Hailing from Malakal County, near the border between Sudan and South Sudan, Kiir, aged 3, lost his Father as a result of the civil war. Although he was one of four siblings, upon leaving Malakal County, 2 of them tragically died – leaving himself, his mother and sister.
In October of 1989 Kiir, and what remained of his family, fled to a refugee camp in Itang, just over the Ethiopian border, where they spent a whole year living under great tension. Kiir had been fishing in a nearby river when fighting broke out in the camp. Amidst the panic, Kiir’s Mother and Sister fled back into Sudan again but this time without him.
8 year old Kiir was alone but soon joined a group of 12,000 lost boys suffering the same plight. They set up camp nearby. However, as a result of the unrest in Ethiopia, Militia who opposed the Sudanese soon arrived and 5,000 boys lost their lives.
Kiir and the survivors formed groups. Fending for themselves, these groups would desperately scrounge for food and water where they could. There never was enough of either and due to exhaustion and hunger, some of the boys would literally sit down and die.
Hunger, thirst, harsh terrain, wild animals and disease were all threats that affected Kiir and the survivors as they plodded on. This lasted a whole year.
Having walked 1,000 miles, endured another violent outbreak in Ethiopia, been robbed by tribal bandits and having contracted tuberculosis, miraculously, the end to Kiir’s suffering was in sight. When Kiir and the survivors reached Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, they had truly and finally found refuge. Kiir was treated and cured of tuberculosis; he was even able to finish his schooling. He was finally safe. But wait, it gets better…
Kiir eventually applied to work for MAF and when accepted, he became a 3 month intern in our Kenya programme. He went on to accepting a ‘Head Bookings Officer’ position with MAF in South Sudan. His dream had been to work for a Christian NGO and to live a Christian life and God had been undeniably faithful.
As hoped, Kiir was reunited with his Mother and Sister in 2010 after 18 years of separation. Kiir now resides in Juba, living for God and working for MAF. Such an incredible story of how God, through many trials and tribulations, can bring scandalous redemption out of hopelessness.
“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” Genesis 50 v 20