Oh Africa!

Jordon posting at Resonate linked to an article by Joan Chittister via One House on the plight of the people of the Sudan.

I sit and listen to the news about the situation there too and wish there was something I could do.  It is not about Aid money really.  I seems as if there should be some political solution but I have very little faith in politics to solve anything.  Political solutions seem to have the best interests of the politicians at heart.  Even aid money often seems to have the best interests of the giver at heart.

So what is there that a small Christian in a huge world full of problems like this can do about anything?  It somehow sounds so trite to say that I will pray about the problem.  But then I remember how people prayed and the wall came down in East Germany.  Maybe the evil one likes to overwhelm us with the problems to keep us feeling helpless and useless and doing nothing.  So we tend to shut out the problem and go on with our comfortable North American lives.

Oh Africa!
What can we do,
We, the powerless ones
Who love you?

So, for myself, I will pray.  I know I will feel like that is not much.  Frankly – sorry God – I would like to see God do something spectacular so that I knew my prayers were being answered.  But I know God will be there no matter what I see.  So One House – I too will make Monday a special day to pray for the Sudan and other parts of Africa that I love

I will continue to do the little that is within my ability to do, supporting the work I know about in Africa that is good for the people.  Work that supports the building up of God’s church there and that will help to develop the minds and talents of the people that live on that great continent.  The changes that are going to make a lasting difference must come from the hearts and minds of the people that live there. 

And because I write when I am passionate or disturbed about things I wrote this:

We Turn Off The TV

Oh Africa!
We turn off the TV
Our third daily meal grows cold.
We sat watching the news
But are hardened to
Your images of death;
Your children of the sunken eyes,
Swollen bellies and lopped off limbs.
What can we do?

You say, “We are tired
Of the lies of the politicians.
They swear to change our world,
One hand raised in oath,
The other already groping
Through the pockets of the givers.
They turn and steal
Our birthrights.”

You ask, “Can’t you,
Rich with power,
Hold our leaders accountable,
Honour the incorruptible,
Protect our innocents
Feed them on truth to
Grow them out of the death
They were born to?”

Oh Africa!
We turn off the TV.
We repeat “What can we do?”
Your answers go unheard
And we have none.
Steadily, your rich color
Stains the red soil of your land.
And we turn off the TV.
Can you forgive us?


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  1. Thank you for the challenge to remember and pray. Too often I just throw up my hands in frustration instead of committing myself to pray fervently for God to bring peace, to heal, to bring relief, to bring justice to places like the Sudan. It’s a failure of my responsibility as a follower of Jesus, a failure to see these suffering people through God’s eyes. I posted a few comments and a link to your post, and I will be praying.