George Clooney went to Sudan without me!
No great surprise, I suppose, considering that he has no idea who I am. And that his visit to the deadly border region between Sudan and South Sudan had to be kept hush-hush. And that he was meeting with South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir, who would likely have shut the door in my face.
I do think George Clooney is good-looking, and I think he’s a great actor. But most of all, I appreciate his commitment to using his privileged life to help the people of Sudan. Lots of famous people talk about helping a particular project. They pose fetchingly with a poor little kid from the region and offer emotional-filled sound bites, then make their way to comfy accommodations. But George is serious about his involvement. He went to war-torn Sudan in January 2011, just as the people there were casting votes to separate into two countries. George was so moved by what he saw that he helped found the Satellite Sentinel Project (it uses satellites to track soldiers’ movements and attacks) in the hope of heading off more aggression. He even got malaria like as real anybody. Now, after this latest trip, he is testifying before a U.S. Senate committee.
My last visit to Sudan was before the cease-fire and vote to split the country. I must say, I have never heard such heart-wrenching stories as were poured out in the refugee camps. And never have I been so inspired by the dedicated resilience of a people. I would love to go back and follow up on that trip. So many new stories to hear!
God calls us to seek justice for the oppressed, to stand in the gap and offer protection to those who need it, to provide a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves. I want to be such a voice.
George left me behind, but never mind. I’ll find a way to go to South Sudan on my own. Maybe I’ll even send George Clooney a postcard saying: Wish you were here.
“We are only successful as a human race by how we look out for the people who can’t look out for themselves.”