CRC Teens Meet “Lost Boys”

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On a snowy January evening four “Lost Boys of Sudan” spoke with teens in the suburbs of Chicago about their experiences when, as children ages 5-12, they found their way from Sudan to Ethiopia and then to Kenya on their own.

Deng Jurkuc, one of the four, told the students that on their journey they ate anything they could find, including insects, unknown plants, and even dirt. The thousands of boys fleeing the brutal civil war in Sudan broke into small groups for travel, with older ones leading the younger ones.

The group watched a documentary about the Lost Boys, called God Grew Tired of Us. Afterward they divided into groups to speak with one of the four young men, now in their 20s.

Julie Witjer, a member of Calvin Christian Reformed Church in Oak Lawn, Ill., and Ryan Bass, a member of Orland Park CRC, were two of 80 students from Chicago Christian High School in Palos Heights, Ill., who attended the retreat.

“It really made me think a lot about faith in God,” Witjer said. “When we’re going through hard times, we feel God has given up on us. In reality, our problems are not even close to what [these boys] went through, and they kept their faith.”

“Meeting them in person was mind blowing,” Bass said. “It made me think more about donating money to the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee to help people.”

About the Author

Ruth Moblard DeYoung, a former Banner news correspondent and teacher, writes children's books. She is a member of Hope Christian Reformed Church in Oak Forest, Ill.