“Wow” Chapter 11 Trampled Grass

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INTRO   A word from Curt


It’s a word we hear often among refugees.  It’s the feeling that you (and your people group) don’t matter.

You’re overlooked.


Today’s post is about a group that feels very marginalized.

They are called the Murle and they are one of South Sudan’s most interesting tribes.
Daily, we’re posting chapters from our new ebook,  Trampled Grass.

If you enjoy the stories, please pass them on.

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Blessings on your journey.

Curt Iles
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Jovan and Jonah


We climbed out of the Land Cruiser as the red Ugandan dust rolled past. In the distance, about three kilometers away, was Boroli refugee camp.


The actual view from where Jovan was "Wow!"
The actual view from where Jovan said, “Wow!”

I turned to Jovan, one of our young church leaders, “Jovan, that’s Boroli Camp. The Lord may send you to be pastor of that camp.”

He stared a while before cutting his eyes at me. “Wow!”

I wonder if that was Jonah’s response when God told him to go to Nineveh. “Wow!”

As in “God, I can’t believe you want me to do that.”

Now Boroli Camp isn’t Nineveh but it stirred the same emotion of fear in Jovan. “Wow!” Here’s why:

Boroli is the most unique of the clusters that make up what is called Adjumani Camp. It consists of twelve tribes, with the Murle being in the majority. All of the other camps are mainly Dinka.

The UN wisely knows to separate the Dinka from the others. They don’t play well together.

Their main tribal rivals, the Nuer, are across the Nile at Rhino Camp. Refugee

Camp experts understand that the world’s greatest river is needed to separate the Dinka and Nuer.

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But there are no Dinka or Nuer at Boroli Camp. The Murle are capable of creating enough trouble on their own.

I love the Murle but they are South Sudan’s most misunderstood and feared tribe. They have an unfair reputation as baby-stealers and always ready for a fight.

This week had been a tragic one at Boroli Camp. Several Murle refugees and local Madi had been killed in clashes. It began over a football (soccer) game that went awry. You could sense the tension in the local community.

Boroli Camp was off limits during that time.

That’s why my statement that God might send Jovan (a Madi) to a Murle camp elicited that one-word response that spoke volumes.



We are asking you to place Boroli on your prayer list:

Pray for peace in the camp.

  1. Pray that Jovan will be faithful to however God leads his life. My statement was in jest but I’m serious in about how obedience to God may lead us anywhere. Need I say, “Dry Creek to South Sudan?”

I express it this way: Ready to Go/Content to Stay. It’s all about following Him.

Everything else is just geography . . . and a willing heart.

Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 4.23.54 PM2.   Pray for Augustin and Mario who have started a Baptist preaching point in Boroli 1 and its sister camp, Boroli 2. These two young men are living in the Camp. On a recent visit, one of the Murle told us, “These men have come to live with us. They are drinking the same water we are.”


 3.  Pray for Juliet, a friend of DeDe’s who is a person of peace in Boroli. Pray also for positive tribal leadership and inclusion in the Camp.


4.  Pray for our Chadan Engagement Team that we’ll wisely know when and if to work in


 5. Pray for Albert, a Madi who oversees the camp on behalf of the Ugandan government. He emotionally shared about that week’s killing, “They killed one of my refugees.” This Madi bureaucrat took it personally that a Murle under his watch care had died.

 6.  Pray for John K., a Murle church planter I’ve come to know. He’s starting a new church in Juba, the capital of South Sudan. John is very concerned about his mother and family who are stranded in a refugee camp in Ethiopia.


You’re invited to hear an inspiring message on Jonah by my Dry Creek pastor, Charlie Bailey.

All I can say is “Wow!” Pray daily.

Pray deeply.

Pray for Boroli Camp.
Parting Question:  What “People Group” in your part of the world are stereotyped and marginalized?


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