Friday, October 26, 2007

Peace be with them

Our efforts are making a difference! Last weekend, one of the first contingents of the hybrid U.N.-A.U. peacekeeping force left Rwanda for Darfur aboard a U.S.-contributed carrier. Here are some pictures of the troops on their way to Darfur.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Dream for Darfur

The event was awesome. I believe we had around 300 attend and all major news sources were present. Nuvo will post the event video on You Tube, so I'll post that link soon. You can read about the event in the Star and see great pictures they took...

Thursday, October 4, 2007

friends in the book

I had an awesome experience last Sunday. I was invited to participate in Sunday School at Beth El Zedek Synagogue. The class of high school sophomores have been studying about the genocide in Darfur since they were a class of 8th graders. So, my visit was for the purpose of talking about Darfur,showing them a documentary, and talking about Oct. 14th.
I arrived in time to catch the tail end of Mr. Rothenberg's lesson. It seemed the topic was about suffering and not presuming to understand God's will. All, I know is that I was extremely excited about hearing what was being taught. My only experience with Jewish teachings in from the Bible. I've never had the pleasure of being in a Jewish classroom. To me this is special because we have the same God and the Jewish teachings are part of my faith. Jesus was a Jew. Jesus loves the Jews and longs to see all except Him as Lord.
The students were kind of squirrely during the video, but after the video they really perked up and asked me some hard questions. "What is our government doing about Darfur?" "When are we going to stop just sending journalists in to Darfur and send doctors, or even people with guns?!" "Can we really do anything to help the people in Darfur?"
While walking out of the synagogue, I followed behind a mom carrying her 3 year old son. She was telling him a story, the story of the Israelites. She told about the long journey through the dessert to Babylon. As she re-told the story I was greatly moved. I thought, this is what we are told in the Bible! Parents tell these stories of God's mighty power to your children and to your children's children. Talk about My story when you wake and before you sleep, as you walk along the road, as you live your everyday life. For that moment I saw the Word come to life and I felt a kinship through that Word.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Indiana for Burma is delighted to present two major events this week about the current situation in Burma. Some day, perhaps soon, a democratic Burma will bear the faint stamp: “Made in Indiana.” Burmese dissidents and constitutional scholars are drafting a new constitution in Bloomington. Ties between the state and crisis-ridden Burma will intensify if things turn badly, too: Indianapolis is the major destination for refugees from Burma, and we will get a lot more if the goons in Rangoon respond as brutally as they have in the past. You could see a sign of Indiana-Burmese links Sunday evening, when on very short notice a couple of hundred Burmese (plus many other well-wishers) turned out at the Circle Monument in support of the dissent in Burma. (You can see some photos from the rally at

Thursday October 4, 3:30-5:00 PM at the International Center of Indianapolis (32 W. Washington St. Indianapolis) we will have a discussion of "Burma in Crisis." Featured will be Burmese activists and scholars who have helped draft the new constitution for their country. They will help clarify the context and implications of the events we see on the streets of Rangoon.

This discussion of Burma on Thursday will be worth clearing your Thursday afternoon schedule to attend. A unique event Friday will be worth coming home early from vacation.

Friday October 5, from 6:00-9:00 PM the Harrison Center for the Arts (1505 North Delaware St. Indianapolis) will host "Burma Beautiful/Burma Brutal: Images & Ideas from a Country on the Edge." This will be a multimedia presentation of images and videos from Burma, which will serve as a backdrop for informal conversations about topics such as the prospects for peaceful change, political dimensions of Buddhism in Tibet and Burma, challenges of Burmese communities in Indiana, and other topics. Featured will be:

· Photos and art from Burma by Indianapolis artist Jude Odell

· Images from “The Sold Project,” a documentary in production by Indiana 20-somethings exposing the human side of sex slavery in Burma

· Photos from refugees camps on the Burmese-Thai border by Emily Jacobi, an Indianapolis photo-journalist

·Video montage of current street protests by Geo-Pol analyst Pedro Cardoso

· Burmese scholars and dissidents from IU’s Center for Constitutional Democracy in Pluralist Societies, who are drafting a constitution for a democratic Burma

· Members of the Chin and Karen ethnic minorities from Burma now in living Indianapolis

These are both rare and exciting opportunities to learn more about how the world is directly touching us in Indiana, I hope to see you at both.

John Clark