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In Sudan, believer shares story of his abduction, survival and salvation

JUBA, Sudan — Fleeing one war, James Sokiri was immersed in another.
Sitting in a hotel restaurant, the young Sudanese man recalled the night he was abducted from his refugee camp by the Lord’s Resistance Army, rebels fighting the Ugandan government.
Violent and brutal, the LRA raided camps in northern Uganda, forcing girls into sexual slavery and brainwashing boys to become child soldiers.
“I don’t know which Lord’s they are,” Sokiri said with a slight chuckle. Then, in hushed tones, he described the night he heard footsteps in the camp. He was studying for exams and thought his neighbors were out hunting white ants — a local delicacy.
Then he heard the cock of machine guns.
All he remembers next is white light and shouting. LRA soldiers bound his hands and dragged him from his house. He didn’t fear. In his own mind, he already was dead.
As his captors led him away from the camp, the man holding him let go briefly to steal chickens. Sokiri bolted and hid, face down, in a garden of cassava roots.
“I was praying all the time,” he said, “because I know there is no power anywhere except from God.”
After what seemed like hours, he heard gunfire and rocket-propelled grenades. The Ugandan army had arrived. The rebel soldiers fled.
Sokiri left the camps and moved to Juba in 2006, where he writes for a United Nations publication. He searched the Internet to learn about the Bible and found World English Institute. He studied Scripture with a Church of Christ member in Kentucky.
On Aug. 29, 2010, Sudanese evangelist Isaya Jackson baptized Sokiri in the waters of the Nile River.
“I felt as though something physical were removed from my body,” Sokiri said. “I imagined the time Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River … and how happy I will be with him in eternity.”

Filed under: Global South

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