"After two hours, the sounds of attack faded. I took stock of my situation. I had just turned 13. I was naked. I carried no food or water. My village had been destroyed. I had become separated from my mother and siblings. Armed men who spoke a foreign tongue combed the forests and grasslands, and if they found me, they would most likely kill me. The only good thing I could imagine was that I might be safe for awhile ... It was then that I realized the man who sat beside me was not my father."
God Grew Tired of Us is the memoir of John Bul Dau, one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. His Dinka village was attacked by the djellabas, Arab militia, when he was just 13. He escaped to a refugee camp in Ethiopia almost 300 miles away. Then, when Ethiopia erupted into its own civil war, John and tens of thousands of other Sudanese refugees were forced to flee again, this time to Kenya. There in the Kakuma Refugee Camp, John went to school where he learned to read and speak English and even earned his high school diploma. He was brought to America in 2001 where he had to learn to adapt to an entirely new way of life. John's refugee story is a truly amazing one. He survived the bullets and beatings of his enemies, hunger, thirst, disease, fear, and even crocodiles in his long journey from Duk Payuel in South Sudan to Syracuse, New York. And throughout it all, he never lost his faith in God or his hope for a better life.
I loved this book. It's very well-written, and it gave me a much better understanding of and empathy for refugees throughout the world. John Bul Dau has such a resilient spirit. I really admired his optimism, and his gratitude, and the way he and the other Lost Boys worked together and helped each other to survive. Even in the midst of heartbreaking circumstances, John stayed true to the values of his Dinka heritage. And he never gave up. That's what makes his story so remarkable and inspiring...and so worth reading.
"In the 19 years since that August night, as one of the 'lost boys' of Sudan, I have witnessed my share of death and despair ... (but) I know that I have been blessed and that I have been kept alive for a purpose. They call me a Lost Boy, but let me assure you, God has found me."