I have an 8 year old grandson. He is really awesome kid. He’s smart, funny and kind. His passion in life right now involves an Xbox and the game Minecraft. Honestly, sometimes it really gets on my nerves. But today I realized something, here in the United States my grandson can sit with a game controller in his hand and be a boy. He is not holding a machine gun, or the dying body of a brother, sister mother, father or grandparent. When he is hungry he can pause the game and find food and drinks in the fridge. He is not starving, searching for food, begging or selling himself to feed himself and his family. In our country my grandson lives below the poverty level but he still has food, a roof and he can go to school. My grandson is not being threatened, raped or forced to shoot others. He is allowed to be an 8 year old boy.
“Childhood should be carefree, playing in the sun; not living a nightmare in the darkness of the soul.”
― Dave Pelzer, A Child Called “It”
This is not the case for thousands and thousands of children across the world. It is not the case for the children of Africa that are forced into the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army). It is not the case for children sold as sex slaves. It is not the case for children that are beaten, raped and mutilated by adults.
It saddens me deeply, when I watch a movie such as “Machine Gun Preacher” about the life of Sam Childers, it reminds me of the frailty of the human condition, particularly among children, our most vulnerable. Childers is a former Outlaw biker, heroin addict, drug dealer who accepted Christ into his life and went on to build a church here is the States and after seeing the atrocities in Sudan he built an orphanage to save children in Africa. It sickens me when I read about children being forced into sex slavery. Being a child is not a possibility for so many.
“Anyone who does anything to help a child in his life is a hero to me. ”
― Fred Rogers
It angers me when I hear people say, well that’s not our problem, we have our own problems in the US that we need to fix. While there it is true that we do have our own problems, we also have far more services, opportunities and support than many other areas of the world, a world that we are all part of. I don’t have to worry when I go to sleep tonight that a military group is going to burn my grandson out of his home, kill his mother, and probably his brother because he is only two and then force him to carry a gun, kill people including friends and family and live a life of fear and helplessness.
Yeah, I think I will let him play his Xbox, build his Minecraft towns and let him be a child for as long as possible.
Joseph Kony. Leader of the LRA with the help of the Sudanese government is responsible for an estimated 40,000 child abductions. In the past 15 years approximately 200,000 women and girls have been raped in the Congo.
Child sex slavery is not “someone else’s problem”, It is rapidly growing here in the US.