Perhaps you saw or heard of the movie “The Invisible Children” released a few years ago about Joseph Kony. Kony is the self-appointed, charismatic leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, a guerilla army waging war in several central African states especially Uganda. He has been accused of abducting children and turning them into sex-slaves and soldiers. Approximately 66,000 children have been stolen from their families and turned into soldiers and over 2 million people have been displaced by Kony’s guerilla tactics. The International Criminal Court has indicted Kony for crimes against humanity. You can seen the movie on YouTube.
In the aftermath of Kony’s scourge and attack on children ALARM (African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries) has been working to bring healing to Africa.
Dr. Karl Benzio established the Lighthouse Network in 2003. It is known around the country as the premiere Christian addiction and mental health referral service. It is a non-profit organization with a simple mission: to give people guidance through the storm’s of life. So when people are dealing with drug or alcohol addiction or any kind of psychological or emotional troubles, they turn to the Lighthouse Network.
Dr. Benzio believes that the war is not over until the children of Africa are healed. So he and other associates were invited by ALARM to Gulu, Uganda this past summer to work with those traumatized by Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army. When I heard about the effort to bring help to the poor and powerless in Africa, I called Dr. Benzio and asked them if there was anything we could do. He told me that they needed Bibles to give to the 50 mentors whom they would train to work with the children. Well, I put in a call to Blake Aldridge at Thomas Nelson and asked: “Is it possible to get 60 Bibles into the hands of Dr. Benzio and his staff before they leave for Africa?” Blake went to work and made it happen. Thomas Nelson donated and shipped 60 copies of The Voice New Testament to the Lighthouse Network for its mission to Uganda.
In July Dr. Benzio and seven other associates traveled to Uganda to work with these dear people. As they went, they carried with them the love of God, the skills they possess as gifted counselors and therapists, and The Voice New Testament. In a few weeks I’ll share with you some images from Africa from their mission. You will see for yourself the faces of the innocent who bear uniquely the image and likeness of God. They shared hope and healing with over 480 children and many more adults there dedicated to making their country whole again.
This will not be the last trip for Dr. Benzio and his troop. They will go again and again until the job is done and the children of Africa are healed. My hope is that next year they will take even more copies of The Voice New Testament with them. If you’d like to help the effort in Africa, go to their website and help the children.