Past Spirit Sightings (The Archives)
From Sandra Rooney
During these days when most of the news seems bad, we must seek out and share stories of hope to inspire and encourage others. At the General Synod of the United Church of Christ in the United States last month, delegates and visitors heard such a story, the story of a young boy who escaped the Killing Fields of Cambodia.
Arn Chorn-Pond was only 9 years old in 1975 when the Khmer Rouge took over his country. He and hundreds of other children were sent to a Buddhist temple converted into a prison camp, where he survived by playing the flute to entertain the soldiers, and where, he says, he was “forced to do many terrible things.” His very survival depended on repressing his emotions and distancing himself from the horrors he was forced to witness. In 1978 when the Vietnamese invaded Cambodia, Chorn-Pond, who was then 12 years old, was handed a gun and forced to fight. Children who refused were shot in the head.
Eventually, Arn Chorn-Pond escaped into the jungle and survived by following the monkeys and eating what they ate. In 1980 he crossed the border into Thailand where he was found and taken to a refugee camp. There he met the Rev. Peter L. Pond, who would take him to New Hampshire and, in 1984, formally adopt him.
Though Arn Chorn-Pond initially encountered difficulties with the language and culture in the US, and memories continued to haunt him, he graduated from high school and went on to attend college. After two years he withdrew from college to co-found “Children of War,” an organization dedicated to helping young people overcome the suffering of war. Chorn-Pond eventually returned to college and devoted his summers to teaching and assisting those still displaced by war. In 1992 he received a bachelor’s degree from Providence College, and in 2007 the school awarded him an honorary Doctorate of Humanitarian Service, just one of many awards Chorn-Pond has received from humanitarian and human rights groups.
In addition to his various efforts to help children who have been traumatized by war and at-risk youth in Lowell, Massachusetts, Chorn-Pond founded the Cambodian Living Arts in 1996. This is a non-profit organization that works to revive the traditional performance arts in Cambodia by locating and supporting those few former masters or trained professional musicians who survived the Khmer Rouge and the years of famine that followed their reign of terror.
Chorn-Pond’s story is told in a moving documentary, “The Flute Player,” which aired on PBS in December 2010.
From Sandra Rooney
For weeks the American public, and the world at large, had watched a standoff as members of the US Congress postured and grandstanded, more concerned with the purity of their ideological positions than the good of the country. Weeks of negotiations over the debt ceiling brought out the worst in Washington as the partisan deadlock came close to causing what many thought would be a massive economic crisis. There was much vitriol, blaming, and finger pointing, but seemingly little willingness to engage in serious dialogue.
Then, on the eve of a 12th hour vote on August 1, a vote with which no one was happy, the mood in the House of Representatives was transformed, and for a brief moment at least, all shared in a remarkable moment of unity. With two minutes remaining on the voting clock, Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords appeared on the House floor to register her first vote since she was shot in the head seven months earlier. Political figures from both sides of the aisle embraced her and her fellow representatives gave her a prolonged ovation.
Americans will long remember how Gabby, as she is known to supporters, was shot as she was about to begin a gathering called “Congress on Your Corner” in the parking lot of a grocery store in Tucson, Arizona. That she survived at all still seems a miracle and her remarkable recovery is a testament both to modern medicine and a spirit unwilling to be quenched.
Interrupting her rehabilitation in Houston to come to Washington for this vote underscored the vital importance of the legislation in question. It also provided an increasingly rare moment of unity in Washington and a reminder to her fellow members that their offices are solemn responsibilities with the welfare of the country at stake.
In a statement in her own words, Rep. Giffords wrote, “I have closely followed the debate over our debt ceiling and have been deeply disappointed at what’s going on in Washington. After weeks of failed debate in Washington, I was pleased to see a solution to this crisis emerge. I strongly believe that crossing the aisle for the good of the American people is more important than party politics. I had to be here for this vote.”
