Can Joseph O’Connor Catch Joseph Kony?

Can Joseph O’Connor, a 15 year old teenager from San Clemente, California catch Joseph Kony? Watch the new Invisible Children Kony 2012 video and you just might find yourself voting for Joseph O and the millions of other teenagers just like him. But really, can a 15 year old really catch Joseph Kony? I say, “Why not?” David slew Goliath, who I’m sure was much taller than Joseph Kony. Just two days ago, Joseph watched the Invisible Children video and now he’s on a freaking manhunt. This powerful video inspired, outraged and moved him so much that he’s taking on the Uganda warlord by galvanizing a small army behind him.  I love it. The video instantly went viral and in three days, at last count, it’s already at 40 million hits on Youtube. If you haven’t seen it, it is well worth the next 30 minutes of your life.  Watch the video and read what Joseph O is up to…

Instead of simply watching the video and moving onto another Youtube skateboard video, Joseph put his new inspiration into action by forming the San Clemente Cover the Night group on Facebook coming up on April 20. Though the Invisible Children video doesn’t cover all the facts surrounding Kony’s ruthless campaign of terror, the history of Lord’s Republican Army and where he currently is, it is a brilliant depiction of blending film, creativity and social action. I am all for what promotes justice, compassion, and the overcoming of evil, especially when it comes to building that kind of character in the lives of my sons and daughters.

I love the mission statement on the Invisible Children website: Invisible Children uses film, creativity and social action to end the use of child soldiers in Joseph Kony’s rebel war and restore LRA-affected communities in central Africa to peace and prosperity. The Kony 2012 video has created no small amount of controversy in the few days it has been out, but by that measure alone, it shows how much they have awakened the youth of American and people all over the world. This social media campaign has clearly demonstrated what a few young people can do with film cameras, computers and hearts ready to stand against injustice.

This video and Joseph’s leap from inspiration to action prompted me to ask myself a few questions…if you have children, maybe some of these questions might resonate with you…

  • How do I model to my children the biblical priorities and practice of justice, compassion, mercy and social action?
  • Have I taken the time to show my children in scripture how Christ lived out these qualities through the people he served?
  • Do I say, “Yeah, yeah, that’s all good,” but not practice these qualities of love and justice in my own life?
  • How am I making a difference in my world locally and globally?
  • Do my kids really get that “faith and works” are two sides of the same coin? Because I am a Christ follower, good works will flow out of who I am in Christ. James said it quite clearly: Faith without works is dead. And who wants a dead faith?

Have any of you been wondering the same thing? I want my son to live large. I want him to catch a killer. Or at least be part of a movement that does…

I’m proud of you son.

Questions: What are you thoughts about the Kony 2012 video? How did it move or inspire you? As a family, how do you practice caring for the oppressed, the sick, the poor and those who can’t fight on their own?

Click here to join Joseph and his friends for the San Clemente Cover the Night on April 20.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, snarky or off-topic.

  • Wackyrr

    Joey, I have been a big fan of Invisible Children for a long time., and as the advisor the Christian club at the High School I uses to teach at, we held a number of fund raising events for IC. I sat with my two kids today and watched the video we had all heard so much about and we were inspired. There has been quite a buzz at the middle school I now teach at, and my daughter attends. My 12 year old and I will work with the other student leaders of the Christian club on our campus to rally students to embrace and support Kony 2012. it is my hope and prayer that we, as a Christian club, will be able to freely challenge students to look at what has been happening in Uganda through God’s lenses.

    The truth is that Kony, not unlike our world, has captured the lives of the worlds students threatening the quality of life God has for them.

    • Joey O’Connor

       Yes, it has been a wild couple weeks for Invisible Children. All in all, the question I keep coming back to, in incredibly complex problems like this, how can we do the greatest good? I’m amazed at how people (though I’m not really that amazed) love to stand on the sidelines to critique instead of doing something that makes a tangible difference in the world.

      Many critics can “tell” or “point out” but never “do”…

      That’s wonderful, Roger, that you are working with your 12 year and other kids…actually doing something to make this world a better place!

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