Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Close to My Heart

I must warn you that this post is pretty raw. I'm not sugar-coating the subject, because I don't believe it should be. So there's my disclaimer.

It hit me that I haven't shared with you, my blog readers, about a cause that is near and dear to my heart. Many of you already know of the horrific tragedies that have taken place in Sudan. However some of you may not, which is understandable because we live so far away from this reality. The reality is this: 2.5 million are dead, 8 million have been displaced from their homes, and thousands have been beaten, tortured, and raped all in the name of Islam. The Muslim government in Sudan declared jihad on it's own people years ago. Anyone that is not Muslim or has black skin is considered the enemy. Let's break that down a little further . . . you must worship Allah, follow Muhammad, believe the Qur'an is God's word, and you can't be black or you are a target to be tortured and killed. It's called ethnic cleansing, genocide, a holy-war. It has taken over in Sudan, and it is beyond tragic. It is heart-wrenching.

I have the privilege of working with businessmen who have decided that this is not ok. They want to encourage Americans to help the innocent, Sudanese people. Therefore, they have created a documentary called, "With Open Eyes." "With Open Eyes" is about five Americans who set foot in Sudan and spend 14 days traveling the treacherous landscape; traversing Africa’s largest country from south to north and into the Darfur region. Throughout their journey, they witness the brutal conditions the Sudanese people live in on a daily basis as a result of the actions of the Sudanese government, and visit with men, women and children who have been affected by those actions. Their goal was to gain understanding of the real situation in the war-torn country, and to document the reality of what they uncovered and experienced. Please go to www.SudanCan.com and watch the trailer. The images, while graphic in nature, are real and need to be seen.

After viewing the trailer, or the film in it's entirety (which you can purchase online), you may decide it's no longer acceptable for Americans to remain uninformed and/or unmoved to help. Individuals can do something! At Sudancan.com you can donate to organizations on the ground in Sudan helping turn this situation around. There are more ways to help too. You can sign the petition that goes to your local Congressman and the President. Just click, "Take Action" and find out more. Above all, please pray for the Sudanese people, and tell others about what is happening over there and how they can get involved.

I keep thinking, what if my country's government turned on me because I was black or a non-Muslim? I just can't imagine it and my heart goes out to these precious people who continue to embody resilience and joy. They remind me of 2 Corinthians 8:2 which says, "Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity." When the government burns down their churches, they rebuild. When the government kidnaps their pastor and beats him to death, someone bravely steps up to fill his shoes. When children are abandoned because their fathers were murdered and mothers were raped and killed, they are taken in by strangers in the refugee camps. These people are not giving up and in some ways I feel indebted to them. They aren't bowing down to other gods or apologizing for their skin color. The longer they stand, and the more help we give, the less power the government has. So please, do what you can.