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Shadows of Divine Things

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Location: Texas, United States

This site is devoted to theological and philosophical investigations of the spiritual meanings of life, current events, music, spiritual growth, nature, and learning to be attuned to listening to the 'language of God.' The name of this blog comes from one of Jonathan Edwards's journals which he called 'Shadows of Divine Things,' and later renamed 'Images of Divine Things.' As a Christian I am continously on a spiritual journey to grow more into the image of Christ, to understand what it means to be crucified with Christ. To seek the truths of the Christian Faith is of upmost importance, and to know that any truths that are found outside of Christianity are present there because they ultimately point to God. I have an M.A. in theology and apologetics and I completed one year of graduate studies in Philosophy at Marquette University.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Invisible Children

My sister came to visit us over the extended weekend, since I get Martin Luther King, Jr. day off from work today. She brought with her some information about a new organization that she was helping support called Invisible Children. She had several DVDs that were very moving about children in Uganda who had been literally stolen from their families by a rebel resisitance group in the country called The Lord's Resitant Army (LRA), they are very similar to the war rebels depicted in the film Blood Diamond (which actually occurs in Sierra Leone).

These children, once kidnapped are brainwashed and are forced to kill families, other children, etc. in Uganda. Many of the girls that are kidnapped are taken and used as "sex slaves" and are repeatedly raped and beaten. The Invisible Children organization is selling braclets that are made by rescued children and other people in Uganda in an attempt to raise money to help other children get rescued from the LRA.

The reason I have such a passion for this is due in part to the fact that my wife and I support an orphaned child in Uganda via Christian Children's Fund. I have known about the LRA and have always been concerned for the little boy we support. Of course Christian Children's Fund has assured me that he is safe from the LRA, but there are tens of thousand's of children who are not.

Below is a detailed description of what the organization is all about. I hope this will move anyone reading this to help suport this group. It is a very worthy cause and desperately needs our help.

Invisible Children (IC) had its beginnings in 2003 when three filmmakers decided to develop a documentary telling the story of the children in Northern Uganda, and inspire a generation to act.

What developed from this is an organization headquartered in the US with an office in the district of Gulu in Uganda. Their mission continues to raise awareness and facilitate participation.

Invisible Children is offering a life-long investment in the vulnerable youth of Gulu, providing them with quality education and valuable life skills that enable them to take responsibility for their future and the future of their country.

To achieve this goal they emphasize community involvement and Ugandan leadership. As a part of a global community, they also promote cross-cultural education, and continuously look for ways we can better work together in defending the oppressed and promoting peace. Combining their ambition to raise awareness of the sufferings of a voiceless people, with the development of programs that are affecting change, IC has become the force behind a revolution.

The Need

In over 20 years of war, Northern Uganda has endured the suffering of 1.6 million displaced persons and the abduction of an estimated 30,000 children forced to fight as child soldiers, a result of a war between a rebel group, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the Ugandan government. Over 90% of the population in the district of Gulu has been forced into Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps, where there is an estimated death rate of 1000 people per week. Both employment for adults and education for the children are rarely a viable option.
In an organized effort to holistically rebuild schools, raise the standard of education, and encourage young people to participate in the larger world around them, IC launched their Schools for Schools (S4S) program in the fall of 2005. IC S4S’s effort encouraged and inspired American students to raise funds for their fellow students in Gulu. By the deadline of May 2007, 1.2 million dollars was contributed to the program by 580 schools and 13,099 students, through fundraising efforts managed by the students themselves.

Gulu High School was one of the earliest schools to be identified as a possible partner in the program. The S4S staff admired the reputation of the school in the district, its history with respect to the conflict in the North, its academic performance, and the cooperation of the administration with our programs.

The school began in 1914 and since that time has graduated students that had a profound affect on Uganda, including Milton Obote, the first President of Uganda. Through the course of the conflict, the school has been occupied by the LRA, had 18 students abducted from the campus, and served as a battleground between the entrenched LRA and the UPDF detachment, which still occupies a barracks site just off the campus. The school is a coed boarding school with just over 1,000 students (approximately one-third of which are girls.) About 75% of the students come from the IDP camps, and many are orphans, formerly abducted, child mothers, or HIV/AIDS-infected. The school has a strong PTA, Board of Governors, and Development Committee whom S4S works with in every step of implementation.

S4S staff have interviewed the Headmaster and Deputy Headmasters along with many teachers and students, and participated in classroom observations to measure the quality of education being provided. Their test results are consistently higher than average for the area and strive to offer numerous programs for the students including the only program for blind students in Northern Uganda. The facilities require large amounts of refurbishment and numerous new buildings are required.

The Project

In their S4S’s pilot program, IC built a dorm to house 100 female students. Constructed in the center of campus, it provides greater security than the current facility off site. The existing facility was also overcrowded, with 50 girls per room and no capacity to accept additional female students. The new dorm was designed to accommodate 10 girls per room and provide a study room to be shared by all residents of the dorm.

Following in their footsteps and matching the funds given by American students for the S4S program, Wellspring International has committed to providing funds to build a second floor to the dormitory to accommodate an additional 100 female residents. In addition to the room accommodations, the total grant amount of $135,180.24 USD will include laundry and bathroom facilities. This is an IC children effort, and Wellspring is privileged to come alongside in providing funds for them to complete their vision for this particular project.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a nicely composed article. Christian private schools give spiritual knowledge along with the modern education. These schools also provide support to the troubled students and help them to come out from dyslexia, autism, and other behavioral problems.


1:02 AM, November 21, 2008  
Blogger Hunting.Targ said...

A turn of curiosity led me to look into the aftermath of KONY 2012, and I came by this article. It seems clear to me that many left-leaning people were swayed by the powerful 1-hour video, but recoiled when they realized that the people behind the movement were Christian. It's not overtly provable, but the evidence indicates to me that western society is becoming so anti-Christian that the common person won't even knowingly join with Christians in secular, humanitarian endeavours. It is starting to resemble the days of Nero and Marcus Aurelius.

7:09 PM, December 03, 2016  

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