Today I was reading an article in our paper called: Lost No More.
If you get a chance, please read it; it’ll bring you back a few years. For me, it brought me back to high school.
I will never forget when some of the Sudan refugees (who were now fostered by local families) started to attend our high school. At that point in my life, I didn’t realize fully the life they had just come from. The experiences they had experienced. The struggles in life that led to their being in West Michigan. One of my friends and I started to talk with them and soon befriended them. There was definitely a language barrier, but they were patient with us, as we were patient with them. I remember wondering what questions to ask. I didn’t want to ask anything that would cause horrible memories to come back. I will never forget one time one of them said they were going through a river and a crocodile (I think) killed one of their brothers or sisters. Lions were on the prowl – the same sort of thing this man in the newspaper experienced. It’s making me cry just thinking about that – IMAGINE. Just sit and think about that for a second – being chased by lions; swimming across a river and seeing your brother or sister not make it across. Literally running for freedom. Imagine having to do that right now. I remembered wondering if talking about what they went through was okay. To know for sure, I never will. They never showed much emotion – I wondered how? After all they had been through? Were they emotionally numb? I wish I realized back then TRULY what they had went through.
I remember them writing me letters with different swahili vocabulary words :). We would sit during lunchtime teaching each other our languages. I remember them laughing amongst each other as I was trying to figure out what they were saying – sometimes we just had to plainly give up, or try to write it on paper. Really it was rather hilarious! I’m glad we could just laugh about it. I remember them asking about homework. I remember them walking down the hall and just smiling and doing a handshake when I saw them. I would love to know where they are in life. I would love to know the road God has led them on since then. I will never know.
Reading that article today (it was in the Sunday paper, but we get it “3rd hand”), really brought back a lot of memories. Knowing some guys who had gone through what this gentleman had gone through, really tugged on one of my heartstrings.
Praise God for the freedom we have in America! Even more so, may our lives be a reflection of the freedom we have in Christ!