Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Her Name Was Faith

We walked up the eerie staircase and through the red curtain. As we knocked on the old tin roofing making up the walls of her one bedroom house, we heard her joyful voice, thankful for the sound of visitors. “Karibou, Karibou!” She said. Welcome. We walked into her house which consisted of an old mattress covering most of the room, a small gas burner and an old worn bible. But the most important part was the woman staring back at us, a woman whose name did not even begin to describe courage, and bravery. Her name was Faith.

 Faith is 16 years old but her maturity and life experiences far surpass her years. She arrived in Kenya about a year ago, a refugee from Sudan. Faith’s mother was a dark skinned African from Sudan, but her father was a light skinned Arab. When Faith was only 5 her mother was raped and killed. And so she was left to live with her father and her siblings. Sudan was going through a period of ethnic cleansing where they were trying to kill off the Arabs. 

One night Faith’s house was invaded and at the young age of 8, she watched as the soldiers killed her entire family, she was spared only because of the color of her skin. She was then carried off to the barracks in Uganda where the food was scarce, room sparing and the men violent. She was raped multiple times but ultimately came to an end when soldiers attacked the barracks. She talked about watching as body after body fell on top of her, she was buried alive and covered in the blood of the only people she had known for years.

After the attack, at the age of 10 she was rescued by soldiers from Kenya. These soldiers took her back to a refugee camp in Kenya where she was discovered years later by UN workers. These UN workers provided her with a room to stay in, food for the months and a small amount of money for necessities.  At the young age of 15 Faith had to learn how to live on her own, she was never taught to cook or clean. But the strong woman that she is, she figured it out alone.

She says she still suffers from the nightmares of her past. Often she wakes up in the middle of the night, after dreams of the blood and terror. She’s terrified until she remembers that she is not alone, because her almighty God, her savior is watching over her. In those moments she returns to the worn pages of her bible and she reads, sometimes all night till she can find peace to carry on. But even throughout this whole story, she remains confident and strong, because she has faith. -