Some images are burned into my mind.
A video. Three women, on their knees, hands tied behind their backs. Pushed to the ground by 3 men, with machetes. The video goes on and for almost two minutes, though I can’t stomach that long, and shows these 3 women being hacked to death.
It’s a video done by rebels, much like ISIS, but these men are just north from us and don’t get nearly the attention of the middle eastern group. Here these rebels filmed themselves to put terror into the hearts of the victims’ neighbors and the international community at large, though I doubt the video has gone very far.
Their hundreds of killings hasn’t spread much outside Eastern Congo, let alone left the continent of Africa.
The rebels go from house to house, they kill and rape and mutilate. No rhyme or reason though rumors spread that it’s a religious battle of Muslims vs. Christians, no one is quite certain why the murders are so brutal and why they’ve gone on for so long.
My heart aches tonight. I sit in front of my computer and debate how to share the stories. Enough that readers understand the gravity of what’s going on but not too much that the stories I tell are written off as too heavy.
But instead of sharing more stories of devastation, I want to instead whisper dreams of hope.
As many who know me, this comes with no surprise. Justice Rising was founded on going into the worst places so when I heard the terror happening north of us it felt natural to start asking the questions “What do they need? How can we help?”
Well, right now, the resounding echo that keeps bouncing around our team is the need to stand with the women survivors. Those who have gone through rape and have witnessed the majority of their family killed. Now with no home or field to cultivate, the women are left with questions of what’s next with little answers for where to begin picking up their lives.
An opportunity has come up where we can fly to Beni (where most of the attacks are happening) and work with a handful of ladies there. Our plan is to begin self sustaining work for them and connect with locals we know who can oversee the group and begin counseling and a healing process.
Right now we’re short about $2,000 (USD) for project costs. If you’re interested in giving, please check out the donation page (www.justicerising.org) and stand with us for Beni and the violated women of war.
The potential dates for our trip is mid-July, probably the 16th or 17th so there is a bit of a time crunch on this.
Thanks for standing with our team as we strategize and plan how to best love and reach out to these women.