We did it!
One of ideas I had going into this summer while working at camp was to somehow, in someway, support Invisible Children. I had many thoughts ranging from a screening of their documentary to the whole church, to a parents evening only, but how it actually come though, well, I couldn’t have asked for more.
We showed the bracelet videos to our campers. Even though there may have been some hesitation on my part due to some of the images of war, I got past that and relied on the judgment given to me by God that this was how it was supposed to be. The jr. high kids, especially, got emotionally and personally involved in the films as they heard the stories – of kids their age – brought to life before their eyes. Lives that would include walking to a town to sleep, killing their peers, or even thinking about not growing up with parents. The stories touched us in so many ways that these invisible children will never be forgotten.
One boy, whose name is Sunday, caught my attention the most. He exemplified being a leader, determined, passionate, resilient and many other qualities that would make any parent of the western world proud as a peacock, as the saying goes, of their child.
The thing is that Sunday should not, at his age, have to be all these things. For the children of Uganda, their childhood has been torn from their grasp.
To many people watching these films or hearing these stories, the information and emotions makes them uncomfortable. This should then lead to a simple question:
I am still uncomfortable with Sunday’s story, but I’ll be honest, I look up to him for what he goes through daily. All that and he still has the heart to give what money he has to the kids of the village even though it means his school funds are not met. That makes me question my values.
So, to end the week of camp, we showed a short clip to our parents of the kids at camp describing who the Invisible Children are. We also had a silent auction and asked for a free-will donation. I had no expectations or goals for this, all I hoped for was an enlightenment, a call for justice and an emergent hope that this war could eventually end with the help of people like us.
We raised $800.00. I was happy, but I was mostly thrilled with the conversations that occurred after the screening between parents, staff and myself about how individuals can get more involved. For someone who feels led to bring forward a call for social justice, who likes to start a good conversation, or tries to find ways to help individuals in need, this was a perfect ending to a fantastic night.
After the event, Amy and I watched the complete documentary (first time for Amy, third for myself) and it still left me with the same question of: Why? What is my next step going to be, and I hope as you are reading this, that your next step is to look up more info on this tragic seventeen year war.