With all the fighting going on there are many children who are newly orphaned, as well as kids who were injured in the fighting.
There are a group of five new little ones, ages 5-6. They’ve been here for about two months. They have a pretty incredible story, though I don’t know all of the details. So, it’s not unusual for some of the ethnic groups here when doing cattle raids and attacking villages, to abduct children. In Bor a soldier took it upon himself to round up these children who had been abducted. There was a group of about 50 of them, and the ministry there worked to find the children’s families. They were able to reunite 38 of the 50 kids with their families, which is really quite incredible. When fighting broke out in December in Bor and the town was decimated, the kids were left there alone, with no one responsible for them. Someone got them on an NGO flight out to Juba. But when they arrived, there was no one to collect them, no one who even knew about them, and they had no where to go. Apparently they were just at the airport milling about until someone took pity on them and took them home. A few days later the ministry brought them here. So crazy!
These kids have been through a lot. In the evenings a few of them have nightmares and wake up screaming. One boy has started talking about a woman who would beat them, and then pushed them out into the street during the fighting. Traumatized, is the word.
We have a new baby here. He is about thirteen months old, but no one knows for sure. In the most recent fighting in Bor, (It’s genocide. Let’s call it what it is.) his mother was killed. He has a deep cut on his leg that was sustained while he was in his mothers arms as she was being killed. They day UNICEF brought him here, he was wailing and crying. The girls know the basics of his story, and were sad and don’t understand what sort of people kill mothers and babies. He was wailing and I had to step inside a moment to keep myself together.
He’s an amazing kid. So much personality, a beautiful smile. He waves at me when I walk by and the other day, smiling, threw all of his toys at me and told me to take them. “Shiilu! Shiilu!” He doesn’t talk enough yet for anyone to be able to find out his name, so he was given a new one. He mostly babbles in his mother tounge, which no one here knows. He is gorgeous and hilarious and I know his mother must have been amazing to have a child this beaming. But she was killed because of her tribe. There is always mercy in a life spared, but I can’t help but get a lump in my throat each time I look at him. Why was his mothers life not spared too?
There is so much that I don’t understand. I have run out of words of horror and sadness and disbelief about what is happening in this country. There is so much darkness here! And on evenings and weekends Dan and I are trying to plan a wedding. We are thrilled for our life together, and we are preparing to spend lots of money to celebrate that. I’m trying to care about guest lists and cute décor and venues that seem so dang expensive and a dress that I’ll feel pretty in and it seems wrong somehow! HOW can I have so much to love and treasure and a viable future and hope and yet GENOCIDE IS HAPPENING HERE.
CCC will be getting two new little girls, about age 8, as soon as they’ve finished recovering in the hospital from their GUNSHOT WOUNDS sustained when running away from the people killing their families.
I am thankful I can be here now. But I don’t know how much more my heart can take. I’m tired. I feel like I have little left to give. I don’t want to go but I know for my mental, physical, emotional health, I need an extended break from such stressful circumstances. I have a CHOICE about being here. Such a luxury. I am thankful for all I have and I feel guilty for it. Does one come to a point of resolution inside with all of these mixed feelings and emotions? In understanding this devastating world? I don’t think understanding will ever come.
Oh, South Sudan. God must be weeping too.