Picture this scenario:
You're sitting in your home, making lunch, chatting with your children, and going on with daily life as you know it. Suddenly you hear a commotion outside and your front door slams open. Six men armed with guns, machetes, and knives storm into your home. Your children scream and cry. They grab you. They hold you down, and all six of them take turns brutally raping you as your family watches. When they finish they try to force your own little brother to also rape you and stab him to death when he refuses. He is only six years old. When they leave you are kidnapped and raped every day for 8 months by them, you become pregnant with one of their children, and you have no idea if your own children are dead or alive. Finally you get away, return home and find your children are alive, but are shunned because you have been violated. Your family, friends, and your entire city avoid you like the plague because of what happened to you. Now what?
Is this tough to read? Imagine living it.
Every single day women in the Congo are raped, kidnapped, and murdered as the country sits back and watches. Rape is the weapon of choice used by the angry and power-hungry men in the area as they try to gain control of everyone in every village. The rape is so brutal that many women lose control of bodily functions afterwards (due to permanent damage that only surgery can correct), or they die from subsequent infections.
When they are known to have been raped the woman's family often casts her away and it is not uncommon for these same women to starve to death due to having no one to turn to, and no where to go. Women in the Congo are said to be more likely to be raped than to learn how to read. Can you imagine living this hell?
It isn't just women that suffer this fate. Children as young as 3 are enduring the same horrific life. Rape is now spreading to men to force the fear even farther into the society. Now that it's happening to men... maybe something will be done to stop it.
These issues are real. These issues are happening TODAY. The more I read about it, see about it, and learn about it, the more I think, "We must do SOMETHING."
America can get a really bad rep from other countries, but there is no other nation in the world that gives as much as we do. Not we as in our government, but we as individuals that ban together for a cause. Americans are by nature humanitarians. We love people and we cannot bear to see suffering occur.
Sometimes this lack of being able to handle how sad and upset knowing about other's suffering makes us, we turn away. We bury our heads. We say "that's so horrible.. I can't read anymore of it!" This is NOT how problems get solved. This is NOT how women with no hope find help. This is NOT what you would want others to do if you were that African woman, victimized, brutalized, starving to death, and likely now infected with HIV.
With everything I've been reading on this topic, one group keeps showing up again and again. Women for Women. They help these women that have no hope and they teach them skills to help them make money. They teach them to read. They make life possible for them. If possible, I highly encourage everyone to support their cause with donations. If you're unable to provide monetary support, please provide PRAYER support. God loves these people and I personally know the power of prayer to be truly amazing. Dedicate time each day to have focused prayer time for not just the women, but the people in the Congo and in Africa as a whole. That their hearts will change, that women will be seen as equals to men, that children will have the same rights as everyone else.
Last but not least, EDUCATE YOURSELF. Your own home, your own family, your own church, and your own friends are not what make this world go round. God created us to worship him and to love each other. Though they are not near us in geography, according to God's word they ARE our neighbors. They are our brothers and sisters in Christ. Will you at least read this story (by Anderson Cooper and CBS News) and see if God tugs on your heart to do something? Maybe he will, maybe he won't. But, don't hide... it is there and it is happening whether we ignore it or not.