Thursday, July 01, 2004
Today My Heart is Joyful!
Dancing for Joy in Uganda
Photo by Susanne Behnke, Uganda 2003
Today my heart is full of joy and hope! An important event I have been patiently waiting for in the Sudan, in the region of Darfur, has finally taken place. I can only hope that actions will quickly follow the strong words of warning issued there today.
I have watched two great Sons of Africa, Colin Powell and Kofi Annan, walk on the hard-baked earth of the western Sudan and be with the suffering people there, to see for themselves and meet face-to-face with the survivors of the atrocities committed there, to witness what international journalists and aid workers and others around the world have been crying out about so loudly and urgently. Genocide!
I watched Powell, who I personally regard with admiration and pride as a great leader, fight back tears as he was finally able to approach the crowds of cheering children and adults in that desolate desert, greeting him with joy and hope in their eyes and with smiles on their beautiful little black faces_____and I knew what Powell was feeling in his heart at that moment and I could not hold back my own tears as I watched them on CNNI today.
And I remembered my stern words to a group of Ugandans visiting Europe almost one year ago, that "...we see you and hear your cries for help, that we know of the crimes and atrocities which have been and are being committed against you by very evil people and many of us can no longer remain silent and frozen in our fear and in our shame."
"...That we are coming, in ways that you could never imagine and in numbers which you alone cannot count, to stand with you and help you defeat this evil we all see so clearly. To help you stand tall and proud again and to achieve freedom and a bright and secure future for yourselves and your children and your countries."
I know that friends in Jinja will remember those words I spoke long ago today, and begin to finally understand what I meant then, that we with the power to affect change mean business down on the continent of Africa____ so help me God!
In solidarity with the suffering peoples and victims of unspeakable violence in Northern Uganda, in the Sudan, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and all corners of Afirca.