“We Stand Amazed” Chapter 1 of Trampled Grass

A word from Curt
A word from Curt










A word from Curt


It’s become one of our favorite words over here.

It goes along with another well-used interjection.


In the coming weeks, we’re sharing chapters of our just released ebook, Trampled Grass.



Pay Attention. Be Astonished. Tell Others. –Mary Oliver

In the mirror: may we never lose the curiosity that defines a child.

That’s basically what our two years in Africa have consisted of. Paying attention to the people and places around us.
This Continent never fails to astonish.
We daily stand amazed.

We see beauty and hospitality beyond words to describe.

Karuma Falls on the Victoria Nile River is where Uganda’s “Up Country” region begins.

We also have observed soul-astonishing pain and suffering.

“As they began shooting at us, I ran one way and my father the other . . . I’ve not seen him since. I don’t know if he’s alive or dead.”

It’d be easier to ignore these astonishments. But we must tell others.

When you leave a refugee camp or small village, residents grab you by the arm, “Please don’t forget us. Tell other Americans about us.”

I’m trying to fulfil their request.

My job is to tell their stories. It’s the purpose of this small book.

Don’t worry that each chapter is sad and morbid.

You’ll laugh at some of the forty stories.

Some will make you cry. That’s the effect they had on me.

I pray you’ll take all of these tales into your heart.

These are stories of courage and hope:

John, a courageous pastor, who returns to the middle of a war to “find his people.”

A hero named Margaret who took her own refugee experience and used it to bring hope to an entire refugee camp.

Peter, a Dinka refugee on the run with his family, adopts a lonely boy from the Anuak tribe.

As we begin, a word of advice:

I love Africa but often have hankerings for things I miss from back home.

Right now, I’ve coveting a bag of Cheetos.

Not just any kind—but crunchy Cheetos. I hope someone will bring a bag (or two) over soon.

When those of us in self-exile get these delectable treats, we face a conundrum: do we devour the entire bag in one fell swoop or munch a handful of Cheetos each day?

We have friends over here who nearly needed marriage counselling after the wife scarfed down a whole care package of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups while the husband was away!

Trampled Grass is like that bag of Cheetos (or Reese’s Cups); you can read through it quickly bypassing (for now) the links.

Or you can slowly savor each chapter with its portals, photos, songs, audio and video.

Snippet calls these links “discoverables.” They allow you, the reader, to delve deeper into the stories.

Unlike those eaten Cheetos, these links will be present on your next visit. I’ve tried to capture it with my journal, camera, and soul.
It’s now your book.
Enjoy. Be astonished. Pass it on.

S.C. Iles Entebbe, Uganda

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