I first heard of Kony when I was in Uganda in 1988 leading a missions team from Montreal to Kampala. His use of the 10 Commandments and “holy oil” to protect himself and his child-soldiers against bullets was ironically, a Satanic strategy.
On March 5th, 2012 a video released by 3 young professionals and their organization, “Invisible Children” went viral and absolutely exceeded their expectations of exposure. Many teens, young adults and young professionals from North Pointe saw and forwarded the video. Some have been inspired to take action. Invisible Children has come under intense scrutiny and criticism and have responded with humility and transparency. The following links are informative.
Taking action – that has impressed me the most.
This is a clarion call to action and people are responding. It makes me think of the Great Commission, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel.” In thinking of my role as a pastor and communicator the balance of speaking, listening and doing is definitely tipped in the favour of the first two. On April 20th the campaign suggests that people in every city in the world will wake up to posters of “Kony 2012” trying to make him famous for the reasons of justice. I wrote to a friend that April 21st 2012 should be “Jesus 2012” Day – making Jesus famous for all the right reasons – for the gospel. But why wait until then? Who needs to hear about Jesus from you?
I copied text from the Invisible Children website that reflects their transparency and refers to the idea of youth simply “watching.” Its worth the read and worth our own call to action.
“We’ve done our utmost to be as inclusive, transparent, and factual as possible. We built this organization with “seeing is believing” in mind, and that’s what why we are a media-based organization. We WANT you to see everything we are doing, because we are proud of it. Though we would no longer consider ourselves naive, we have always sought counsel from those who know much more. We have never claimed a desire to “save Africa,” but, instead, an intent to inspire Western youth to “do more than just watch.” And in Central Africa, focus on locally-led long-term development programs that enable children to take responsibility for their own futures and the futures of their countries. Also, we have invited you to join us on LRACrisisTracker.com, which we established as a way to bring you near real-time reports from the ground, making available to the public the same information received by humanitarians working on the ground.
But, credibility in the eyes of policymakers, fellow non-profit workers, LRA-affected communities, and YOU is our most important asset, so we would like to encourage you, if you have critiques, to get specific: find facts, dig deeper, and we’ll gladly continue the conversation from there. If encountering something you disagree with, suggest an alternative to what we are doing- and we will absolutely take heed. If it’s a matter of opinion, taste, humor, or style: we apologize, and will have to agree to disagree.
Let’s focus on what matters, and what we DO agree on: Joseph Kony needs to be stopped. And when that happens, peace is the limit. This is the beautiful beginning of an ending that is just the beginning. We are defending tomorrow. And it’s hopeful.”
As a parent of a teen who brought this movement to my husband and my attention, it certainly does show the power that today’s technology has to “spread the word” about things – I have to say that the jury is still out for me whether or not this is a legitmate campaign – I being a bit of a skeptic when it comes to these types of “hype” types of events. Of course if it brings this evil man to justice then that is a good thing… like the idea of “make Jesus famous” day – but I think you have the right idea, Pastor Bob – why wait for a special day to represent him!
A very powerful message shared here and you make an incredible point. I’m left pondering what holds us back from ‘ taking action’? What is it that we fear in a country so diverse and so free? Or is it doubt? We are so quick to believe, listen, and share what is so easily marketed on network sites…but what of our own beliefs? You leave me pondering, though I realize action is needed here as well…