college other than raising awareness by wearing a t-shirt... God's called me to help out in other things, but it's so great that you are getting people interested in such a good cause! :)

Megan said...

For Christians who want to make a difference to the child soldiers and child mothers in Uganda - they can also support the work of Watoto in Uganda which is a fantastic organisation that has grown out of Kampala Pentecostal Church (KPC). The Watoto villages have homes with a mother and 8 children as well as a community centre which doubles as a church, a hospital, school etc. It is such a great model - they are currently building a new rehabilitation centre in Gulu as well as a village. My friends and I raised over $100,000 by hosting a dinner in Sydney, Australia. Do whatever you can do - God will bless it! Raise awareness, raise funds, donate - it is a registered charity in both the US and Australia (as well as other countries I am sure). Don't be afraid to ask friends to get involved - we were completely blown away by the support we received from our friends and friends of friends. If 4 middle aged suburban mums can do it - think what a generation of far younger and more energetic people can do. Remember - we can't do everything - but we must do something!

Jeff M. said...

I saw the film when it first came out years ago and went to a couple of events run by Invisible Children. I also went to Uganda on a missions trip last summer. I was in the northern part of the country where most of the kidnappings and killing was happening. At that time it looked like they were at the end of it and peace was right around the corner. I had no idea things had flared back up again.

Rafaela said...

I'd love to do something but I don't know what :( It's really great what you guys are doing! :) I hope I can find something to do too!

Holly J. said...

i copied this to an email and sent it to everyone. everyone should know that stuff like this happens. we SHOULD do something.

David said...

I went to Uganda in 2006 with my church in the middle of the lord resistence army civil war. As a 15 year old then it shocked me to think people my age were fighting and causing pain...
I guess my response was to really help teach the ugandan children I was meeting to stay strong in the lord....
But its hard to know how to make a diffference now... as a simple 18 year old boy. I guess we can raise awareness in our youth groups and send like petitions.. thats what ive done on it..

Big love

Smiffy

The Leeland Blog said...

Hey david! You can help by getting involved in "The Rescue". Look it up on Invisible Children's website!