Fight For the Forgotten
Fight For the Forgotten embodies it's founder Justin Wren. He is someone who went from bully victim to elite MMA fighter, from addicted to drugs and alcohol to someone visiting prisons to help other victims, from a person suffering depression with no purpose to someone who found Christ and who's purpose is to bring a voice and change where others cannot (Pygmy's in the African Congo). His amazing story inspires and reminds all of us that it doesn't matter where we have been. The past is behind us and cannot be changed, but the future is ahead of us and whatever we make of it if we fight for it. Fight for Love, Fight for others who cannot, Fight for injustice in the world, Fight for the weak, Fight for those who have no voice, Fight for the Forgotten...
The Fight For the Forgotten tries to answer the below in the most logical, radical, and sustainable way:
- Defend the weak
- Love the unloved
- Empower the voiceless
This is Official Fight For the Forgotten Gi! The purpose behind this Gi is to support The Fight For the Forgotten's mission. The Pygmy's of the Congo are a people who have suffered greatly with no voice. Your contributions make a difference.This unique one of a kind Gi is available in two colors, WHITE AND BLUE.
The amazing detail and design is truly unique and was done by the Disciple Dojo. It not only reflects Justin’s love for the DRC (thus red, yellow and blue of that nation’s flag became the overall color scheme of the design), but also one that communicated his heart for the Pygmy villagers. The liner on the inside of the gi is an overhead view of one of the villages in the jungle where Justin lived, worked, and loved these beautiful people—where he was simply known as “Efeosa” (“The one who loves us”). He overlaid an image of Justin’s and one of the villagers’ hands grasping one another, as a symbol of the cooperative approach FFTF takes in empowering, rather than simply giving charity to, the Pygmies so that they can enjoy the dignity and self-worth that is the right of all people created in God’s image. And if you look closely you will see dozens of names within image. These are the names of Justin’s Pygmy family and friends, including little Andibo who Justin buried with his own hands.
Justin Wren's Story...
For the first 23 years of my life I became so-called successful at a young age. I was a 10x Texas State Champion, 5x All-American, and 2x National Champion Wrestler. I then started training for the Olympics in Greco Roman Wrestling as a resident athlete at the United States Olympic Education Center.
At 19 years old I turned pro in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts and left wrestling to pursue my childhood dream of becoming a UFC fighter. I was the youngest professional heavyweight on the most popular season of the SPIKE TV reality show The Ultimate Fighter. My childhood dream quickly became my reality.
Still, despite the “success” I personally felt like my life didn't have much value.
3 years, 3 months, and 13 days ago I had an experience that would alter my life forever. I encountered a great love, I discovered a great purpose, and I was given a great passion. The last two years I've found myself on an absolutely wild journey of actually trying to change this world for the better, at least part of it... Even if that means just changing the world for one person at a time.
When I changed what success for me meant, I found a life worth living. I discovered a life of value when I shifted my life from revolving around fighting against people to how I can best fight for people.
Seeking Answers: One of the things this blog will seek to answer are three questions I've been asking myself the last two years. I believe these are questions that will help us formulate winning game-plans in the fight for people. So, how can we best…
-DEFEND the weak?
-LOVE the unloved?
-EMPOWER the voiceless?
Mission: Finding the solution to these three questions in the most logical, radical, and sustainable way is the mission of Fight For The Forgotten. One of my hopes in starting this blog is that at least one reader will be inspired to really love someone who hasn’t yet known love. I hope that someone will stand up and defend a person or people that can’t defend themselves. I am hopeful that somebody will find the inspiration to be the voice of a man, woman, child… Or maybe even a whole people group that has no voice at all.
Vision: The Fight For The Forgotten (FFTF) vision is, “Overcoming oppression with an overwhelming love.” We want to see the worlds most oppressed be given a real chance and opportunity in life. We want to see them overcome. We want the worlds most desperate people to have an opportunity at a life they love instead of living a life they fear. Fight For The Forgotten plans to oppose oppression with overwhelming opportunity… And this blog is going to document it.
Reason: We believe that all people, regardless of race, religion, color, stature, and current circumstance deserve to be loved.
Love can be defined in many ways of course. The kind of love we are talking about however, is both practical & radical. Love is a verb. Love is an action. We have plans to deliver a love that people can feel, and a love that can change things for people who are in desperate need of it. We plan to take love to people living with the hardest cases, in the worlds toughest places.
The Forgotten Country: The Democratic Republic of Congo is currently the worlds poorest, and most unstable country on the planet.
(This woman not only survived being dismembered by a rebel wielding a machete, but also watching the rebel group cook and eat her arm.)
In the late 1800's and early 1900's the country was known as "the heart of darkness." The current state of Congo leaves the people of DRC to be ravaged by many different human atrocities. BBC has dubbed it “The Rape Capital of The World” and The New York Times calls it “The worst place in the world to be a woman.” All that and then stats say the Congo is currently suffering the worst conflict since World War II. You'll rarely ever see this hit the media though... Even still, many experts say the Congo has the GREATEST potential of any other country. The country is rich in resources and most of all, hopeful people. We will look more into this country that I love in greater detail in blogs to come.
The Forgotten People: The people we will continue this journey with are the Mbuti Pygmies in the second largest rainforest of the world, the war-torn jungle of Eastern Congo. The Pygmies just so happen to be my second family after they invited me in as family, and accepted me as one of them.
The Mbuti Pygmies are the most ancient society of nomadic hunter-gatherers and are one of the most peaceful tribes known to mankind, However, they experience the harshest inhumanities within Congo’s borders, and under the sun. They have been labeled unlovable, undesirable, and even untouchable... Animals. They are excluded from having the most universally accepted human rights. They are even denied their personhood. Schooling, citizenship, and basic medical care are not options for the Mbuti. Commonalities are waterborne disease, starvation, malaria, tuberculosis, slavery, rape, and HIV.
The UN has confirmed multiple acts of cannibalism against the tribe. BBC & CNN reported “Pygmy Meat” or flesh, is believed to contain magical powers when consumed. In recent years they have even been victims of cannibalism by neighboring tribes, witchdoctors, rebel groups, their own slavemasters and even government soldiers. Having been neglected, disrespected, and rejected for so long the Pygmies have now accepted a new identity of “The Forgotten People.”
Fight For The Forgotten's First Focus:
Our first focus will be loving the mess out of the Pygmies who probably suffer the absolute most on this planet. I am currently trying to get a visa for a year instead of having to come back to the states multiple times. We are making preparations to REALLY make some head way in overcoming the major oppression the Pygmies are suffering. Before I go, I am being trained on how to build eco-domes (earth-bag homes), how to did water wells by a hand crank system, and also looking into learning about aquaponics.
With limited resources our partners Shalom University (The Oldest University in Congo) and us have seen 98 acres be bought back for the Pygmies. We have seen nearly 150 men, women, and children be set FREE and placed on their OWN land. We have seen them learn how,` and then produce 4 harvest of corn and beans. We have put the first ever Pygmy from Eastern Congo in school with the "regular" kids from the slavemaster tribe. And we have a WHOLE bunch more planned… Like building them homes, building a school, teaching them to dig water wells, and even building the Pygmies their FIRST EVER hospital. This will be made possible because of a partnership with Project C.U.R.E. who is going to sponsor $500,000 in donated medicine and medical supplies!
This is us and a decent introduction to why this is a world-changing, planet-shaking, & history-making project.
Live to love. Love to live.
You can read more about Justin in his Sports Illustrated Article.