Friday, December 9, 2011

with liberty bound together,

            I remember so clearly that moment when I was standing in the IDP camp in Gulu, Uganda when I had the thought, the thought that would define the course of my life.  I remember the exact place I was standing, what I was wearing, what I was holding when I thought it. 
“I have to do something. I can’t just let it all happen anymore.”
My heart hasn’t forgotten that hot and humid day in June and when I returned back to the States, Jesus immediately let me start pursuing justice and hence, fulfilling the promise I made to myself.  It’s humorous to look back now and wallow over the memories of when my friend Luke first told me about Invisible Children.  He was so excited and kept saying how we needed to help, needed to show the film, and so on and so forth.  Well, I finally bought into his dream after returning from Uganda for the first time and started working with others, putting on benefit concerts to raise money for this non-profit that was working tirelessly to end the longest running war in Africa.  As the years went on and I returned back to Africa again, my heart became more and more bonded to the cause and this last summer I was invited to attend the Fourth Estate; a justice conference held by Invisible Children in San Diego.  Over those four days I sat and listened to the world’s most passionate activists and caught the infectious dream of a world alive with peace.  Jesus did something to my heart sitting in the auditorium of USD and even now as I try to adequately describe it all with words, I find myself at a loss.  It was deep and profound, so much so that when I was on the plane flight home, I wrote in my journal that I felt more alive than I ever had in my whole life. 
When I started to follow Jesus with my whole life, He gave me a heart to tell everyone about Him.  A desire to see people come to know Him, but He also gave me a desperate plea for justice.  My vision and my heart’s eternal and final cry is for the Great Commission to be fulfilled and hopefully, by the grace of God, I will be able to help serve that dream come true by going to reach the unreached soon.  But for this moment, He has placed me in Fayetteville, Arkansas to glorify Him.  And my earnest prayer is that this last semester, I was able to do just that.  I’ve met some incredible people and been able to invest in phenomenal relationships.  He has blessed me with the most amazing group of guys to call my family, d-wing in Humphreys hall and some other friends who have there to laugh with me, cry with me, pray with me, and live with me.  I have fallen in love with this campus and the wonderful human beings who walk next to me. A group of monumental world changers who aren’t afraid to dance on Dickson in banana suits and who are willing to risk everything just so children in Uganda, who they have never met, may have a chance to live.  I have learned so much about what it means to love and to live astonished. 
A couple of months ago the idea of being a roadie with Invisible Children crept into my mind and wouldn’t leave.  A roadie is someone who goes on tour, in a van, around the United States showing an Invisible Children film at different high schools and colleges to not only raise awareness but let people get involved.  My life has been so deeply affected by these roadies and I knew that if I were one then I would have the chance to radically challenge the youth of America to see that the world is bigger than them, that the world is bigger than America.  Being a roadie is a unique position where you can do justice day in and day out.  So I applied.
This last month I have been in prayer and others have been praying for me on whether or not I should go be a roadie with Invisible Children or stay here in Fayetteville.  I can honestly say that from the beginning of the process I have had a strange and divine peace about the entire thing.  Throughout all of the interviews and even the phone call telling me whether I was going to be a roadie or not, I had no anxiety.   I knew that if Jesus wanted me to stay here in Fayetteville next semester and continue to labor with the specific people I have come to love, then I would indeed stay here.  I also knew that if He wanted me to travel and be a roadie, then I would go. 
Next week when all of the students from the University of Arkansas leave for Christmas break, I will be moving out of my dorm for the year.  I will be preparing to leave Arkansas and arrive in San Diego January 9th to begin this new chapter in my life of being a roadie with Invisible Children. 
My heart is torn.  Since I found out and have started to tell people, it has been an almost painful thing walking throughout campus and thinking I won’t be here in the Spring.  It has been astronomically hard to walk up and down my dorm hallway and know that I won’t be here to deepen my friendship with those guys even further.  I don’t really understand the timing of it all but to give a little background, I am planning to study Arabic here at the University and once I start, I cannot take a break.  So if I were to stay here and start Arabic then I wouldn’t be able to be a roadie with Invisible Children until I graduate and I am very prayerful that by that time, the Lord will have given me the green light to go to the unreached.  So the fact that this was my one chance and the fact that I got accepted is Jesus saying as clear as day to me that it’s time to go.  It time to jump. 
It’s time to leave and travel and learn to love and learn to follow and to grow even further in my understanding of what it means to dance in joy and sorrow.  I will be able to share my plea for justice with thousands of students and try with all of my might to let them catch the dream of our liberty being bound with the liberty of children in Uganda, of the man in the slums of Mumbai, and the widow in Beijing. 
My heart is full and ready to go, to follow Jesus where He has me going and to experience Him in a way that I never have before.  To pursue justice and tell everyone about the Grace that has found me and given me breath.  I am at last, risking the ocean.

 with liberty bound together,


  1. This is brilliant. Congratulations, big brother! I am so happy for you.

  2. dude. this is wild. I love it so much, bro. I can honestly say I know exactly how you feel -- though, when I started this journey to France, I was totally driven by things that had nothing to do with Christ. however, I did know that if all fell into place, and that if doors opened, God had me here for a purpose. many things have happened, but I'm so 100% sure that God put me for a reason, that seeing you so sure fills me up, brother. God put me here in France to change some lives, and see and feel the sorrowful lives these people live; God has put you in an incredible position to throw kids' lives out of there comfort zones.

    so proud of you, brother. I'll be praying hard for you man. keep it up.

  3. Dear Chris,

    Your heart for Christ has always inspired me, and I am so excited God has given you this opportunity to go inspire so many others! You'll make a perfect roadie, and I know that, by God's grace, many hearts will be broken and many eyes opened to the truth. Remember always to keep the Cross at the center of all you do. Love you, kid!

    Tali Rose