A mother sends her son to
More than two decades ago,
a mother in Akon, Sudan
kissed her son goodbye
and begged his uncles to see him safely out of their country.
Many southern Sudanese were being slaughtered by the government militia
intent on persecuting Christians and animists of the south.
The two uncles and
the boy joined a huge exodus
of between 30 and 40 thousand persons fleeing Sudan.
At the edge of a river which flowed between them and the safety of
the Sudanese militia caught up with them.
With machine guns and hand grenades,
they massacred all but about 500 persons.
Escape to Ethiopia
One of the uncles was killed there.
The boy and the other uncle lay as if dead until the militia
Still shaking with terror, the uncle and the nephew clung to each
as they scrambled across the river on the bloody bodies of the dead
where they had fallen into the water like stepping stones.
Fearing for their lives, they traveled by night and slept by day.
After days of nothing to eat but tree leaves,
the boy began to cry and told his uncle he could not go on.
An uncle's prayer
The uncle knew they
must keep going because he had promised the boy's mother
that he would see her son to safety.
The uncle prayed to God to take his life but spare his nephew’s.
The next day he was
killed in an ambush.
The boy went on alone and eventually spent eleven years
in refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya
before being selected to come to the United States in 1995.
This “Lost Boy of Sudan,” Akot Lual Arec, would later write:
“I believe that God saved me that day and kept me
going all those years
in order to return and help the people in my homeland,
including my sister who was abducted for five years
and the family of my brother who died suddenly of some mysterious
because there was no medical facility to help him.”
Founding JumpStart Sudan
Akot earned his GED at Johnson County Community College
before becoming a U.S. citizen in August of 2002,
but he never quit thinking about his people back in Sudan
and their desperate needs.
In 2002, Akot worked with Dale Edwards to form JumpStart Sudan
and has since led four mission trips to Akon.
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Arec or Back to