Friday, November 30, 2012

I Cried- A Poem from Prison

This is the second poem in a series entitled Poems from Prison. As I explained in my prior post,Fallen Angels, I volunteer in a prison ministry and one of the prisoners so moved me with her poetry that I am publishing it so she may bless others with her candor, emotional outpouring and insights.
It has taken a while to publish additional poems as the writer disappeared from prison for awhile.
I discovered that she had been transferred to another facility.
Via the "prison grapevine" she heard I was looking for her and asking for more poetry. Soon I received more poems in the mail sent on her behalf. 
This was my favorite. 
I Cried

I saw you today as you lured him in
this married man, and watched as you sinned 
I saw you today and tears filled my eyes 
For you child, for you, I cried 
I saw you today as you prayed to a God,
this foreign God, what a lie and facade
I saw you today today and tears filled my eyes 
For you child, for you, I cried 
I saw you today as you told a lie
you said it so fast, like a normal reply

I saw you today and tears filled my eyes 
For you child, for you, I cried
I saw you today as you stole some money
then you laughed, as though sin were funny
I saw you today and tears filled my eyes 
For you child, for you, I cried 
I saw you today with hate in your heart
your husband, he cheated, it tore you apart
I saw you today and tears filled my eyes 
For you child, for you, I died 

-Somer Erickson


If you don't know Jesus there are wonderful resources on listed on right side of this blog under Links to God's work.

"For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, 
that whoever believes in Him shall not perish 
but have eternal life"  -John 3:16 

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. -Romans 3:23

"This is love: not that we loved God,but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins."
-1 John 4:10


But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,
made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions
—it is by grace you have been saved. -Ephesians 2:4-5

Jesus said- "My sheep listen to my voice;
I know them,
and they follow me.
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish;
no one will snatch them out of my hand."
-John 10:27-28

Do you belong to Jesus? Are you one of His? If not, you have the choice to change your life. Read How to Receive Eternal Salvation-Say "Yes" to Christ.

Jesus can relate to your pain for when he became a man and lived with us for 33 years, he experienced every type of suffering and torment (mental,physical and emotional).

"Therefore Since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God 
let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize
with our weaknesses,
but we have one who has been tempted in every way,
just as we areyet was without sin."
-Hebrews 4:14-15

"For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath
but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 
He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep,
we may live together with him."
-1 Thessalonians 5:9-10

To God be the glory- Julie

Recources:
Fallen Angels (the 1st poem of the series)


I Cried  ©Somer Erickson  
Fallen Angels  ©Somer Erickson 






Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Crisis in Congo and ALARM calls for Prayer

There is a crisis in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo. Another chapter in the long-running humanitarian disaster in that country. A rebel group known as M23 gained control of Goma on November 19th. People are fleeing in fear. 
This post is the first in my series entitled Heroes of Africa. Today I want to alert you to the situation in DRC
and to educate you on the amazing work conducted in 8 African countries by ALARM, Inc.
Much of the world is unaware of this epicenter of human suffering.

DR Congo has been ravaged by conflict including war, murder, rape, exploitation, economic looting, displacement and hunger since 1997, resulting in almost 6 million deaths between 1997-2008.
This is a staggering number, greater than any conflict since WWII.

Why?
Factions have been fighting for control over rich mineral resources including gold, copper, cobalt and cassiterite mined in DR Congo then sold to the U.S.,Canada, Europe and Asia. 

The terror has continued since then end of the 2008 war with violence of unspeakable horror including
mutilations, kidnapping children to serve as child soldiers, sexual slavery and brutal sexual violence including gang rape. 

According to ALARM, Inc which serves in the area, the violence of recent months has resulted in almost 500,000 refugees.
This is a tragedy that seems to be largely ignored by Western media. Where is the responsible journalism?

ALARM which stands for African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministry has called for 
Day of Prayer today for the People of DR Congo.
On their website, ALARM paints a dire and vivid picture of situation.

ALARM staff member meeting with a displaced pastor & distributing potatoes & plastic sheets.
Families using volcano stones to cook their food.

People fleeing from Goma beach to Minova and Indjui
ALARM works in Burundi, DR Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Republic of S.Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda serving pastors, community leaders, women and children.
Their mission "is to empower the African church to impact the African continent by developing & equipping leaders with skills & tools to nurture and deepen the Christian faith for the transformation and reconciliation of the African communities."

They were founded in 1994 as a response to the horrific genocide in Rwanda. I was drawn to this ministry due to my experiences in Africa in 1988 including my joy trekking to find the elusive Mountain Gorillas in then peaceful Rwanda.
A few years ago I had the opportunity to meet Celestin Musekura, their founder and president. 
Her story is amazing. Their work is remarkable.

ALARM, with help from partners & friends, including Watermark Community Church, has trained close to 9,000 leaders across East and Central Africa in Biblical theology, conflict resolution, forgiveness, mediation, leadership skills, and reconciliation. They are involved in other programs as well. In Uganda, our family sponsors an orphan through an ALARM/Watermark program.

The efforts of this fabulous ministry are essential for the development of true peace and progress for these African nations. That is why I feel the people of ALARM Inc are heroes of Africa.

I invite you to learn more by clicking on the link at the end of this post or on the right side of my blog under Links to God's Work.


Please PRAY today for the people and nation of Democratic Republic of Congo and for the ALARM staff in harms way. Pray for peace and protection. Pray for leaders to stand against corruption, violence and exploitation.

"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly: defend the rights of the poor and needy". - Proverbs 31:8-9

"Finally,all of you,live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay event with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called." - 1 Peter 3:8-9

"Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. 

If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?" -Proverbs 25:11-12

"There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land" -Deuteronomy 15:11


Click here to learn more about ALARM, Inc and read their latest posts from Congo.

DONATE to DR Congo Emergency Relief by clicking here


Thank you for caring enough to read this post on the plight of those in desperate need.



Blessings,
Julie


Sources-
Alarm,Inc.
NPR News
The Nation