Thursday, September 24, 2009

Consider Africa.

I just watched the most amazing, thought-provoking, eye-opening documentary. It is called "Pray the Devil Back to Hell" and it is about a group of women during the Liberian Civil War who organized and fought against those who were perpetrating the violence and unrest that terrorized the country.
To see the horrors that those women and their families had to go through and then hear the words of the men responsible as they tried to justify themselves made me so angry. The fact that I am so sheltered and did not ever really KNOW about what was going on also made me, not only angry, but ashamed. I have always "known" that terrible things were happening in Africa: I "know" a lady from my church who is a refugee from Sierra Leone, I "know" about the Invisible Children in the Sudan that I did the "night walk" for and wrote to my senator about, I "know" about the famine and the wars, I "know" a boy whose family had to leave the Congo because their lives were threatened, I've heard the reports and I've read some of them... but I didn't really KNOW anything. Not even now, after watching the documentary do I have any real idea or understand! It makes me uncomfortable- the safety and comfort that I have now while so many suffer. Why me? Why do I have so much when so many wonderful, good people struggle? The sign outside of my college campus reminds me why I have been so blessed. It says: "Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve." I feel- and I hope that it is true- that I FINALLY understand. I have been blessed with material comfort so that I will use it to help others. It is a test for me. It is a test for all of us who live in wealth and- in the eyes of the people of the third world- unimaginable luxury. We live in the most materialistic places at a time when money and riches are considered the MOST important, more important even than people and it is therefore a very difficult test. I hope that I will pass. Not just pass, but do well. I hope that I will serve more, that I will realize more of what I have and be grateful for it. Not only the things, but the freedom and security. There are so many men, women, and children throughout the world starving. Many are still slaves. Women are forced into sexual slavery and their children are born into it. It is terrible. I just need to do more.

Go here to see a preview:


Rachel said...

This is beautifully written. Wonderful work. You should think about posting this elsewhere and even submitting it to the paper. Maybe John has a good idea of who to contact since he did some opinion work at BYU.

Sarah Moore Oliphant said...

Amen! Great post Elizabeth. I definitely want to see this film.