An editorial in the Louisville Courier-Journal added this: “May her continuing example of true courage under fire, and after fire, inspire other Americans to find the best within themselves and in each other, too.”
Oh God, we pray that we may be about the business of building relationships to serve your purposes. May we not be conformed to this world but find ways to use the gifts you have given each of us to transform the world. Amen.
By Fraser Macnaughton
One wonders how much a lack of communication led to some of the breakdown in relationships in Joseph’s family. How did his brothers react to him being the “famous” one (coloured coat notwithstanding)? In the ongoing saga of the Michal Jackson story are we again seeing similar elements?
By Fraser Macnaughton
In an extradition hearing it was stated that a British man from Bristol, accused of arranging for his wife to be murdered while they were on honeymoon in South Africa, would be considered unfit to stand trial if he was facing a British court. Westminster magistrates also heard a claim from the South African authorities who said that before getting married Shrien Dewani allegedly told an acquaintance that he needed to end the relationship but would be disowned by his family if he broke off the engagement.
Consider a time in your family history when all seemed lost.
Consider families or individuals in your faith community who might be struggling with situations in which all seems lost.
By Fraser Macnaughton
The ongoing saga of the behaviour of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation with regard to news gathering may prompt some to suggest that the institution as a whole should enter a 12-step programme to acknowledge the people they have harmed in some way because of their behaviour and to be willing to make amends to each one. An example of this kind of journalism involved the son of former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, whose medical records regarding his cystic fibrosis condition were revealed in the Sun, Britain’s biggest selling newspaper.
In October 2006, the editor of the Sun at that time, Rebekah Brooks, contacted the Browns to tell them that they had obtained details from the medical file of their four-month-old son, Fraser, which revealed his cystic fibrosis. News International has denied accessing the medical records of Gordon Brown’s son, insisting the Sun newspaper discovered he had cystic fibrosis from a member of the public. It said the individual had come to the Sun voluntarily as he wished to highlight the plight of those with the disease, adding that he had provided “a written affidavit” confirming this.
Charlotte Harris, of the law firm Mishcon de Reya, said: “News International’s explanation to Gordon Brown and his family in respect of the allegations that Rebekah Brooks had obtained the medical records of his son for the purposes of an article in the Sun newspaper, seeks to justify a gross breach of privacy by blaming the victim. It claims such a breach of privacy was necessary in order to further the cause of cystic fibrosis sufferers. If it is the case that the Sun received this information from another parent it was, at the very least, hugely insensitive and callous to have contacted the Brown family and demanded confirmation in the manner that Mr Brown described.”
David Muir, one of Brown’s most senior advisers, said: “They were contacted by Rebekah Brooks, who told them that they had information that Fraser had cystic fibrosis, which was a matter that they, the family, were just getting their heads around at the time and dealing with. They didn’t know how Rebekah came across this information and now, what’s come to light, it was obtained by what appeared to be illegal methods.”
As Jacob prepares to meet his twin brother Esau, he must face his past deceit in acquiring the birthright. Murdoch’s News Corporation is currently facing allegations that information was obtained deceitfully and illegally for its own gain.
Often we feel so powerless in the face of such huge enterprises as the international media.
By Bruce Grindlay
For a number of weeks there have been protests in Syria by citizens seeking greater freedoms. The leadership of Syria, by means of security police and military, has come down hard upon the protestors. Yet the protestors persist in seeking reform and a change in society that would herald a better and more open future for all. Many protesters have fled, seeking sanctuary in neighbouring Turkey. Turkey has had good relations with Syria so when the protests for reform erupted in Syria, the Turkish Prime Minister sent his top officials to try and convince President Assad of Syria to introduce reforms. But his efforts were spurned. Now there is the anomalous situation of Turkey offering sanctuary to those who oppose a government with which it had, until just recently, the best of relations.
