I now must reveal to you The Fourth Estate. The most amazing weekend of my life with some of the most amazing people I've ever met. I have no way to effect you the way that I was but I would love to share a very few things that I learned from everyone.
The number one thing I learned was to Listen. (I'm wanting to tattoo that one behind my ear because of this) When wanting to work in developing communities most of the people who live there every day know where they are hurting and many times they know the solutions as well they just don't have the resources. Listen to their ideas, to their troubles and to what they need.
The second thing is to use the resources within the community to rebuild the community. This means the materials, the people and anything else. There needs to be a sense of ownership among the community members if the development is going to last.
The third thing is that at some point, we need to leave and allow the community we've come to help take over and succeed on their own.
Finally, and most importantly it's all about love! We do what we do because we love those around us. We are given what we have and the knowledge and power we have because of a Lord that loves us. And we will continue to fight the battle of injustice because we love others and we love our freedoms.
So now some images from the weekend. . .
The fillings in our gift bags. (The wrapped gift is the most epic journal)
View from the dorms. . . Yeah I know!
The chapel. Got a chance to go in on early Friday morning to have a little time with God. Thanking him for this experience, these people and this life just never seems to be enough.
The anticipation before every session. Oh to be back in that room again!
Yeah Jason and I are like BFF now ;)
He did an amazing talk right here about needing a creator to do anything that we try to do. To start change, to create, we have to understand that we were created as well. I'm excited to say that one of my roommates from the Fourth Estate has started seeking a relationship with the Lord.
Carl Wilkins- the only American to remain in Rwanda during the genocide in 1994.
He told us the story of this woman. She helped save a dozen Hutu's during the Rwandan genocide because the community thought she was possessed by evil spirits. When Tutsi's asked to search her home she threatened to release the wrath of the evil spirit that was inside her. ;)
Her beauty fills my soul with joy!
Carl and his wife. Both amazing people and so cool to have met them!
The ring leaders and clowns, Jedidiah and Jason.
We are the Fourth Estate
"We are discontent
We hear the distant thunder
through the canyon
The rebels are coming
They are those of us who are
trading profit for purpose
Exchanging the shallow aim of today
for the promise to and of tomorrow
Trading the Self-interested Nation
for the Global Citizen
who cries, "BROTHER! SISTER!
your pain is mine
my liberty is bound up in yours!"
Because Justice is our jury
a responsibility to this soil and water
in which we thrive
and the brotherhood of man
from your front door, your suburban nightmare
and walk down this revolutionary road
arm in arm
to the sea that calls us free."
Jolly Okott explains how former LRA soldiers are unable to smile when first rescued. However with rehabilitation (a $32,000 investment for the building) a smile like this can re-enter the world.
Joining together to sing songs of freedom, of revolution of change.
Together as one
More silly times with the guys
The Freedom Riders
Just one of the ways revolutions begin
Bright cards put into the jungle to tell LRA soldiers that it's safe to return home and get the help they need. By giving themselves up they receive full amnesty and their communities accept them back in knowing that they had no choice in joining the war.
Andrew, Shea, Me and John Prendergast
Adam Fink! What a guy!
Me with Jolly Okott
(right before this shot I was tell Jolly how much I loved her clothes and we decided that we will open a fashion line together. . . going on the bucket list!)
Oh, Yeah, Kristen Bell showed up. . . No big deal ;)
Tom Shadyac who is the director of the movie "I am" and who made Jim Carrey famous
Performance by LXD
(Jason makes a front flip appearance for the finale!)
Tyler Fordman, An amazing artist and the head Graphic Artist at Invisible Children
These posters were designed and made by a local woman who wanted to support the 650 of us who came to change the world! (Thanks!)
Carl Wilkins, His wife and me!
Fort Collins Team Leaders!
Bailey, My new best girl!
Just me and Jedidiah hanging out!
Team SMOKEY BROWN!!!!!!!!!!!
Some of my new best friends, the next leaders in activism, and the people who WILL change the world.
The stories that I have now, the people I have met, the knowledge that has been given to me has forever change my life.
Thank you Invisible Children, Thank you to all the speakers who inspired us.
We are The Fourth Estate