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November 11, 2004
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--What an overwhelming picture this is!
I'm in a tough part of the world on this day, but great things are happening right here, right now! Here, there are over 500 happy children singing, playing, receiving gifts, being fed, and consuming the full force of love that is so kindly embracing them.
But just around a global corner from us, there are children and parents who are experiencing torture, maiming and death. The singing by these children has turned to blood-curdling screams, and the happiness their parents hoped for them has been replaced with horror upon horror!
Sweet little children and their panicked parents, mostly mothers, are frantically crying, fighting, clawing their ways from and past burning homes and churches. They are chased through the night, stumbling over mutilated and burning bodies of their family and friends, while slashing machetes swing for their heads and vicious hands tear at their hair and scant clothing. They are trying to outrun the most despicable, hellions imaginable who are loosed like crazed blood-thirsty hounds of hell scouring this land seeking whom they shall devour!
What little child or struggling mother can outrun full-grown men with long knives, spears and clubs? None ... and the photographs are available to prove that horrifying fact.
As I write, I weep reviewing each ungodly atrocity -- picture upon picture upon picture of bodies upon bodies upon bodies!
These gut-wrenching visuals were provided by persons who live or have family members still living among the victimized villagers, or both. The brave gatherers and providers of this evidence were more than willing for me to identify them, but I am not.
Verifiable photos also were furnished by the Anglican Diocese of Jos in northern Nigeria (WARNING -- the photos are gruesome: http://www.anglicandioceseofjos.org/dogo.html
Words float on the page amid images of a pool of blood, bodies and dismembered parts of tortured, hacked children, mothers and fathers:
"THEY WERE MOSTLY WOMEN AND CHILDREN.
THEY WERE DEFENSELESS.
THEY WERE UNPROTECTED.
THEY DIED WITHOUT KNOWING WHY OR HOW. SOME WERE BUTCHERED ON THEIR BEDS WHILE MANY MORE WERE KILLED TRYING TO FLEE -- WOMEN WERE HACKED AS THEY TRIED TO COVER THEIR CHILDREN WITH THEIR BODIES. LITTLE BABIES WERE SNATCHED FROM THEIR MOTHERS AND THROWN INTO THE BURNING FLAMES SET BY THE ATTACKERS.
SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY WERE CHRISTIANS.
WE CALL ON THE PEOPLE OF GOD, WORLDWIDE ...."
They ARE CALLING!
They are calling for someone, somewhere to do something!!!!
In one photo, a mother is laying face down hacked and burned into pieces as she was trying to protect her small baby child whose tiny arms have been hacked off at the shoulders and then was burned alive! This dear mother is clasping something in her charred left hand -- her hand almost appears to be reaching for help, as if to say, "I'M TRYING TO HANG ON -- SOMEONE -- SOMEWHERE -- DO SOMETHING!"
This is not the time to debate about who struck first or last. Nor is it relevant whether this foolish fight erupted because of land or religion or anything else. No, this is not a time for debate -- it is a time for doing!
Yes, there are other places in the world where civil unrest and death occurs. However, northern Nigeria, Africa, has become a killing field for kids and parents. There is no clearer exposť of barbarianism than now in the area of Jos on the northern plateau state region. My three relatively recent trips to that country and fact-checking among locals as well as national leaders confirms this tragic truth!
SOMEONE -- SOMEWHERE -- DO SOMETHING to stop this mayhem!
In another photo it is not possible to determine the gender, age or much of anything else about the person whose spirit once lived in that body. It is obvious that this poor person was immobilized and bound before being soaked in gasoline and lit on fire!
Can you even imagine this kind of cruelty during this time period of mankind?
The deep black charred body is practically absent of any remaining flesh -- some darkened bones of knees and skull are visible. The head is tilted backward and the back is fully arched as if the body still screams out toward the heavens of God ... or perhaps to someone on this planet.
Can you hear it?
"Oh God send SOMEONE -- SOMEWHERE -- to DO SOMETHING!!!"
Picture in your mind a precious little girl about 6 to 8 years old, whose mother, sister or friend has taken such meticulous care to sit and plat her hair so beautifully and precisely, row after row after row. Imagine a happy conversation going on about their lives, friends, family and future -- ended abruptly because a machete has slashed through those beautiful rows of hair, crushing her small skull and splashing out her life onto the ground.
I'm now looking at a photo of that sweet little face -- turned toward the camera with one eye still open and looking directly into the lens. Her small mouth is contorted barely open or nearly closed. She is calling, "SOMEONE -- SOMEWHERE -- please, please DO SOMETHING!!"
Don't we have enough humanity, care, love left in us to rise to such a call as this?
Question: "DO DEAD PEOPLE TALK?"
Answer: YES! They certainly do! Hebrews 11:4: "Tho he is dead yet he speaks!"
I hear them and I'm going to do SOMETHING this very week! What about you?
Sec. of State (Hillary Clinton)
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
Electronic contact: http://bit.ly/bWjv06
Nigerian Amb. To U.S.
3519 International Court Northwest
Washington, DC 20008-3023
Electronic contact: http://www.nigeriaembassyusa.org/contact.shtml
Bobby Welch is the SBC's strategist for Global Evangelical Relations.