Thursday, July 14, 2011

U2 + The US Campaign for Burma

On July 2nd, Rusty & I, our Thailand partners, Ray & Candace Ward, two of our new board members for The Sound of Hope (and dear friends) Annah Grace & Shelley,  and several other friends (Jefforey, Jake, & Sean) got the incredible opportunity to volunteer with the US Campaign for Burma at the U2 concert in Nashville, TN.

We spent the day raising awareness for the human rights abuses happening in Burma, and urging people to take action on behalf of those suffering.

There's a reason we all came together to volunteer for this cause. What's happening in Burma is more than just a random injustice to us. This cause is close to our hearts because of the Karen refugee children we care for in Thailand who have fled Burma. So we were thrilled to find out that Bono, the lead singer of U2 and an outspoken human rights activist, is a staunch supporter of of Aung San Suu Kyi and the US Campaign for Burma!

Check out the video below to see highlights from our day. You'll also see some great shots of the U2 Concert, including Bono's response to Aung San Suu Kyi's release from house arrest! (Click here to see a larger version of the video in HD.)

We are still in shock over how close we were to the stage! Because we volunteered all day, we were invited to watch the concert for FREE! Little did we know we'd be escorted to the "Red Zone" (the section right beside the stage! The tickets for that section were $300 per person!) Bono was right there!

I have so much respect for Bono. He's on my short list of people I'd like to meet before I die.  He has used his fame and influence to raise so much money and awareness for people suffering in poverty and injustice. He's also one of very few "secular" celebrities that preaches the gospel in word and deed. He's not afraid (or ashamed) to tell us what we should be doing for "the least of these".  If you haven't read his book On the Move - I would definitely recommend that you pick up a copy! It's the transcription of his speech at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC, in 2006, and it's illustrated by photographs he took on his first trip to Ethiopia in 1986.  It's a short but powerful read.

Hearing him share about the plight of the Burmese people with a crowd of over 44,000 people - and having them all lift their hands to pray - that was an incredible experience! It was also amazing to hear - in person - just how many scriptural references are in his songs. He even sang a beautiful rendition of "Amazing Grace" during the show!


We were also really excited about the fact that we made the Nashville News! What's happening in Burma rarely, if ever, makes the news here in America. This was a great opportunity to raise awareness! WZTV - FOX 17 reporter Eric Alvarez interviewed me and agreed to sign our petition! You can see that video HERE (I'm at the 2 minute mark).

To see more pictures from this event, check out our album on Flickr.
To find out more about what's happening in Burma, read this blog.

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