In the post below, John Crossan, a participant on Witness to a Return Home, the JustJourney to Uganda, contemplates the seeds of responsibility that the trip — and the people he’s meeting on the journey — is sowing.
I have been on many tours where I have seen evidence of terrible atrocities and injustices. Though these experiences are emotional and moving, when I return home I realize I cannot do anything about the events, and they become memories eventually. Even though this is an observational journey, I am beginning to realize that I may start to take ownership of some of the issues in Uganda and feel some responsibility to try to do something about the issues when I return home.
One person we’ve met on this trip has particularly impressed me. His name is Matthew Odong, and he is in charge of Sacred Heart Seminary. He represents a strong anti-war voice in Uganda. Along with others, he has organized the religious community in northern Uganda to influence the government and the LRA [Lord’s Resistance Army] to sit down together and negotiate a peace settlement, which has been done. The country is now in the very early stages of peace even though this agreement has not been completely ratified by both sides.
Odong speaks strongly about the fact that military action is not the answer. Many people in the United States also feel this is the case, but so far our political leaders have not completely received this message.