This blog will provide you with first hand recordings of the South Sudan war from one of the Lost Boys of Sudan who will not give up on his country. When we stop and listen to a man who has been a child victim of social injustice along with the horrors of genocide he will challenges our deepest faith for our war torn world. Jacob Atem’s story echo the thoughts of millions of survivors that keep pressing on in a violent world, people who’s faith have been deeply challenged. The links below are well worth reflecting and sharing with our colleagues and students.
After writing in December an article for Mojaku Magazine “Lord of the Flies vs. The Lost Boys of the Sudan” Jacob flew back to South Sudan only to find himself in the middle of a civil war again. While we (US) watched UN planes being shot he was in that very airport at gunpoint.
In 2011 I we became friends with Jacob Atem at a UN Literacy conference. Over time we have talked, pray and cried over the state of the world. Jocob’s story crosses the world of genocide, unthinkable survival, narrow escapes, family lose and US racism. His personal values have been challenged by the horrors war, greed, social injustice and even school yard bullies. Yet today he is a married man with a child on the way. Even with the latest events he eager to return, rebuild and forgive. Jacob’s long road of faith will soon have him finishing his PhD at Florida State University.
Listening to his words is a moving process.How does a human endure so much (even now dealing with PTS for these latest events) and still have faith in humanity? How does he have the capacity to forgive and yet see himself as a servant? If anyone I have has a right to be possessed by resentment it is Jacob and yet his heart has true forgiveness in it. This is a story worth listen to.
Get a coffee, or tea and take a break from your busy day to follow the links:
2014 Audio interview by the BBC World Services,:https://soundcloud.com/bbc-world-service/how-one-of-the-lost-boys-of?ocid=socialflow_facebook_africa.
Jan 2014 New York Times http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/01/06/world/africa/sudans-lost-boys-are-drawn-into-war-at-home.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
2013 Lansing state Journal Article http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/article/20140125/NEWS01/301250041/1002/NEWS01?nclick_check=1
2012 TEDx “Imagining A Journey: Jacob Atem at TEDxUF” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBuJ5VpQS18#t=26
2011 “I am Africa, This is my story…” I am Africa – SSHCO YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5c-tCeLVP0
Jacob was one of the first stories developed for our UNESCO Power of Peace Network project “I am Africa, This is my story…” and a personal friend. Your organization is welcome to use this social network at http://i-am-the-story.ning.com for educational purposes.