Tag Archives: “Invisible Children”

In the Shoes of a Child Soldier

14 Jul

Blog post by Caroline M., Team Ethiopia 2012

Pause for a minute.  Put yourself in the shoes of a child soldier.

You are ten years old. An army comes to your home, puts a gun in your hands and tells you to shoot your family.  If you don’t do it, they will shoot you. After being forced to kill the ones you love, you leave with them to become apart of their army. Day in and day out you are forced to kill and rape innocent people only to hold on to your own life.  You participate in combat, lay mines and explosives, spy, act as decoys and are exposed to sexual slavery. You witness violent deaths and mutilations. You are brainwashed to do nothing but kill and destroy. This is how approximately 300,000 child soldiers live everyday.

Child soldiers are boys and girls who fight in adult wars, missing out on the safe childhood that many of us take for granted.  In 2004, as much as 100,000 children were actively involved in armed conflict in Africa.  These soldiers can be as young as seven.  Below are some alarming statistics.

80% of children aged 8 to 13 in Sierre Leone had suffered the death of a close family member.

74% saw somebody being killed or injured with machetes.

68% saw somebody being burned to death or tortured.

10% of girls have been gang raped.

66% have been in a situation where they expected to die.

Witnessing your parents death, being separated from your family and being forced to participate in violent acts can leave a child scarred.  This may lead to physical and psychological problems such as: general poor health, physical abuse or deprivation, drug addiction, sexual abuse, exploitation and unwanted pregnancy, serious war injuries and mental and emotional trauma.

You can’t pretend this doesn’t exist.  So what are you gonna do?  Spread the word.  Everyone needs to know about this horrible reality.

Caroline resides in Pennsylvania and will be serving with Journey117 this month on Team Ethiopia.  

Advertisements

Orphans at War

22 Jun

Blog post by Blake & Michaela B., Team Ethiopia 2012

Blake & Michaela resided in Texas and will be serving with Journey117 in July as Team Leaders for Team Ethiopia.

My Journey to Uganda

25 May

Blog post by Kimberly, Team Uganda 2012

My life has been absolutely crazy. Getting to this place in life after only twenty years of living is mind-boggling to me. Growing up in a wealthier area of Atlanta suburbia has creates a specific mindset for those growing up in it. Honestly, I was a spoiled brat for most of my life. It’s disgusting to think about. I was given everything and anything a girl could possibly want, until my sweet parents made me go on my first mission trip to New Orleans for my spring break instead of getting to go to the beach with all of my friends. This was sophomore year of high school and the year that my eyes would be opened to the needs of others outside of my bubble. The next year I went back to New Orleans where God furthered a heart and passion for missions. It wasn’t until senior year that the Lord had manifested a heart for Africa, specifically Uganda, in addition to orphans.

The beginning of senior year I began babysitting for a family in the church. They had two beautiful daughters and for the year I watched them make preparations for their newest addition, a baby boy named Samuel from Ethiopia. When the baby had gotten there, my heart leaped at the sight of a once-orphan now being loved and taken care of by probably the most amazing people I know. They are in the process of adopting HIV-positive siblings. This was the first point in my life that God stirred my heart for the orphan. I then got involved with Invisible Children at my school which further cultivated my heart for the children of Africa. After graduation I went for my final summer to church camp. As I was praying for some younger student, a woman of the church came to me bawling. I had asked her what was wrong and she told me that the Lord had given her a word for me three weeks prior. I asked what the word was and she choked out Uganda. Well that was the final straw. Since then, it has been a journey in itself of the Lord getting me to this point of my heart being ready to go. He’s told me to go and led me straight to World Orphans and that’s why I’m going on this team. If nothing else, I know that this is the next step the Lord has for my life so it’s the next step I’m taking – totally walking in faith while abiding in Him.

Kimberly resides in Georgia and will be serving with Journey 117 in June on the Uganda team.

From raising money to going….

9 Nov

Blog post by Bethany A., Team Ethiopia 2011

 

Bethany A. will be serving on the Ethiopia Journey 117 Team leaving in December 2011.

“Invisible Children” Inspires Journey 117 Trip to Uganda

20 Apr

Blog post by Preston A., Team Uganda 2011

God has brought me to this specific point for a specific reason.  I believe God has wired me to be burdened and impassioned with a heart for the downtrodden, disenfranchised, the forgotten, and those who just have their back against the wall.  Furthermore, for some reason, God has burdened me with a passion for Africa.  While in my first year of college, I watched the documentary “Invisible Children,” which placed a yearning to go to Uganda.  It now appears God has allowed me the opportunity to fulfill this yearning.  So when you put my passion for the troubled mixed with my heart for Africa, what you get is helping orphans and widows in Uganda.  Continue reading