Two weeks ago, Southern Sudan officially declared war on the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), led by Joseph Kony.
For those of you who are not familiar with the LRA, they are a rebel group that for more than 20 years has terrorized the region by razing villages and slaughtering families, fueling the conflict by kidnapping children for use as porters, soldiers, and sex-slaves. The war began as a rebellion against the government in Uganda, but has since spread into the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, and the Central African Republic.
So, last week, the troops in the barracks outside of our town of Yei were transferred to Yambio where they were mobilized for an all-out offensive against the LRA in conjunction with the armies of Uganda (UPDF) and of the Democratic Republic of Congo. They want to capture Kony and destroy the LRA.
Probably the most chilling thing about this army is the fact that Joseph Kony claims to receive direct orders from God- hence the army’s name, the “Lord’s Resistance Army.” There is little doubt in my mind that he does receive supernatural directions- but not of the heavenly kind. There are numerous reports of soldiers closing in on him- having Kony in their line of sight- only to watch him vanish into thin air. On South Sudan’s offensive on Sunday, reports returned of a heavy dark cloud descending over the army, causing disorientation as the soldiers approached Kony’s camp. They raided the camp, but Kony was nowhere to be found.
Since Sunday’s raid was unsuccessful, the troops of South Sudan, the DRC, and the UPDF are on high alert
for an attack during the Christmas holidays.
So, we are praying.
We are praying that God will protect the many children who have been drawn into this conflict- who are drugged and raped and forced to kill until the killing becomes routine and their souls so scarred that they cannot imagine life as it was meant to be.
We are praying that lives will be preserved – that destruction will not prevail.
We are praying that Kony will wake up impotent – like Samson without his hair – and fall into the hands of justice.
We are praying that God will gently take all of these hurting people and this entire broken region to do the impossible – that He will redeem and restore – that we will see God’s justice as described in Isaiah 1:21-31.
And, we make the LORD our dwelling place. If we find ourselves hidden in Him, we have nothing to fear.
“Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place – the Most High, who is my refuge – no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.” (Psalm 91:9-11)
Thanks for praying with us, friends! In dark places, we anticipate the dawn of His light! Hey- that’s kind of like Advent
… exactly really. 🙂