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NEWS SOURCE: Jon Foreman, a report
May 14, 2009

Jon Foreman On Monday, it was announced that Jon Foreman would particpate in a special DARFUR FAST FOR LIFE, which followed activist/actiress Mia Farrow and Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson. Today, Foreman updated fans on his water-only fast, mentioning that he passed it off to singer Peter Gabriel at midnight last night. Below is his personal update...

Darfur Fast blog #5 day three, impossible to ignore

So it's 11:56 on Wednesday night... day three of the fast. I'm planning on breaking my fast at midnight.

I've just received word that the Sudanese forces carried out a bombing raid on North Darfur today. And then this: In an IDP camp in west Darfur they ran out of water completely. I feel tremendously sad. Frustrated by the injustices and and feeling ridiculously small in the face of it all.

Tonight I pass the baton to a hero of mine, Peter Gabriel who be fasting for the next three days. It's a sobering thought, the luxury of being able to go back to food and while millions cannot.

I might be an idealist. I might not have a political mind. But I do know that something is off.

And I take a look at a nation of excess, (including my own) and I wonder why we as a nation aren't involved in what many are calling the paramount international human-rights crisis -- the Darfur genocide. Speaking of Darfur during his campaign, Obama said: "As president of the United States, I don't intend to abandon people." Yet he is. About genocide, he said, "We can't say 'never again' and allow it to happen again." But it is happening again.

With the U.S. budget deficit on track to rise to a record setting 1.84 trillion dollars in the current fiscal year, we remain uncommitted to Darfur. As a nation we are literally living on borrowed money, borrowing from the future to pay for the present. And yet, the staggering loss of human life in Darfur is not on our national priority list. With our budget we are declaring what is most important to our nation. In our excess we are abandoning Darfur.

Mother Theresa said this: "It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish." I am so convicted by her words.

I want to be a part of the solution. I want to laugh with those who laugh, weep with those who weep, and suffer with those who suffer. I have lost much of my childlike faith in the government, but I have a hope for justice still. Maybe God alone can bring about final justice, but in this life I feel we are called to pursue it with our flesh and blood. If Christ was best known for his death, "laying down his life for his friends" then shouldn't his followers do likewise? serving and loving those in need? These are not things I can do on my own. I need your help. we all need a community to thrive in, to challenge us... to threaten us with abundant living.

This is our world. It's what you and me and the millions of other souls on our planet make it. This is your darfur, my darfur... Our chance to act or pretend that we don't care. Whatever your personal religious convictions may be, the tragedy in Darfur is impossible to ignore.


***UPDATE: Jon just posted yet another blog. This one is post-fast...

Darfur fast blog #6, reflections

I'm been very honored and humbled to join in the ongoing fast for those in Darfur who have no choice in the matter. In our global community, we cannot turn a deaf ear to those who are suffering. Today, I've passed the baton to Peter Gabriel, Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, and the rest of you who are fasting alongside of those in Darfur. Thank you for filling in the gap, for praying and fasting and making your voice known to the media and to Washington.

In this brave new world of interconnectivity, we need each other more than ever. For all of my information about the situation in Darfur I have relied heavily on my friends who have been there. I have truly valued the information that many folks I've never met have offered to me over the course of the last few days. More than ever, we are the media. The media needs you to tell them that millions of refugees in Darfur is more important to you than whether Paris Hilton does this or that. Darfur was bombed again yesterday, why is that not making headlines?

We cannot be silent on the issue... this discourse is needed. It's a painful conversation, it's painful to see it on the news... I think the pain is what makes us turn to celebrity gossip or our own preoccupation. But we cannot run from pain.

I overheard a conversation a few years back. I was buying a greeting card in a bookstore downtown when I heard an old Morgan Freeman looking character talking to a pretty you blond girl. He had a low musical timbre from deep in his chest and his voice was clear, "Ask a weightlifter how he got so strong, he will tell you, 'I suffered.' Ask a runner how he got so fast, he will tell you 'I suffered.' Ask my people how they got so strong, they will tell you 'we have suffered.' "

At this point I am staring blankly ahead at the greeting card, trying to take in every word without looking like I'm eavesdropping. The older gentleman continued talking, "Suffering is vital to growth. For the best fruit you must cut branches off of a tree. To build muscles you must break them down. Sure, this is painful but needed. And yet we fear pain, we run from it. Do not run from suffering," he said, "Do not run from pain. Every great civilization that runs from suffering has begun it's demise. Look as far back as you want: Babylon, Greece, Rome, or the British Empire, you'll find that the reason for every great civilizations demise is rooted in it's attempt to cheat pain."

"And now," he said, "If we're not careful we will follow quickly down in our self-absorbed disregard towards suffering. We ignore the suffering on the street when we're in line for an over priced coffee. We ignore the suffering overseas for a cheap pair of sneakers. We try to cheat suffering with technology, with medicine, with economic bandages. But greatness does not come from ignorance of pain. Greatness comes from wrestling with pain, wresting with the injustices of the world. You cannot cheat death. Suffering will find you. Pain will find you. Death will find you. Do not run from suffering, how else could character form?"

"Yes, suffering forms character, suffering forms patience, suffering forms perseverance, joy, grace- all these beautiful parts of a human soul that cannot come into being any other way in this life. No, no- you see suffering is not the enemy. Sure it hurts. It hurts a lot sometimes. But so does giving birth. So does playing football. So does growing up. In this life, my friend, do not run from suffering. You'll be running from yourself."

For more info on Jon Foreman, visit the JFH Artists Database.



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