Can I paint a picture for you where four roads meet and a story is told?
A young man closes his eyes and I hear a six-year-old huff and puff as his feet dash from tree to tree.
“Please soldiers don’t look up from your noon day sleep.”
He and his family run back to their hut to get some of their belongings.
“There it is the book that my teacher gave me to read.”
A dusty road forks and a long line of refugees trudge southward.
“No one wants you” people wave their hands to ward them off.
makeshift wooden buildings are put up in the south
“Stay here. No one cares.”
Some at the end of the war don’t return the journey is too painful
Others have lived on the edge of the war zone – waiting
The dust on the road finally clears
one family then two return to a village of ashes
“I look at myself playing dangerous games as a child. I could have been shot.”
Everyone has lost loved ones.
The land welcome the Acholi home.
The young man is expecting a child soon.
He points down the road.
“There is a tree where we have prayed. We are almost there.”
I see pride rise like the sun in his face.
“This is our church. ” He points at two sprawling trees.
“God hears us rain or shine.”
We give children water and cookies under the prayer tree.
I see a piece of the fourth road as we drive away.
It isn’t clear what it will hold.
It is filled with hopes.
Acholi tribes to prosper
Orphans healthy and safe
Rain falls on fertile soil
I hope to be there to see the dust settle.
These amazing people the Acholi have known so much loss, terror, hardship and yet it is in their rightful ancestral land where refugees are being welcome to rebuild their lives. Uganda is the third largest country in the world to offer refuge to the war-torn people of our world.
Thanks to the A to Z challenge for allowing me to share about these people the Acholi and Uganda.