The most amazing, inspiring "David" I know is a thirty-something Nigerian woman. She is my hero. I do not want her to stand and fight alone.
When I published Obianuju ("Uju") Ekeocha's Open Letter to Melinda Gates and a follow-up last year, she was a stranger. Now, I call her friend. It is humbling, an honor. Not only because she is beautiful inside and out (she has more grace, humility, dignity, intelligence, and wisdom in her little pinkie than I have in my whole body), but because she is courageous in a way that should inspire the rest of us.
Sweet Uju was minding her own business, not looking for any trouble, home from a long day at the lab in England where she works as a scientist, when she happened to see Melinda Gates being interviewed on CNN, discussing her "non-controversial" project to flood Africa (and African women) with billions of dollars of contraceptive pills, injectables, and devices. It set something off inside Uju's soul, and though she wanted to, she could not remain silent. That night, she prayed a rosary and she wrote. She has not stopped writing, and speaking out, since.
Recently, on the Feast of St. Josephine Bakhita and under her patronage, Uju launched the site, Culture of Life Africa, whose mission is to
passionately preserve and promote, through good information, this Culture of Life and Civilization of Love. It's hope and commitment is to present the real image of Africa, especially that of the African woman, who is valiant in motherhood even as she is vibrant in her deep faith in God Almighty who fills her heart with splendorous light and love of life.Our little "David" has also inspired a ground-breaking event in Nigeria: Her bishop has asked her to organize a full pro-life conference! This request understandably sent her reeling, as she has no experience in putting on such a conference, and had no idea where or how to start. Looking to America (as the pro-life stronghold in the western world), she was soon working in collaboration with our own Nicole at Mom and Then Some (president of Delaware Right to Life; wife and mommy extraordinaire). The conference is set for May 30 - June 1.
This outside help is so important, for as Uju has said: "We don't have any good pro-life advocacy in place in most African countries and so we really are not prepared at all for this move by Melinda to plant the seeds of the Culture of Death."
If you don't want Uju to stand alone to fight the Goliath bearing down, you can help with your Lenten prayers and sacrifices. And since Lent calls us to extra almsgiving as well, I will make you aware of a very important need, if this conference is to be a success:
Human Life International's Brian Clowes, a pro-life heavyweight with years of experience and expertise to impart to the Nigerian people, is set to be a speaker. But unlike the other side -- which could fly every contraception peddler and abortion pusher to Africa on private jets if desired -- there is no money for his airfare. Once (if) he gets to Africa, he will be hosted by the diocese, but they cannot afford to fly him out. Two donors have already paid for about half his flight, but we still need the other $600 to $700 that is needed to cover Mr. Clowes' ticket.
They have $4.6 BILLION.
We scramble to find a few dollars for one airline ticket.
But that's okay. We can do a lot with a little. It's how God rolls, and we expect to be the underdog. He assured us we would be.
You know what's next, dear, smart readers: If anyone feels led to contribute toward Mr. Clowes' trip to Africa, perhaps even a very small amount for Lenten almsgiving, please let me know, and I will put you in touch with Nicole. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I think we can do this, and I am pretty sure that any donors to this cause will be blessed beyond words!
Should there be funds that go over what is needed for the ticket, they will be used to secure a speaker from Birthright International, who will teach African citizens how to start up pregnancy resource centers for women in crisis.
Let's help our "David", our Uju, on her God-inspired (and slightly terrifying) mission, which she never in a million years expected to be on.
Pray for her.
Spread the news about Culture of Life Africa.
"Like" it on Facebook.
And pray for her beautiful continent and its beautiful people.
Oh, and by the way, you will love Uju's latest article, rebutting the critics of Pope Benedict: