In Part 1 of Lost Girls: Silent and Suffering, Yar shared how at the age of seven, she went from happily playing hopscotch to discovering the horrific attack on her village. We left her scurrying through crowds, arriving at her home to discover all her family members gone. Her story continues:
I retraced my steps back to my grandmother’s home, but she, too, was gone. So were the neighbors. At that moment, I realized my life was turning upside down and I thought I would probably die.
I ran with the crowd on the path, which was so congested with others fleeing the violence that there was little room, even for a young girl like me.
As night fell, like others around me, I took cover in the woods. Sounds of bombs and shrieks of pain echoed through the still air. With my body shaking and tears falling silently, I felt no emotion except pure fear. Oblivious to my hunger, unaware of the cuts in my bare feet, I only wished for my parents.
For two days, I hunted for my parents.
The chorus of children in the same situation as me grew louder and louder. “Mother, father,” we yelled as we moved with the crowds further and further away from my village.
Consumed with fear, I ignored my exhaustion and hunger. To quench my thirst, I drank water from pools polluted by the blood of dead bodies.
My sore, badly cracked feet screamed with pain as I moved onward. At first I was afraid to stop because I knew if I did, death would follow. It became harder and harder to keep up with the other people. In the end, I could go no longer.
I gave up and sat down in the middle of the path, put my head into my knees, and rocked.
Suddenly, I heard a man calling to me.
I immediately curled even tighter into myself, believing that my life was about to end. The man spoke my language, but I assumed the enemy was using him to trick me. My vulnerability as a young girl, alone in the bush, could not be understated. Much to my surprise, rather than violate me in any fashion, the kind soldier man made me believe there was reason to go on. His conviction I would find my family gave me strength, and with him by my side I searched on.
Faint with hunger, images appeared before my eyes, including the image of my father. It was not until I heard his voice and felt him tilt my head up I realized the looming figure was indeed my father, not a hallucination. Standing with him was my brother, John.
Consumed with joy, I neglected to introduce the soldier man to him and, moments later, when I remembered my manners; he was nowhere to be found.
Yar’s story of the soldier man convinces me each person has a guardian angel watching over him or her. It is a belief found in the Bible. Beware that you don’t look down on any of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels are always in the presence of my heavenly Father, says Matthew 18:10. Little ones could be those young in their faith, or in age. We know children are valuable to God because Jesus intervened when his disciples tried to turn away the parents bringing their youngsters for him to place his hands on them.
This story also persuades me we must protect children. Not only those given to us through our own bodies and adoption, but we must do what we can to help refugees, abused, and war-savaged boys and girls across the world, like Yar, who are suffering unnecessarily. World Vision serves children in South Sudan. Donating to their South Sudan Disaster Relief Fund is one opportunity to be the hands of Jesus to these who are silent and suffering.
I am telling Yar’s story in installments every other Tuesday. Please visit my Lost Girls page to read the previous installments.