A word from Curt
Daily, we’re posting chapters from our new ebook, Trampled Grass.
If you enjoy the stories, please pass them on.
You can download the entire book as a PDF at www.creekbank.net or as a Snippet App for easy reading on your tablet or phone.
Trampled Grass will be available soon on Amazon.
Our companion video, “We’re All in This Together” is available for viewing at our You Tube Channel.
We’ll be posting about this week’s journey on Facebook/Twitter at #goChadan
Blessings on your journey.
Chapter 8 Trampled Grass
It’s a word I’ve always had trouble pronouncing.
It means having no one to protect you. You’re on your own.
Not only that, but you have no advocate—no one who is stronger, older, or more powerful to defend you.
In fact, being vulnerable means you are at the mercy of all of the above. Nowhere is vulnerability more visible than in a refugee camp. These are the most vulnerable, and this is how you can pray for them.
- Children and Teens All children face a difficult existence in a camp. None more so than the group called “unaccompanied minors.”
It’s the term for children who arrived without a parent or even an adult. They may truly be orphans. Their parents may be dead.
Or they have been separated in the chaos and fighting surrounding their homes.
Anuak James with his “father” Peter. Also shown Pastor Greg Crawford of First Baptist Rosepine LA
I think about James.
No one knew his story. Simply that he was alone.
Happily, he was “adopted” by fellow refugee Peter and his Dinka family.
We asked Peter, “Why did you take him in when you’ve got your own problems and large family? He’s not even from your tribe.”
He shrugged. “I found him out here sleeping on the ground. He had no one. We couldn’t allow him to go on like that.”
Anuak Region along South Sudan and Ethiopian border
I glanced from Peter the narrator to the young boy who was maybe ten or eleven.
Peter nodded. ”His name is James and he’s the only Anuak in the entire refugee camp.
“We’d only met this Dinka man thirty minutes ago but already I’d formed an opinion.
He is a man of peace—a leader of the current refugees at the border camp.Another hero.
I don’t think it’s too much to suspect he might really be an angel.
People who take in strangers in the midst of their own troubles certainly are angelic in my humble opinion.I grinned at the irony.
Everyone warns us, “Stay away from those Dinka. They’re bad people.
“I’ve found that each tribe has angels. Sadly, the unraveling of South Sudan has shown how each tribe also has demons and agents of hate.
Angels take in the Jameses of the world to save them. The demons take them and turn them into child soldiers.
How to Pray: Pray for mercy, protection, and provision for all of the children without parents. Pray that families may be reunited.Pray that caring believers in the camps as well as local communities will take these children under their wings.
Pray for the child-headed households. These are usually siblings or cousins traveling together who are led by an older sibling.
Pray for the teen boys. There are hundreds of young men in there fugee camps. Most were in school, speak reasonably good English, and want to move ahead. Their dreams have been shattered by the war. There are no schools in the camp and they face a bleak future.
Pray that Christian believers will step forward to disciple and mentor them. Many of our best, current South Sudanese pastors came to faith in Christ as refugees.
Idle Teen Boys “We want to be back in school.”
- Elderly. There are numerous older adults on whom the refugee journey has taken a horrible toll. Many do not have adequate shelter, bedding, and personal hygiene items.There are dozens of blind elderly due to cataracts.
Because of the vast numbers in the camps, the elderly easily can slip through the safety net.
How to Pray: Pray for basic needs of the elderly to be met. Pray that many will see the love of Christ and receive the peace that passes all understanding.
- Pregnant Women. There are over 1000 pregnant women in the camps of northern Uganda. Many will give birth in the camps in less than ideal conditions. In one Camp, we watched a woman,surrounded by other women, giving birth under a mango tree.
How to Pray: Pray that “Momma Kits” for pregnant women will be available as provided through local churches.
4.The Traumatized. So many people of all ages have seen horror and tragedy in the previous months. Some have seen loved ones killed. Others have fled with only their lives. The camps are primarily comprised of women and children. The men have stayed behind or returned to salvage their homes or join the fighting. The families in camp live with daily uncertainty. Many are carrying deep emotional scars.