Maimed by War
When he was an infant, Walter was the victim of a brutal and senseless Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) attack. He was travelling in the family car with his parents and his sister, Angela, when the rebels struck.
“There was two soldiers behind, and in-front, and on either side. So they told us to get out of the car and we started running and they shoot us so we fall down” Walter said.
Walter’s parents were killed, Angela was shot through the neck and Walter was shot in the face. The children, wounded and unmoving on the side of the road, were left for dead by the rebels. It was only minutes before word spread and help arrived.
“Reverend Sam [Childers] came with the SPLA (Sudanese People’s Liberation Army) and they took us to Gulu hospital”.
For several months the children were rehabilitated. Angela learnt to walk again but Walter required specialist care. Sam took Walter to America, where surgeons repaired his eye socket and fitted a glass eye.
After the surgery, Walter returned to Sudan and for a short time lived at The Children’s Village in Nimule.
“The Children’s Village was good. You play with many children…playing football, doing many kinds of things…you feed well, drink well. Very nice” Walter said.
It wasn’t long before Walter and Angela moved to the Angels of East Africa mission home in the Ugandan capital of Kampala. Today, Walter is a student at one of the best schools in the city. He is very thankful to Sam Childers for his new life
“Sam, he means to me like my own father. He gave me many things which I don’t have before. May God bless him. I want to be like him.
Walter flashes a self-assured grin.
“I want to rescue children from the LRA too.”
A View from the Trenches
James, 13, soft-spoken and courteous, was once a brutal killer. For three years he marched through the Sudanese jungle with the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), and during that time he was forced to commit inhumane acts against his fellow human beings.
“I shot 20 [people]. I feel very bad. They ordered me to kill them. If I don’t do it then they would kill me” he said.
James was abducted during an LRA raid on his village when he was eight. His parents were executed in front of him.
“So my mother tried to run, to help us…so they killed my mother immediately. So my father also wanted to run so they killed him. The LRA abduct me…and I have to go in the bush.
“I was a young soldier. I carried my gun beside me and I walked with them” James said.
James was forced to participate in many LRA activities, including raiding villages.
“They burn everything, they shoot the people, they cut their lips, noses, everything.
“I didn’t know what to do, so I started praying to God” he said.
James decided that he had to escape. An opportunity presented itself when a Ugandan People’s Defence Force (UPDF) helicopter stumbled across his platoon. In the midst of an intense rocket barrage James summoned the courage to run and fled into the bush with three other children.
They ran to a nearby town and were taken before the local Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) commander. The commander contacted Sam Childers, who agreed to care for the former child soldiers.
“After that I was ok and Sam bought me to his village” James said.
“For bringing me from a very dangerous place to a nice place I thank him very much. Let God bless him for everything that he has done for me.”