Free to act

Tonight I was able to see some of the fire works from "downtown" Yadkinville from my living room. I paused the movie I was watching in order to take them in for a few minutes. The movie I was watching was "Darfur Now", a documentary on what is going on in the Darfur region of Sudan and what is being done about it.

If you look to the right column of my blog, you'll see a few websites that let you help out with some humanitarian causes. To be honest, most of would feel pretty good making a donation here or there or maybe even sporting a t-shirt that trumpets a cause, but at the same time if we were really honest not many of us are all that interested (or prepared) to really invest ourselves in a crisis that is half the world away.

Sudan is a country that gripped my heart years ago, but it wasn't because of what was occurring in Darfur. I have friends that are there in northern Sudan and I had a chance to visit with them a few years ago. But since my trip to Sudan, the news of the crisis in Darfur has been what has drawn me the most. As I watched the fireworks from my window tonight that celebrate my freedom and grabbed a snack from my kitchen, I realized that hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women, and children in Darfur were sleeping on dirt floors in refugee camps without access to adequate food, water, or bathrooms.

What would Jesus do about Darfur? As a Christian, what am I supposed to do? I mean, none of us approve of the genocide that is being committed by the government against its own people, but what can we and should we do about it? In the movie "Darfur Now" a college age student in California took the cause all the way to the state senate and to the Governor's office so that now California has a law on the books that keeps money from its state out of investors pockets who do business with Sudan. This money that goes to Sudan ultimately funds the government forces that oppresses the Darfur region. Is this what Jesus would do?

Doesn't it seem to get muddy when we have to consider what as Christians we are to do in these situations? Our churches do mission trips all the time, but what would we do in Sudan? Should we lobby our government leaders or start awareness groups or should we just simply pray for the people of Darfur, insisting that all of this could be cured if everyone came to Jesus?

These are hard questions because they force us to take a look at what is actually happening in a foreign country right now. The Sudanese government will not help the situation in Darfur because they deny that it's really that bad and they also deny that they are funding the fight there. It's their dirty little secret if you will. So, someone else will have to step in.

As for me, I have tried to do at least a little bit. I went to the "Save Darfur" website and signed a petition that would be sent to President Bush and the UN that called for action to be taken to stop the genocide in Darfur. Let me encourage you to do the same thing. These are people the Jesus died for. The least that I can do is lend them my voice in their quest to be free.

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