Guest / Limited Access /

On a Sunday morning in 1987, 13-year-old Kur Mach Kur sat in church in Makol Cuai, a small village in southern Sudan, when armed Muslim raiders burst in during the pastor's sermon. The raiders demanded that the preacher renounce his faith in Jesus Christ. The pastor refused, and as Kur watched, the raiders shot and then dismembered the man who moments before had been teaching from the Bible.

A few months later, as Kur kept watch over the family's cattle outside the village, the marauders returned. On this Sunday morning raid, they did not stop with the pastor. The intruders moved through the sanctuary, promising jobs and comfort to those who agreed to become Muslims and relocate to Khartoum, Sudan's capital. Kur's mother recoiled at the offer—and as a result she was fatally shot. The gunmen set fire to the church and homes across the village.

So began the harrowing odyssey for Kur and thousands of other Sudanese "lost boys" who have experienced similar horror. With most of their parents murdered or taken captive for slave labor to northern Sudan, these youth (many of them Christian) have lived in refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya. But the United Nations changed their status recently, allowing them to resettle in other countries, become citizens, and attempt to make new lives for themselves.

Lost Childhood

Kur is making his new life in the Seattle suburb of Kent, living in a two-bedroom apartment with three younger cousins from the same village. Cal Uomoto, director of the World Relief refugee program in Seattle, laments that the resettlement of these Sudanese youth "should have happened years ago." One reason for the delay, according to Uomoto, is that the United Nations took too long to approve permanent refugee status ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Tags:
From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Recommended
'Machine Gun Preacher' Under Heavy Fire
Sam Childers, subject of a new movie, is accused of neglecting children at his orphanage in South Sudan.
TrendingMark Driscoll Resigns from Mars Hill
Mark Driscoll Resigns from Mars Hill
"I do not want to be the source of anything that might detract from our church’s mission."
Editor's PickImmigration Status: Beloved
Immigration Status: Beloved
In Christ I am more than the ‘crime’ I committed at age 5.
Comments
Christianity Today
Finding Homes for the Lost Boys
hide thisJuly 8 July 8

In the Magazine

July 8, 2001

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.