She was eleven when, while lying in bed, she heard the gunfire and screaming the screaming which filled the quiet in her village.
"Scary, shadowy figures violently stormed into her family’s hut”. (Awake, pg.35)
She watched the soldiers of the LRA murder her father and beat her mother before they turned their fury on her and ripped her from the family that she loved.
She was forced to carry weapons.
She was twelve when she became pregnant, a pregnancy which was a result of being raped by the soldiers.
She gave birth to a child only to see that child murdered by the hands of her oppressors.
She was alone. She lived in fear.
She was only a child.
Her name is Evah.
She escaped from her oppressors captivity but will she ever be able to escape the nightmare of her memories?
This story is just one of many that Noel Brewer Yeatts shares in her book, Awake. Stories of children suffering from oppression, poverty, and disease. Stories which break my heart.
The rebel soldiers of LRA(Lord's Resistance Army) are led by warlord, Joseph Kony. Yeatts shares this statistic regarding the LRA in Uganda,
"Since 1986, more than 40,000 children ages seven to seventeen have been abducted to be used as child soldiers and slaves."
Human Rights Watch stated in 2012:
At its height, the LRA numbered in the thousands, although the core of well-trained and experienced Acholi fighters may not have been more than a few hundred. Currently the LRA is estimated to have 150 to 300 armed fighters plus hundreds of captive children and adults. Although the number of LRA fighters is small, the LRA has proven capable of carrying out horrific attacks with a relatively small number of fighters. In December 2009, for example, an estimated 30 fighters killed at least 345 civilians and abducted 250 others during a four-day killing rampage in the Makombo area of northern Congo’s Haut Uele district. It was one of the worst massacres in the LRA’s bloody history.
Although Kony and his LRA may have moved out of Uganda and have shrunk in numbers they have not disappeared. Enough Project stated this year that Sudan has become Kony's "safe haven".
"Sudan also provided limited material support to the LRA and has failed to fully cooperate with the African Union and the United Nations initiatives to arrest Kony."
What can you do to help?
Pray for those who have suffered, those children who have lived the nightmare, would no longer live in fear.
Pray for the needs of the children - physical, emotional and spiritual.
Pray for God to strengthen those who serve.
Sponsor a Ugandan child through World Help. $35 a month would help provide a child with healthcare, an education....a home.
Want to read Awake? Download the first two chapters, order your very own signed copy ($10) or download the ebook for $2.99 (Nook and Kindle) here.
Want to join an online study of the book? Join here.
Sharing today at Lisa Jo's Five Minute Friday