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Saturday Snips

James (in middle) Peter (left) and Greg Crawford, pastor of FBC Rosepine
James (in middle) Peter (left) and Greg Crawford, pastor of FBC Rosepine

Each Saturday we review our week in Africa.  As you read this, we’re (mostly) out of Internet reach in northern Uganda.  We’re on a survey trip among the refugee camps. Our goal is finding where people are (especially

our Unreached Groups from South Sudan) and assessing their needs.

Pray for the thousands who are hurting.

This is my favourite story as of now:

 

A lonely boy named James.

“I found him out here sleeping on the ground. He had no one.”

I glanced from the narrator to the young boy. He was maybe ten or eleven.”

“His name is James.” Peter, the narrator, swung his arm around the camp.  “He’s the only Anuak in the entire refugee camp.”

I thought of how far it is from the home of the Anuak people along the Ethiopian border to this area of NW Uganda. How did the boy get here? Does he even know?

Peter, a Dinka Bor, said, “My family took him in.  I don’t know how he got here or what happened to his parents, but he’s with us now.”

We’d only met Peter 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.

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 our country has also shown each tribe has demons and agents of hate.

I’ve decided to identify and chronicle the angels around us.  They don’t make the BBC News but have the better stories to share.

Last week, I visited in another Angel Home.  My Murle (another South Sudan tribe) friend 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.

 After spending two weeks with American pastor Tim Lee, I was reminded of two Louisiana angels I’ve always loved,  R.L. and Margie “Cooter” Willis.  These residents of Ten Mile Community raised over four hundred foster children including Tim.  Yep, an angel can even be named Cooter.  It’s right up there with Clarence Oddbody  ACS (Angel Second Class)

Angels around us.

Peter and his family plus Anuak James have probably arrived at Rhino Camp, the huge refugee camp on the west side of the Nile.  When I visit the Camp this week, I’m going to find them. Don’t tell me I can’t do it.  I’ve got their full names and am determined to follow their story.

I’m going to visit with the lonely Anuak boy who has been rescued by a Dinka Bor angel named Peter.

SS_Refugee_Flw_Jan2014ot 2014-01-27 at 3.47.02 PM

About Curt Iles

I write to have influence and impact through well-told stories of my Louisiana and African sojourn.

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