Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Doing Something about Darfur

A few weeks ago I woke up in the morning with Darfur on my mind. I had recently read a news story that George Clooney had said that the United States ought to do something to ‘Save Darfur.’ Well, I agree, but think about it. Does the United States have any interest in Sudan? Not really. Maybe to prevent some terrorism or to get some oil. But Christians ought to care enough about the genocide going on there to care and to do something.
Let me go back a few years... to 1994. I was teaching at the Nairobi Great Commission School and hell was happening in Rwanda. I went to interdenominational meetings to discuss how we should respond to the horror in Rwanda. Ken Bolden and I talked with our faculty about what we ought to do. Should we shut down the school and take our students to Rwanda or Tanzania and help in the refugee camps? Well, in the end we did nothing. I have regretted that decision for a long time.
And now there is genocide in Darfur. There are Arab Muslims killing, raping and burning the villages of Muslims who are black. Can Christians stand by and do nothing about this? How am I going to feel 12 years from now if we do nothing? Of course, it's not about me or how I feel. It is about the NAME ... the Name we wear. What would Jesus do?
I proposed going into the area with multiple small teams prepared and accompanied by experienced spiritual mentors late this summer. The purpose would be two-fold: 1) to serve the suffering by demonstrating Jesus' compassion, and 2) to learn and teach what it means for African and western Christians to work together in a context of suffering, servanthood, submission and simplicity with Spirit-led lives. These teams would arrive at different times overlapping with others, would devote a minimum of 10 days in the area, be prepared for unpredictable circumstances and rough conditions, and would work under the supervision and planning of local leaders. More to come ...