Aubrey and Patrick Woodson are two young Peace Corps volunteers I am blessed to call friends. They serve in Uganda and recently Aubrey worked with youth from the Greater North in a weeklong Peace Camp. She posted this on her blog:
We have been fortunate to grow up in an environment where people can argue about politics, the validity of eating at Chik-fil-A, Kony 2012…etc. None of them matter without peace. I know my campers learned a lot this week at Peace Camp but I also learned a lot from them about the power of forgiveness. It was truly inspirational to see the resilience of the youth, who have been through so much, and their willingness to learn about living in peace with themselves and with one another.
She went on to post a poem written by one of the youth:
Peace Peace Peace
Who are you?
Where do you stay?
Where were you born?
Who has ever seen you?
Some people say that
you are love and joy.
Others say that you are happiness.
Others describe you as unity and respect.
To those who have read extensively
and widely, they think of you as a situation
or a period of time where there is
no war in a country. Yet others think of you
as a state of living in friendship with somebody.
How special are you?
You are too unique.
You are needed in our world now.
People are suffering and crying because you are not there.
Armies are fighting because you are not there.
Police are deployed where you are absent.
In the Greater North, many people were killed,
burnt, hammered and hung because you were absent.
Our children of this generation don’t know you.
Many people have lost their lives in the process of searching for you.
Many are still in the bush looking for you.
Many weapons were made to bring you back.
Married men and women have separated because you are nowhere to be seen.
Nobody can be comfortable without you.
It seems love is your father.
Happiness is your mother.
Joy, unity, and respect are you relatives.
Confusion and fighting are your greatest enemies.
Killing can chase you out of a country.
We cry, pray, and request
you humbly to stay in the
Greater North of our country
forever and ever.
Yes. Stay…but please, not only in the Greater North…
…If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. 2 Chronicles 7.14