The Guardian reports that, “(following Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s) re-election this month he vowed to reach out to the Middle East and beyond to promote ‘justice, the rule of law...freedom and democracy,’ distancing himself from the traditional stable friendships with Arab dictators.” Turkey and Syria are now challenged to persist in maintaining relationships while constitutional changes still need to be addressed.
Persistence for a new future, changes in relationships, and the altering of traditions are themes that were also echoed in recent conversations among young people in a church in South Australia. In a discussion about church life, and some of the traditions associated with it, one of the topics was marriage because a wedding conducted in the church had been featured in the TV program “Four Weddings.” The discussion focussed on how this wedding hadn’t been as “exotic” as the other three wedding ceremonies featured in the program. All agreed that marriage was foundational to our faith tradition, but...
There seem to be more “buts” these days. We know that “tradition” doesn’t necessarily make something right or a good idea, and that sometimes when we change traditions things turn out for the better. God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean that God doesn’t surprise us, and amaze us with new options for relating and finding love and grace with God and with each other. Tradition provides us with guidelines for our formation and living, but our God is a living God who invites that tradition to call us into the weaving of new futures.
Persistence for a new future, changes in relationships, and the altering of traditions are themes in this week’s story of the relationships between Laban, Jacob, Leah, and Rachel.
These themes are also echoed in the news story of international relationships.
So much in the tradition of our life of faith is good and strong, but God weaves a new and better future and calls us to see with new eyes, and move into that grace-filled future.
From Bruce Grindlay
Uluru (Ayers Rock) is a large sandstone rock formation in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in Australia. Both, Uluru and Kata Tjuta, came into being about 600 million years ago and are part of a subterranean rock formation. The gigantic “Island Mountain” has a length of 3.4 km/2 miles, a maximum width of 2 km/1.25 miles and measures more than 9 km/6.6 miles in circumference. The peak rises majestically to a height of over 350 metres/1200 feet above the surrounding plain. The red-rusty colour of the rock results from iron bearing minerals by the process of oxidation. A most wondrous experience is sunrise or sunset at Uluru. Depending on weather conditions and the incidence of light the huge rock can change its colour from a pale grey-red into a glowing orange or even fiery red.
We arrived just as a brief shower of rain appeared over the rock. The rain band was narrow and very dark. As we stood by the tourist bus watching, the rain seemed to climb as if on a huge ladder from the top of Uluru into the heavens. It was a spectacle beyond comparison and, for some of us, a most holy experience. Were we waiting from an invitation from God to ascend into the heavens? Was someone extraordinary about to descend from the heavens? Surely the Creator God was in this place.
We stood, quietly in this place of blessing. No-one spoke. We had all come to Uluru, Australians and tourists from many countries, to see this place sacred to the original Australians, the Aboriginal peoples. Whatever our background and circumstances, whatever our beliefs, not one person remained untouched by this awesome spectacle and moment.
In the Celtic tradition places such as Uluru, where we experience the wonder of God’s presence, are called “thin places.” There is a Celtic saying that heaven and earth are only three feet apart, but in the thin places that distance is even smaller. A thin place is where the veil that separates heaven and earth is lifted and one is able to glimpse the glory of God.
In a time of fear and vulnerability, God extends to Jacob a generous gift of hope and blessing.
Jacob says, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than…the gate of heaven.” The experiences of Jacob and of the tourists of Uluru could be described as thin places.
Jacob may have felt that he was facing life’s challenges alone as he struggled with his past. In his dream-filled sleep a vision lifts “the veil separating heaven and earth,” and Jacob encounters God’s presence.
See and read more…
From Bruce Grindlay
Australia has for many years been a country divided over the issue of asylum seekers, particularly those who enter Australian waters in boats. Many of the refugees are escaping from dreadful situations in Iraq or Afghanistan and some Australians are sympathetic to their dilemma. Others want the asylum seekers put back on boats and towed outside of Australian waters. The nation is divided.
