Lopez Lomong knows what it's like to run for his life. But these days, the U.S. 2012 Olympics track athlete competing in the 5,000-meter race on [August 8-2012] is running not from terror but for joy in the Lord.
The 27-year-old Lost Boy of Sudan captured the world's attention at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where he led the U.S. team in the opening ceremony as the flag bearer and met President George W. Bush. Preparing for this year's London Olympics, which commences July 27, Lomong says he fully realizes his record-breaking accomplishments serve as a platform to share his story.
That story starts in 1991, when Lomong's home village of Kimotong was attacked by rebels in the second Sudanese civil war. "I was 6 years old when I was abducted at church, which met under a tree," Lomong told Christianity Today at his training base in Portland, Oregon. "They ripped my mother's arm from me, throwing me and other boys into a truck; they blindfolded us, then drove us to a prison camp that trained rebel soldiers."
With 80 other boys, Lomong was crammed into a hut, where he survived on sorghum mixed with sand; the boys were beaten with a cane by militia when they needed to use the bathroom, which sent the message that they dare not escape.
Until Lomong did three weeks later, with the help of "three angels," a story he recounts in his new autobiography, Running for My Life (Thomas Nelson). "They were three older boys, 14 or 15, who knew my family from our village, and they said to me, 'You're going to see your mother.'"
On a moonless night the four youth slipped out of the room, crawled on their bellies, and slid through a hole in a fence.
"The savannas are very tough. We ran for three days—my legs and feet were bleeding," said ...