Sunday, April 30, 2006

Global Night Commute Tulsa




As you can see it was a damp night at Tulsa's Global Night Commute. Fortunately, the rain held off after the initial dousing. Here are a few random reflections on a memorable night.

As I lay down to a very uncomfortable bed I couldn't help but imagine how the northern Ugandan children feel when they lay down to sleep every night. For them it must be a relief knowing they should be safe from the kidnapping rebels for the night. They must also be worn out from their long commute to their bed. I can only imagine how they don't even know and understand what a good night sleep is and to have their own bed in their own home.

I was happy to see how many Christians were part of this event. It was great praising and worshiping God with complete strangers. We sang, reflected from God's word and lifted the children of northern Uganda up to God in prayer until about 2 a.m.

I didn't care for the driveby honkings that jarred me awake several times. Somebody here in Tulsa has a serious fog horn or something on their car! It's hard to sleep when you're cold and your outside in the middle of hundreds of people. I wonder how often the Ugandan kids actually reach the deep stages of sleep.

I was also mindful and thankful that we didn't have to deal with malaria carrying mosquitoes like the invisible children do. As they sleep crammed in buildings together I know the feast those mosquitoes are having and the unfortunate and often deadly sickness that follows for those children.

If they only had Waffle House in Gulu, Uganda. Greg Taylor and I went across the street for a Waffle House outing at 5:15. Not sure if that was against the rules or not but it was obvious a large contingent of GNCers had just been there. We met an extremely joyful waitress named Kristmas who without asking us seated us with another GNCer who had just gotten there. I don't believe it was just coincidence that Kristmas seated us with Alan, a sophomore at ORU, who just happens to be majoring in Bible and interested in going to Uganda for missions some day. Greg and I were able to share a lot of our experiences and insights. I'm still trying to figure out if Kristmas was an angel or not.

As usual, these experiences are often most powerful done together in community. A group from Garnett Church of Christ and the Contact Church of Christ working in inner city Tulsa reserved us a space on their tarp. Above is a picture of Shannon Russell, who worked hard to coordinate the Tulsa event, Greg Taylor and myself as we were packing up this morning.

I pray this is just the beginning of greater awareness for not only the children of northern Uganda but children all over Africa who suffer from war, poverty and lack of opportunity.

Anyone else go to GNC? I'd love to hear what you took away from the event.

4 Comments:

At 7:21 PM, Blogger Greg Taylor said...

This is the first time I've participated in such a rally, and I want to do more. I commented to one of my fellow walkers--this is what "church" is all about . . . our culture gets ahead of Christians a lot and activism is something Christians need to get up and do more often and be constantly aware. Here's a start for some of you: read www.sojo.net. If you read that, let us know or if you go there the first time, come back and comment on what you think. I'm going to link from my blog here.

 
At 4:36 PM, Anonymous Lana McCrary said...

Hey Clint!
You don't know me but I am Ben and Adam Langford's cousin. I live in Montana and also participated in GNC. It was amazing! We had 97 people which is almost the population of MT. Just Kidding. But my mom found your blog since she just returned from Africa and found your link on the jinja website. Anyways, I had a similar experience. At about 2am it started pouring down rain followed up by a cold front. I was tucked away in my sleeping bag trying to decide if I should go back to my apt. to get dry clothes. But then I remembered that they kids in Uganda can't do that. So instead I relied on God to get me through the night. Which is kinda funny seeing how I wasn't even bad off. And I also got to go home and take a warm shower and drink hot coffee and take a great nap. I am so glad that I got to experience a small part of what they go through and learned so much from it. I am so blessed. It was cool to get to read your blog. Another great thing about the GNC, you get connected to others who also care.

 
At 7:06 PM, Blogger Clint said...

Hey Lana. Thanks for sharing. I've been impressed with everyone I've met in the Langford family and I'm already impressed with you sleeping out in the cold in MT. I'm sure it's much colder there than here in Oklahoma.

It's funny, every time I've looked at that picture I posted above I've had different reactions. With my American eyes, I see close to 500 people sleeping in a parking lot as very strange. But then when I put my more Ugandan eyes on, after having lived there for some time, I think to myself, "what a clean parking lot!" There's no trash anywhere! All the lights work, and the paint on the building looks fresh and nice. If you've been to Uganda or if you've seen the IC DVD, you'll remember the trash laying everywhere, dirt roads, dirty buildings, etc.

We truly are blessed here in the States. I loved GNC because it helps more of us be aware that we have opportunities all around us. We have opportunities to get an education, drink water that won't make us sick, security that our government provides us, jobs, banks to help us start companies, etc. We need to be more concerned about those in the world who don't have opportunities like we do and then fight for them, or sleep out in the cold for them, so that someday they may have more opportunities to better their lives. I can't get 1 John 3:16-19 out of my head.

Thanks again for sharing.

 
At 5:56 AM, Anonymous Lana said...

I also keep seeing the amazing opprotunities that we have here. I've never been to Africa but hopefully will be going soon. I've been talking to the Kibo fellow group. I hope to be going after I graduate next spring.
What a great verse! I've been sharing it with my friends here. Did your whole family get to participate? We had about 10 kids which was so cool to see them getting excited about it.

 

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