Rachel and I watched God Grew Tired of Us last night. It's a documentary about the Lost Boys of Sudan. In 1987, when Muslim troops swept through southern Sudan, thousands of young men fled to escape execution. They walked hundreds of miles to temporary relief in Ethiopia and then back across Sudan to a refugee camp in Kenya. The film follows the lives of three men from the Kenyan camp who were granted immigration to the States.
My friends Annie and Brian introduced me to this documentary, and I wanted Rachel to watch it. Typically, she avoids movies that have anything to do with war. After I convinced her that the war footage was very, very minimal and that the documentary is mostly of the lives of the refugees once they reach America, she gave in.
One of the men, John Bul Dau, said that when he was on the trek through sub-Saharan Africa, he looked around at his emaciated friends and wondered, "Did God get tired of us?" Maybe it was the end of the world as the Bible talks about, he thought. Maybe God was tired of humans, and that was why they were starving in a desert. No more family. No more home.
After the movie, I sat in the dim lamplight of Rachel's living room. I wanted to pray for Sudan. I wanted to pray against war. I wanted to ask for peace. I wondered, "Am I praying for things I will never see?" My friends in Kolkata say that they dream for things they will never see. So, yes, I thought, maybe I am praying things that I will never see. What else can I pray? I will offer up these words pleading for peace. I will ask again for hope for the thousands who have no home. I will beg that men lay down their swords and pick up love.
God has said, and I believe: He is near to all who call on Him.
If you'd like to read more about John Bul Dau, this is a good article. And I'd encourage you to watch the documentary!