Come Home: A Song That Could End the LRA

>> Friday

Last week, I suggested the movie, Machine Gun Preacher (read the article here). It's the true story of former biker-gang member, Sam Childers, who built and runs the largest orphanage in Southern Sudan. Childers is still there, and still protecting those orphans from Joseph Kony.

Now I'd like to share two things with you: A video made in 2012, and a song released last week. The video details what Joseph Kony has done and shows the growth of a popular worldwide movement pushing policy makers to find Kony and stop him. Here's the video: Kony 2012.

A follow-up video was made this year: What Happened to Kony 2012?

And the most popular singer in Uganda — Jose Chameleone — just released a song entitled "Come Home." It's a direct communication to the LRA soldiers, asking them to come home (most of them were abducted as children) and letting them know they will be welcomed home (most of them feel so bad about what they were forced to do, they're not so sure). The LRA is Kony's army, the "Lord's Resistance Army." The song could help bring those boys home — the song will be played on the radio in LRA territory. Jose Chameleone's wife is from the area where the LRA originates, so this is personal.

The song is on iTunes here: Come Home. Please buy it and share it. It's a beautiful song with a mighty purpose. If the song becomes popular internationally, it could help generate more political pressure to stop Kony and end the LRA (watch the Kony 2012 video above to see how that might work).

The singers on Come Home sing in three different languages: English, Bugandan and Acholi. Acholi is the tribe that has been most affected by the LRA. Most of those abducted boys speak Acholi. Since songs on the radio are never sung in Acholi, this will emotionally connect with those boys.

Let's stop the atrocities and help those boys find their way home. Watch the videos, buy the song, and share it all with everyone you know. This is the true joy in life.

The song on iTunes.

Jose Chameleone's Facebook page.

The web site for the creators of the Kony 2012 movement.

An article (in English) in Uganda Online about Chameleone's goal to end the LRA.

Lots of articles in Uganda Online about Jose Chameleone.

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The True Joy In Life

My favorite quote of all time is by George Bernard Shaw. In the quote, Shaw refers to a "brief candle," which is a reference to a famous Shakespeare passage (from Macbeth), so I will give you the Shakespeare quote first, and then Shaw's "answer" to it:

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

That is one way to look at life. I first heard Shaw's alternative perspective in a speech when I was 20 years old, and it changed my life. Here it is:

This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no "brief candle" to me. It is sort of a splendid torch which I have a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it over to future generations.

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Making the Most of What You Are

>> Thursday

In a previous article, I wrote about Saint Patrick's journey from a slave to the leader of a movement (you can read it here). Saint Patrick got a "raw deal" in life, but he made the most of it.

I just saw a true story of another man — Sam Childers — who made the most of what he was. In Childers' case, he was a brutal criminal and a member of an outlaw motorcycle club. But he turned over a new leaf and found a purpose he felt strongly about: Building an orphanage in Southern Sudan.

For years now, a group called the LRA (Lord's Resistance Army) has been roaming through Uganda and Sudan, killing parents, taking their young boys, and forcing the boys to become members of their gang-army. The group operates with intense cruelty, and forces these boys to do terrible things.

The LRA's swath of destruction leaves orphans in its wake, and these orphans are not safe. Many of them are boys that the LRA would love to add to their army. Sam Childers built an orphanage (now the largest orphanage in Southern Sudan), and then defended it against LRA raids, using what he had (knowledge about brutal criminals and skill with guns) to keep these kids safe.

This true story was made into an excellent movie starring Gerard Butler: Machine Gun Preacher. I recommend it. His story personifies one of my favorite quotes. It's by George Bernard Shaw. Read it here: The True Joy in Life.

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