Jacob's Journey

Jacob Guot and ChildAt the very young age of 7, I became a “Lost Boy” of Sudan. This term was coined to describe the over 20,000 boys from the Sudanese ethnic groups who were displaced and/or orphaned during the Second Sudanese Civil War (1983-2005). I am a member of the Dinka tribe and I became one of the “Lost Boys” in 1987. We lost everything – our families, our homes, and even our country – at the hands of the North Sudanese Army and radical Muslim militants.Through God’s grace and protection, I was able to flee over 1,000 miles of barren wilderness, making life-and-death decisions most adults would shrink from. God protected me on this nightmare journey. I ended up in a Kenyan refugee camp in Kakuna and grew up there from 1992-2001, staying until I was 21 years old.Through a series of miracles, I came to the United States (Houston, Texas) in March of 2001 and was able to obtain an education, completing my BS degree in Bible, Christian Life, and Ministry and even becoming an American citizen. I am currently studying for two Master’s degrees – in Intercultural Studies and in Christian Leadership – at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. I think of myself as a modern-day Nehemiah. When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. Then I said: ‘Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you. We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.’” (Nehemiah 1:4-7 NIV).Today, actually, I am praying this same prayer because my country of South Sudan has come out of war only go to right into another one. I am in exile just as Nehemiah was and I feel the same call as Nehemiah did. Nehemiah was called to rebuild the wall in the city of Jerusalem. I, Jacob, am called to bring restoration to my people and to bring them a message of hope. In the Old Testament, Nehemiah was a captive Israelite in Babylon, one who was blessed by being permitted to return to his home country to help rebuild it. That is my dream and my desire.God has brought me through a modern exodus. Like the ancient Israelites, God used my journey from Sudan to Kenya to provide me with instruction, teach me patience, instill resolve within me, and deepen my relationship with Him. I am now an ordained Anglican Priest from the Bor Diocese, and I wish to further my walk with the Lord and return to my own promised land. My heart’s desire is to become a pastor and missionary and forgive all the Muslims who killed my family, relatives, and friends.With much help from others who came alongside me, I founded Africa Sunrise Communities to help me work within the Buyawale Refugee Camp in Uganda, where some 20,000 communities/tribes and refugees from South Sudan are living.Much of the problem we have concerns tribal warfare and killing, which is still going on in South Sudan. Late last year I lost my mother-in-law, who was killed in a rebel attack, and four of my nieces and nephews, who had traveled with her, were displaced. Africa Sunrise Communities raised the funds to get those children back to safety in a Ugandan refugee camp. Now we are raising funds to pay the fees for their education.I ask you to continue to pray for the situation in South Sudan. Also please pray that God would touch the hearts of donors who can help Africa Sunrise Communities financially, especially for the education of these relatives and other refugee children in the camp. Although I am from the Dinka tribe, I believe that the men and women of South Sudan, regardless of their tribe, are one people and need to learn to act in that way. The same justice must be available to all. God sent me to America to help me get an education so that I can help my own people. Nehemiah prayed, “Send me to the city…where my ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it.” (Nehemiah 2:5, NIV). The same prayer is within me.In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus sends out those whom he had loved, lived with, and trained. Their field was the world, and their mission was to make disciples, to baptize them, and to teach them to obey what Jesus had taught them. Our mission at Africa Sunrise Communities, in line with this Great Commission, is to go out to refugees, to disciple them, and to teach them how to live in peace with one another, through education and by supporting themselves with the work of their handsThat is my dream and my mission, and I invite you to join me in this great cause, through your prayers and your financial support.President and Founder,Jacob Guot