Tuesday April 29, 2003

not on topic

did you know that there’s a huge war going on in congo?

Africa’s worst war

Details of the latest massacre emerged as an aid agency, the International Rescue Committee (IRC), published its account of the full scale of the impact of the war.

Drodro grave
Four years
Seven foreign armies
At least 3 million dead
Disease and abuses widespread

It said 3.3 million people had died as a result of the war, making it the “tragedy of modern times”.

The IRC said only 10% of the victims died violently, the rest dying from starvation and disease due to the activities of the various armed groups.

“This is a humanitarian catastrophe of horrid and shocking proportions… Yet, the crisis has received scant attention from international donors and the media,” said the IRC president, George Rupp.

weirdly, George Rupp used to be president of Rice University (and Columbia), strange connections.  Cool info on the International Rescue Committee at http://www.theirc.org

this isn’t any of the topics i’d hoped to write on – but i read a poem recently that needed to be shared… esp in light of so many dying from the EFFECTS of war, not just the violence…

this poem nearly ripped my heart apart…

Lament of a Child
by Matt Rindge

Are you a liar, God?
You declare yourself to be a healer.
You healed so many while you walked upon this earth.
Has your healing ceased to be a part of who you are?
You declare yourself to be the giver of life but today
it is Death who reigns.

Death snatches children from the ground.
Children who have no chance of life.
Death is a fragrance that lingers in the air.
What chance has Life in a land void of food?
Where is goodness when children die from hunger?

To which God am I praying?
The one who saved the Israelites or the one who drowns the Egyptians?
The one who heals the leper or the one who destroys Ananias and Saphira?
The God who saves Noah or the one who floods the world?
The Father who loves his son or the God who abandons him in death?
You say you bring both healing and destruction.
You say you are the cause of birth and death.
You give and you take.
So to whom am I appealing?
To the God of life or death?

God, save us.
There is no one else to whom we can turn. We have no other hope.
Do not abandon us as you did our mother, our father, our brother, our sister.
Please, just let one of us, one from our family survive.
Is it too much to ask?
Is asking for a piece of bread too much to ask?
Is it too much to ask for water?

You say that you heard the cries of the Israelites when they were in Egypt.
That their cries reached you, that you heard, took notice, and were aware of their sufferings.
What of our cries? Why do they not reach you? Or if they do, why do you not respond?
Are we unworthy of a Moses?
Your people come and tell us to believe in you.
That if we believe we will be saved.
Saved from what?
Not from hunger. Not from thirst. Not from AIDS. Not from death.

What is it we will be saved from?
Their God is an idea.
We need more than an idea, God.
God, save us from your followers.
Does having dark skin mean you love us less?
Would you love us more if we were white?
You give food and water to those who are white.
Were not you the one who made us dark?
What then is our crime?
Have we sinned against you in the first few years of life that you withhold food and drink?

*Matt Rindge teaches Biblical studies at Azusa Pacific University and lives at the Harambee Center in Northwest Pasadena.

Copyright (c) 2003 Sojourners. All Rights Reserved.
SojoMail material may be freely distributed, as long as it bears the following attribution:
Source: Sojourners 2003 (c)

<sigh>  and i keep praying… and asking… and wondering…


3 thoughts on “Tuesday April 29, 2003

  1. DaTsengster

    hey, isn’t the hypothetical movie “teas of the sun” set in Congo?

    it’s sad that Congo, such a great country with resources face civil war and foreign interference from Rwanda and Uganda.  although Kabila overthrew Mobutu in 1997, the fraction splits and blood diamond trade only torn the country apart more.  do we blame this on Europeans (specifically the Belgians)?

  2. smellincoffee00

    I’ve read “Only what we could carry”…well, most of it…it was amazing how little I knew about Japanese internment.  The image that stuck out in my mind the most was the flyer that depicted in great detail the difference between a Chinese person and a Japanese person.


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