I am continually taken aback by the strength of the people that we have encountered. We have been openly recieved to hear so many stories of hardship. Each one is unique and each one offers so many lessons.
Yesterday we interviewed a 16 year old girl named Lillian. She was not abducted by the LRA nor forced to become a child solider. But growing up, the war was ever present in her life.
When Lillian was young both of her parents passed away. While they were still alive she was barely able to attend school. School after her parents’ deaths seemed impossible. It was made even more impossible when she was sent to stay with her aunt. Her aunt quickly wanted to send her away, to become an orphan, because there were already too many mouths to feed in the family.
Young Lillian went to her teachers at the school and explained her situation. She voiced her desire to continue to learn and was provided with scholarships to continue her education. Education is vital to life and success in Uganda.
At the same time Lillian was continuing her education, the LRA was operating at its fullest. Lillian shared that even though she was in school, she was always afraid. And always distracted. It was very difficult for her to concentrate on her studies. She was always watching the grass because every little movement could be dangerous. She was afraid that she would be abducted and forced to kill her own friends, family, and neighbors.
Now that the war has ended, she is fighting her vivid nightmares with prayer. She continues to attend school and hopes to become a doctor.
I am so blessed to have both my mother and father alive and caring for me. They give everything to care for my siblings and me. Everything. I am so grateful for the sacrifices they have made in order to promote happiness and success in my life.
There are many distractions in college that can prevent studying. However, I have never been truly in fear for my life. I study in an environment that provides so many educational opportunities. The opportunities that are open to me are so immense.
I have so much to be thankful for. Every single day I have to live is such a blessing.