On Tuesday Odette’s class hosted a Stone Soup lunch. Jeff and I were lucky enough to be able to scoot out of work for a bit and partake in the fun. It was sweet to see Odette in her daily environment and I am so glad that I made arrangements to go myself instead of just letting Jeff go.
When it was time for us to head back to work I was shocked by what I saw about 100 yards from Odette’s playground.
It is hard to see in the picture below, but apparently there was some type of swat team training taking place in the empty building behind the school. There were officers in full gear carrying automatic weapons (although I’m sure they were unloaded) within eyesight of 1-5 year olds. What did I do? I picked up my phone and called the nonemergency police number and shared with them my thoughts on their location (ie. What the he** were you thinking?) I have enough to shield my daughter from and recess at her school shouldn’t be one of them.
Then today I see pictures like this from Congo.
People are fleeing the only home they know carrying all their belongings with them because of the violence overtaking their city.
The UN has withdrawn (“United Nations officials have said that they did not have the numbers to beat back the rebels and that they were worried about collateral damage”) and there is fear that the war that killed more than 5 million people between 1997-2003 will reignite.
Rebel forces have threatened to make their way south to Bukavu and onto Kinshasa, the capital of Congo. It should be noted that it wasn’t that long ago that a similar attack from a rebel army funded by Uganda and Rwanda actually led to the overtaking of Congo. The head of that rebel group’s son is now the current president of Congo taking the seat after his father’s rule.
The situation is worsening each day.
What can we do? Pray. We know without a doubt that the Lord’s army is mightier than any man’s.
We can do more though. We can call the office of Susan Rice, the US ambassador of the United Nations and demand that something be done to prevent this genocide. I did. Calling is so simple. It goes straight to a voicemail system where you can leave a message. Just share your name and ask for the United Nations to step up and help restore peace in eastern Congo. You can go into more specifics, but it isn’t necessary. Just be heard.
We can sign this official White House petition asking President Ob*ma (avoiding google searching) to personally call President Paul Kagame and demand he cease all support of mass atrocities and territorial aggression in the Democratic Republic of Congo. (Click on the link and register. It only takes a few seconds.)
Share the news. Spread the word. We’ve heard all about the end of Twinkies, BCS rankings, and Black Friday sales. We haven’t heard about the tragedy taking place in Congo. Let’s change that.