With heavy hearts, our Invisible Children family pauses this week to honor and grieve the loss of one of our own, Sarah Joann Alleman, who tragically passed away on Sunday. Sarah, a Roadie during our Fall ’08 tour, was hit by a motorcyclist on Saturday in Grand Rapids, MI, and died from her injuries the following day. She was only 23 years old.
Lisa Dougan, her team leader during her time on the road with IC, had this to say:
Four years ago, when she was only 19, I had the privilege of managing Sarah and her Roadie teammates — Cynthia, Blaise, Wes, and Josh — as they traveled up and down the east coast of the United States, talking with young Americans of the atrocities of the LRA and inviting them to be a part of the story of seeing them ended.
Sarah joined Invisible Children fresh out of high school, a shy — yet determined — young woman. She had a quiet strength and gentleness about her that was tangible…and disarming. Mature beyond her years, Sarah was also deeply intentional and thoughtful about her faith, which was foundational to her desire to pursue justice and peace for families in central Africa experiencing Joseph Kony’s violence.
And anyone that spent more than ten minutes with Sarah would quickly learn that she almost always had a camera on hand. Whether by choice or intuition (probably a little bit of both), she saw beauty in the world that the rest of us tend to overlook and she found joy in capturing it through the lens of her camera. According to family and friends, the accident that took Sarah’s life happened at the end of what seemed like a perfect day. She had spent most of Saturday at an event for local artists where she had a chance to showcase some of her work.
Until the very end, Sarah was courageously pursuing her passion — and we couldn’t be more proud of her. She chose to live a life that adds beauty to the world, both in the art she created and by how spaciously she loved others. At such a young age, Sarah had a lot to teach all of us.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Sarah’s family and friends. On behalf of Cynthia, Blaise, Wes, Josh, and the rest of the Invisible Children family: Sarah, thank you for living a life that demands an explanation. We love you and will never forget you.
Blessed are the peacemakers.