The nation of Sudan was ravaged by civil war from 1983-2005. For years, the Islamic government of the north instigated a reign of terror against the largely Christian and African traditionalist populations in southern Sudan. Over two million Sudanese died in the conflict (which is far from resolved). Millions more were displaced from their homes.
Among the refugees were over 20,000 orphaned boys, mostly of the Nuer and Dinka ethnic groups. Refugee aid workers began calling them, “The Lost Boys of Sudan.” One of these boys, John Bul Dau, was just twelve years old when mortar shells rained down upon his peaceful Dinka farming village. John fled for his life into the night. In one terrifying moment, everything John had known was stripped away. He walked over 1,000 miles across God-forsaken terrain in search of hope. Thousands of boys on the same journey died of starvation.
Through a series of events, John eventually found refuge in the United States. As an adult, he chronicled his ordeal in an acclaimed documentary film produced in 2006 and a book published in 2007. Both works bear the arresting title: “God Grew Tired of Us.”