“Lost Boys Remix” Ch 17 from Trampled Grass







A word from Curt


It’s the opposite of lost.

The story below is about the Lost Boys of South Sudan.


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Curt Iles


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Chapter 17

Lost Boys Remix

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I’ve never seen you look like this without a reason,

Another promise fallen through, another season passes by you.

–Big Country”



They were called the Lost Boys and their story took place during the latter years of the 20th Century.

A generation of young men in South Sudan who walked across their country to freedom in the refugee camps of Kenya and Ethiopia.

Some had lost their families in the war.

Others were one too many mouths to feed and were sent away.

Lost Boys

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  The best book on the Lost Boys is God Grew Tired of Us by John Bul Dau.


The following stories come from the present. Stories of modern Lost Boys (and girls).

Best of all, it sheds light on the heroes who took them into their homes and hearts.

Lost boys who were found.

A house full of lost boys and girls I sat in the dimly lit apartment. My Murle friend John introduced his own four children, then his three nephews/nieces living with him. “We still don’t know where their parents are.”

Next he pointed out three more children, “These were the children of my best friend. When he and their mother were killed, we took them in.”

Angels. Among the Murle, a tribe with a fearsome reputation among their neighbors.

 John Murle

        An angel named Murle John

A Lost Boy in Kampala I sat at the Refugee Office for the Ugandan Government in Kampala, our nation’s capital. I’m waiting to see an official who can open the door for continued work in the refugee camps across northern Uganda.

The packed room is full of mostly Somalians. From the crowd of brown skins, I pick out a young man from my country. He’s South Sudanese.

I sit by him. “What part of South Sudan are you from?”

“Bor in Jonglei State.”

I wonder how many Bor County residents are now in Uganda. I’ve met so many in the camps. Some are Dinka. Others are Nuer. All are hurting and homeless.

They call the Sudanese young man’s name. I ask where he’s going next. “I have no idea.”
I look for hope in his eyes. A hope for the future.

A hope for South Sudan.

I see a glimmer.

I wave as he leaves.

Another Lost Boy from the land of divided rivers.

A land the prophet Isaiah called “smooth, dark, tall, and fearsome.”


“The Lost Boy” I met today didn’t walk to Kampala. He probably rode a bus or lorry (truck) to get here.

I still believe I saw that glint of strength. Two thoughts reverberate in my mind:

  1. South Sudanese are resilient. They have been toughened by decades of civil war, oppression from their Arab neighbours to the north, and conditions of famine.
  2. Secondly, the trouble in South Sudan is a spiritual battle. Only last night I read of rebels killing church workers—male and female—during one of the battles in Bor.

There is a battle between evil and good in that country. I do not think it’s overreaching to call the killing, raping, and chaos the work of Satan. Jesus called him “a thief who comes to kill, steal, and destroy.” He’s doing a pretty good job of that presently. Sadly, I’ve followed his footsteps in lots of places in Africa: Rwanda, Congo, Liberia, South Africa, and now South Sudan.

From listening to people who were present, there was plenty of evil on each side of the present conflict.

Additionally, stories abound of Christian kindness crossing across tribal lines.

It’s a battle for the soul of a nation.

We’ve even seen within our South Sudan team. Every difficulty andobstacle possible has been thrown in our paths. We’ve lost valuable team members during these past months. Every step forward is often followed by one or two back.

It’s all a reminder that we’re in a spiritual battle. We wrestle not against flesh and blood.

I believe prayer– the prayers of Jesus-followers the world over– can make a difference in this battle.

I have to believe that good—my — win and I want to be on His side.

A Lost Boy in Ten Mile, Louisiana Don’t be fooled: Lost Boys can be found in America. I recently spent two weeks with one.

I’m not sure what brought Tim Lee into the Foster Care system in Louisiana. I simply know that twenty years ago, he ended up in the home of two angels named R.L. and Margie “Cooter” Willis.

Yep, an angel can even be named Cooter. It’s right up there with Clarence Oddbody ACS (Angel Second Class.)

The Willis family have raised over four hundred foster children including Tim, who is a pastor and advocate for foster care. A Louisiana lost boy who was rescued and given a new life.

Yes, Lost Boys are found all around us. So are the angels who take them in.

Make their tribe increase.

Here’s a very personal story on ways you can help in America.

We encourage you to explore the opportunities for foster child care in America. It’s a way of being involved right where you are. Learn more


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