Friday, May 8, 2009

This Post is Not for the Faint of Heart.

This week, I was flipping through the channels and happened to stop on Larry King Live. He was doing an interview with Mia Farrow, and the interview piqued my interest not because I am a fan of LKL or Mia Farrow, really.

what fascinated me is what Mia Farrow has been doing for several days.

She has gone on a hunger strike to draw attention to the people of Darfur. For those of you who do not know the situation, here is Mia Farrow's directive in her own words (I borrowed this from her blog)

On April 27th I will begin a fast of water only in solidarity with the people of Darfur and as a personal expression of outrage at a world that is somehow able to stand by and watch innocent men, women and children needlessly die of starvation, thirst and disease.

The Darfur crisis deepened on March 4th when the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese president President Omer al-Bashir for his essential role in the murder, rape, torture and displacement of millions. Al Bashir retaliated immediately by expelling thirteen key international aid agencies from Sudan, including Save the Children, Doctors Without Borders, CARE, Oxfam and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) along with three highly respected Sudanese agencies.

Sudanese U.N. Ambassador Abdalhaleem claimed his government would have no problem filling in any gaps created by the expulsions. But U.N. humanitarian affairs chief John Holmes spoke honestly about the desperate realities: "We do not, as the U.N. system, the NGOs do not, and the Sudanese government does not have the capacity to replace all the activities that have been going on. This is a decision which is likely to have a major impact on millions of people in Darfur who are in need on a daily basis, of life-saving humanitarian assistance." According to the UN, as of this May more than a million people will be without food aid, medical assistance, and drinkable water.

The United Nations humanitarian agencies issued their joint plea; "The suspended NGOs account for more than half of the capacity for the aid operation in Darfur. If the life-saving assistance these agencies were providing is not restored shortly, it will have immediate, lasting and profound impacts on the well being of millions of Sudanese citizens. These organizations provide a lifeline to 4.7 million people."

I undertake this fast in the heartfelt hope that world leaders who know what is just and right will call upon the Government of Sudan to urgently readmit all of the expelled agencies or otherwise insure that the gap is filled, giving aid workers unimpeded access to the populations before they begin to die in numbers that could dwarf the Rwandan genocide. I also call upon President Obama and other leaders with influence to help build a credible peace process that can end the suffering in Darfur.
I hope human rights advocates and citizens of conscience around the world will join me in some form of fasting, even if for one day. And when I can no longer continue, I pray another will take my place, and another-- until finally there is justice and peace for Darfur's people.

Mia Farrow

As I sat there and watched, I became more and more convicted. Here is this woman who is doing amazing things on behalf of a people group with no voice. Scripture tells us in Proverbs 31:

8 "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.

9 Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy."

Yet, to my knowledge Mia Farrow is not a Christian. That convicts me. The CHURCH should be leading the charge to protect people like those in Darfur. We should be the ones sacrificing on the behalf of those who are suffering in the world.

Gary Haugen, the President of International Justice Mission, was formerly the UN guy who went in and logged the bodies in Rwanda after the genocide there in 1994. If you don't know what happened, visit the link, but here's the rundown. One political group killed the other, sometimes using machetes. Some estimates are that 20% of the population was killed in Rwanda while we were glued to our TV sets wondering about President Clinton, Ken Starr, and Miss Monica.

Anyway, Gary Haugen, as a disciple of Christ, was asked a question like "Where is God in all of this?"
Gary responded, "I don't ask where God is. I ask where God's people are."

The other night watching the TV, I realized that for the people of Darfur, I was nowhere to be found.

You know, I will jus be really accountable to all of you Bloggerotsky and admit that I didn't even last a whole DAY on either of the fasts I attempted this week. Here is Mia Farrow, skin and bones, staring back at me from my screen, crying out for the voices of those who cannot speak for themselves.

She doesn't even have the best reason to advocate for others. She doesn't yet know Jesus like I do. And she is getting more done than me. I don't care if she is a celebrity ans she has more of a platform. She has committed to go without food for three weeks. I can't even turn off my radio in the car to pray for other nations. It challenged me to the core.

What does the Lord require of us but to
do justice
love mercy
and walk humbly with our God
Micah 6:8

And yet, here I am. Sometimes unable even to keep watch with Him for one hour for the faces and stories I already know, let alone for those I don't know.

It reminded me of the words of somebody I have grown to love and respect for his honesty:

I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.
(the apostle paul, Romans 7)

I hate apathy. So I went online and emailed the President. Nothing like going straight to the top, I s'pose. I told him I didn't like what was going on in Darfur and I wasn't too hip on a Rwandan repeat, especially when we have the ability to put a little squeeze on that ridiculous man Bashir, (who I just learned is married to his cousin, can I get a collective "ewwww")
and do something to prevent the people in Darfur from being raped and slaughtered.

I also am not-so-patiently waiting for my chance to advocate for the unborn and for their mommies with a center that helps moms take care of their babies and provides them with the resources to do so. Until then, I will advocate in other creative ways.

The time for great faith is now! We have the opportunity and we have Christ on OUR SIDE.

Who is God calling you to advocate for?


Leah Robinson said...

WOW, that was well put Lauren! I feel the exact same way!

Also I would love to help in the future with anything to do with your care center for unborn babies & their mothers!! That has always been a passion of mine :)

Christy said...

Solid Laur. I have been wataching the situation on Darfur for some time now and it saddens me to the core of my being but you are so right. Hoe can we just sit back and let it happen? God help us all... Love Ya

Kathryn @ Expectant Hearts said...

Excellent post Lauren..

Leslie said...

Wow, powerful message. Thanks, Lauren!

Susan said...

Thank you for that. It is so easy to become wrapped up in our own little world. I too have been convicted this week as I have been watching a week long christian TV show on the need of mission work in third world countries. We are so blessed with freedom and abundance in this country. But as christians we should be doing more than just enjoying the freedom, we should be banding together to show His love for all.