Third Annual Sudanese Freedom Walk Saturday, June 22, 2013
The weather was fabulous and the turnout was wonderful…Every year the participation increases and more slaves are purchased into FREEDOM.
Marta Burton (Music for Humanity): http://www.martaburton.com/wp2/ sang spirituals and Simon talked about being stolen into slavery at age nine. At one point he had to stop talking from the overwhelming emotions remembering his enslavement. When he was able to speak again, he told of how he was given as a “gift.” He also spoke so eloquently about his love of his adopted country, the USA, and the freedoms he has now. (See his talk in the video below the photos.)
If you weren’t able to participate in the Walk, would you consider making a gift to buy a person out of slavery? $50 buys the life of a fellow human being. Yes, you read correctly: Giving a slave owner a mere $50 is enough to induce him to sell one of his slaves.
All the proceeds are used to buy freedom for fellow human beings. Please read the detailed message below from our friend Rona and learn more about the event and how you can help...If you were unable to be there in person, perhaps you can make a contribution. Remember, no amount is too small ~ small gifts joined together still save lives!
ANY amount adds up and is a life-giving gift. Here is a direct link to make your secure donation: On the donations page, in the section labeled “Optional Comment (if this gift is in honor or memory of someone, please indicate below - and include address for acknowledgment):”Please putDenver Sudan Freedom Walk https://secure.acceptiva.com/?cst=d12b8d
EVERY donation you are able to make will change the lives of people enslaved in the Sudan by granting, through your generosity, their freedom and return HOME.
MESSAGE from Rona:
Dear Friends and Fellow Abolitionists:
Becca Bretz, the Freedom Walk founder, Pastor Heidi, who has been traveling, and will continue to travel, to Sudan to personally escort slaves into freedom, and Simon Deng, a former Sudanese slave, were some of the folks who spoke at the event. Becca is a very inspiring young lady ~
Simon Deng has been a friend of mine and Mark's for almost ten years. He stayed at our home while he was in Colorado. He is such an admirable person - rather than just enjoying his freedom and getting on with his life, he travels and speaks all over the world to promote human rights.
Without Becca, Pastor Heidi, and each of you, over 350 slaves would still be in captivity and NOT home with family, church, community and their new free nation, the Republic of South Sudan.
Sometimes you may feel that you are only one and what can one person do? Well, Becca is only one and look how she has brought us together and let me tell you…you are not only one. You are THE ONE to make a difference and together we can eradicate slavery.
Photos ~ 2013 Free for Fifty Walk
Simon and Becca Leading the Walk
Left to right: Justin Agueil, President of the Denver South Sudanese community, Arok, Becca, Pastor Heidi, Kamal with son Ziryab, Simon, and Omhagain. ~ photo by Rona ~
Pastor Heidi with Simon
Marta Burton Leading the Group in Song
Simon ~ Holds the Flags of America and the Republic of South Sudan
Jim and Geri with Simon
Jim and Princess
Throughout the Event a Budding Young Photographer was spotted...
Video from Rona ~ Published on Jun 24, 2013
Simon Deng, enslaved as a child in Sudan, addresses an abolitionist fundraiser in Lakewood, Colorado, June 22, 2013. Rebeca Bretz, the founder/director of the event, is a teenage girl who, when she learned that slavery still exists, decided she had to do something about it. The event raised enough money to liberate almost 300 human beings from chattel slavery. More at FreeForFifty.com.
Rev. Heidi McGinness, Director of Outreach for Christian Solidarity International-USA, and Simon Deng have been in Sudan together several times releasing slaves and returning them home through CSI and the South Sudanese Underground Railroad.
Simon Deng is a human rights activist. He grew up in South Sudan, and at nine years old was captured into slavery during a raid of his village and taken to northern Sudan. After escaping slavery, he worked as a messenger in the Sudanese parliament and later became the long-distance swimming champion of Sudan. In 1990, he moved to the United States. After years of hiding his past, Simon read an article in The New York Times detailing how slaves could still be bought for $10 and has since committed himself to telling his story and advocating for justice. In March 2006 he launched the Sudan Freedom Walk, trekking 300 miles from United Nations headquarters in New York City to Washington DC to call for an end to slavery and genocide in Sudan. The walk culminated in a meeting at the White House with President Bush. In May 2006, Deng embarked on a fact-finding and humanitarian aid mission in South Sudan and Darfur, where he met with leading southern Sudanese officials, including the President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir. http://www.ushmm.org/genocide/bio/?content=deng_simon
Each of the liberated slaves is interviewed, and some of their devastating stories are available to read at this tumblr site: csi-usa.tumblr dot com
"Free for Fifty" because for $50 you can free a slave. Yes, YOU! The Arab slave owners are willing to trade a slave for about $50 worth of cattle vaccine. Donate at the FreeForFifty web site.
Liberated slaves are reunited with family members, if any still survive ~ in the raids, the villages are generally destroyed and everyone not taken as a slave is murdered ~ or else they are reunited with their tribes, or leaders of their religious affiliation. They are also given provisions, e.g.: tarp, water bottle, grains, a goat.
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