James Dut, a father of seven, recounts how his family fled for their lives from fighting in South Sudan. Your donations are helping them survive.
March, 2014—It was around 10 a.m. on Wednesday, January 22, 2014. I was going about my usual chores when I heard gun shots in the direction of the main road.
I thought it was the usual gunfire by herdsmen. But the shooting persisted, and advanced towards the village. By that time, we realized that our village was under attack. The rebels, on their way from Juba, attacked the military barracks in the southern part of our village. They were shooting at any living thing they came across.
The village was in chaos as everybody ran for their lives. I ran into the swamp and hid there. My wife and our seven children fled in the direction of the shores of the River Nile. The mayhem lasted about two hours before the rebels left.
Several hours after the guns fell silent, I came out of my hiding place with a few other men. We walked around the village and found several people dead, including women and children.
Our grain stores were in flames and several huts were burning with elderly people inside. I remember hearing one older woman who was shouting for help, but it was too late for us to rescue her. The rebels killed the chief in our village and took our young men captive. Many have not returned to date.
I went searching for my family in the direction they ran. Fear gripped me as I thought my wife and children were victims. As I drew near to the river, I started calling out their names. The place was dead silent and there was no movement.
Suddenly my wife saw me and came out of her hiding place with six of my children. They looked terrified, hungry, and tired. I told them all was well and we could go back home.
I asked my wife where our six-year-old daughter was, and she told me she ran in the direction of the swamp when the shooting started. We walked back home, but my heart was not at peace because of our missing daughter.
We waited for her to return, but in vain. We found out she had drowned in the swamp. This made me so sad and I was asking myself why such a thing would happen to an innocent child.
We thank God for bringing the people of Samaritan’s Purse to help with our situation. We appreciate so much your efforts in providing us with clean water by fixing our wells and teaching us good hygiene practices.
I trust your coming here will attract more kindhearted people to rescue us from our dire situation. Our village has been left in devastation, our people have been killed, animals taken, houses and food burnt. We are helpless and it is our prayer that you get more resources to help us.”
Your donations are providing clean water, latrines, emergency food, shelter, and more for families like James’.