I don't often do recommendations for books or movies on my blog, not that there is anything wrong with it, I just haven't. However I think I am going to start and recommend Machine Gun Preacher. It is not a film for those who are faint of heart, as there are some intense scenes and the beginning is quite rough, however, the message and story are real and worth the two hours it will take you to watch the movie.
In June of 2009 I went to Africa. I didn't go on a Safari or see any Elephants or Lions, I went to a refugee camp with Think Humanity in Uganda. What I saw and experienced while I was there was unforgettable and will forever be carried in my heart. If you want to read my story, you can read my blog post Africa: If you haven't read my blog yet, please read this. As I watched the movie, I had several flashbacks of my own journey and as the tears fell down my face and my heart ached, I promised myself to never forget that trip, those people and to keep trying to make a difference in Africa.
My journey started years ago with my constant interest and concern for those in Africa, but things got more serious and concentrated when I started studying Africa at Colorado State in the fall of 2007. I took a class with Dr. Sunseri called Modern Africa. In this class, we studied several historical as well as current events in Africa, including the horrors that are depicted in The Machine Gun Preacher. Some times we watch movies, read books and wonder if these things do exist. I can assure you that in terms of this movie, they do. These people do exist, as do the situations and challenges they face everyday. These people do exist and they are amazing!
What makes those I met in Africa so amazing is their resolve, their positive attitude, their love and their smile. I fell in love with Africa and her people. They welcomed me, enveloped me in their hearts and their lives and I will never lose my will to help them in any way I can.
Often people will say to me, "there are people her in the United States who need our help, why not help them?" I do help my neighbors and I do believe in helping anyone who needs it, however, those that Think Humanity helps don't have any other hope. They don't have health care or education or life saving mosquito nets without us. They don't have a chance at life without Think Humanity. My friend Beth who is in charge of Think Humanity and helps keep the non-profit going sent me a card and it read, "I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things." Mother Teresa Who knows what those we help will do, maybe they will be the next Nelson Mandela and help to bring peace to Africa, peace to the world.
Somewhere right now there is a young person who has lost everything to war, they have seen their parents killed, lost siblings and entire families, they are hungry, scared and in need of help, that is who Think Humanity is reaching out to, that is who they are trying to save.
If you are not into movies, or you want to know of another way you can help, you can:
Check out Feed Just One They are a really cool organization who is trying to help us feed the young refugees who are in our education program. With their help we are able to feed one girl thirty meals by selling just one t-shirt. Mother Teresa once said, "If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one."
Acholi women who are from Southern Sudan and Northern Uganda, these are the same people depicted in the movie. You can also check out other products Think Humanity sells in order to help raise money for "Teen Mom Tailoring Project."
Sometimes the problems of this world seem so great that we don't know how to start, however, I have just given you a big old push in the right direction.