Monday, January 28, 2013

Mommy, Why Don't We Adopt A Refugee From Africa?

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Today we started learning about Africa.  I read the nice happy stuff that was part of our curriculum.  But I wanted my children to understand more than that about their world.  I am currently reading a wonderful, horrible, amazing, heartbreaking book about one of the Lost Boys of Sudan.  I am reading God Grew Tired of Us: The Heartbreaking, Inspiring Story of a Lost Boy of Sudan by John Bul Dau.

I told my children about what life is like for a refugee.  First their village was attacked and most of the people were killed or taken as prisoners and sold into slavery or forced to join the army.  The lucky (?) few who escaped had to run barefoot through the swamps, desert, and forests always keeping one step ahead of the advancing army.  Always starving and thirsty.  After running many miles and facing hostile tribes along the way, they finally made it across the border into Ethiopia to a refugee camp.

While they may be safe from the war, life is not easy in a refugee camp.  They have little food, no sanitation, no homes, disease, few clothes if any.  Just thousands of other displaced boys, a few girls, a few grown ups. Finally they are safe and making a life for themselves in the refugee camp when Ethiopia experiences its own civil war.  Now they are on the run yet again fleeing the Ethiopian army.

They have to cross a crocodile infested river and witness many of their friends be eaten.  Many are shot by the army or drown.  Those who survive now have to walk over 500 miles through Sudan to reach Kenya where they hope to find refuge.

I mentioned our friends who took in three of the Sudanese refugees--two boys and one girl.  They are now grown up and have their own homes and families.  My kids have met them and played with the girl's son.  They knew they were clearly "adopted" as my friends are very white, but they never knew the story of their lives until now.

And then Lizzy turns to me and asks, "Mommy, why don't we adopt one of them?  We have room in our house."

Oh Lizzy.

Why don't we, indeed.

Her heart matches my heart.  I read about suffering like this and I want to immediately adopt every last child.  I had to put the book down yesterday because it was hurting my heart so badly to know that this sort of thing is going on right now.  I want to rescue them all.

"Lizzy, we can't adopt them all, probably not even one.  But we can pray for them.  We can sponsor a child and give them the ability to be fed, clothed, educated, and to receive medical care.  We can give to organizations and missionaries that serve in these areas.  We can buy livestock for poor families so they have milk or eggs to eat and sell.  There are things we can do to help, even just a little bit."

"Lets do that, mommy."

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