Many decisions aren’t easy when contemplating peace and justice and acting in God’s universal love. I had a Quaker ancestor who was very active in the underground railroad in the early eighteen hundreds. Much controversy, even with some other Quakers, was part of what he temporarily faced.
Recently, Bishop Ono Onweng of northern Uganda heard rumors of a very remote refugee camp in NW Uganda that was suffering massive disease and starvation. The Ugandan military had bulldozed a long narrow road into that area in its effort to rid it of Joseph Kony’s LRA child soldiers. They had stopped all but military access into the area. In response to these stories, Bishop Onweng decided he must go to see for himself. After a lengthy journey over very poor roads he came to the beginning of the long military road. That trail was blocked by a tank and numerous Ugandan soldiers. They stated, “We will not allow you to go any further. We will kill you if you do.”
Onweg said, “I must go on even if you choose to shoot me.” He proceded to start his small car and drove right around the roadblock. No shots were fired. In fact they sent two of their soldiers with him.
Among the mud huts he found dreadful conditions: no proper toilets, dirty drinking water, rampant disease, starving and dying people. He, with the help of others, opened the door for food, clean water, and medical help. A while later, along with a small medical group, I was privileged to see the good that had been started. Much yet needed doing.
Do you have or see the need for a possible underground railroad? How does one decide? Not always easy.
Contributed by Ken Magee, Klamath Falls Friends