Recently a documentary was shown on Australian television concerning the slaughter of Australian live-cattle exports to Indonesia. The outcry and protests flowing out from the very graphic and disturbing images caused the Australian government to put a hold on the export of Australian cattle. Cattle producers and others objected strongly, indicating that it would affect the livelihood and employment of possibly thousands of persons. The nation is divided.
The concern over climate change and how to respond to it is also seriously dividing the nation. There are those who see the need for an immediate response, hence the proposed government “carbon tax.” Claiming that Australians will then face an annual carbon tax bill of some $11 billion there are others who consider this proposal to be the most divisive and economically destructive government policy in nearly 50 years. The Leader of the Opposition says is asking for a national plebiscite so that the people can decide. The nation is divided.
The divisions being experienced in Australia are being replicated, in their own localised form, in communities around the world. Daily we are faced with examples of divisions – between nations, within nations and within communities, and in the heart of families.
Yet there are also those working towards reconciliation, a “bringing together.” The Australian television event, “Go Back to Where You Came From,” brings refugees and Australian citizens together in a compelling experience which offers insights that may help to end divisions. With our world so beset with all kinds of divisions we are called to work towards bringing down the barriers and healing divisions.
The scripture reading describes a “house divided.”
The current stories in the Australian press represent some of the deep issues which divide communities today.
The issue of birthright created the “house divided” in the reading from Genesis. The issue of birthright is also found in the stories of refugees and the stories of the effects of climate change on our children’s future.
There a big issues that divide the peoples of the earth.
From Ray McGinnis
Midnight is Paris is Woody Allen’s new movie about a screenwriter from Hollywood named Gil (Owen Wilson). Gil is dealing with “writer’s block” and convinces his fiancé, Inez (Rachel McAdams) to travel to Paris so he can get inspired. Her ultra-conservative parents join them when Inez’s dad gets involved in negotiations for a US-French business deal. Gil idolizes Ernest Hemmingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, and others who lived in Paris in the 1920’s. Inez and her parents don’t like Paris and Gil finds himself spending more and more time walking the streets and getting lost.
One night a chauffeur-driven vintage limousine picks him up and Gil is transported back in time when the clock strikes midnight. The occupants in the car are some of his literary and artistic idols. Gil discovers he can get a ride in the antique car each night as long as he stands at a particular street corner at the stroke of midnight. Gil’s travels back in time become both a disorienting prison as well as a creative catalyst for revising drafts of his novel manuscript.
Type: Comedy, Fantasy
Explore…Genesis 24:34–38, 42–49, 58–67
Gil’s initial “journey” through the time portal wasn’t chosen, though he does choose to continue travelling back through time.
One Lucky Elephant is a documentary about a man and an elephant. Ringmaster David Balding is the man. Flora is the African elephant at the centre of this documentary. David Balding bought Flora in Zimbabwe in 1982, where she had been orphaned at the age of two by ivory poachers. Balding trained Flora and she became the star of his one-ring St. Louis circus. By the time Flora was a teenager Balding realized that she would probably outlive him, since African elephants can live as long as seventy years. But finding a new home for Flora after her last performance in 2000 proved to be a daunting task. Director Lisa Leeman documented Flora’s final performance, and then the production crew kept filming, following David Balding and Flora over the next decade in the search for Flora’s retirement home.
From Ray McGinnis
In September 2008, Ecuador became the first country in the world to grant rights to Mother Earth (Pachamama). According to a New York Times article in September 2008, Ecuador’s Constitutional Assembly worked with the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, based in Pennsylvania, a group that gave legal assistance to governments and community groups trying to blend human affairs and the environment. Together, they composed the sections in Ecuador’s Constitution that reframed people’s legal relationship with nature in their country.
Bolivia passed a similar law in 2011, viewing natural resources as blessings and granting the same rights to nature as to human beings, including: the right to life and to exist; the right to continue vital cycles and processes free from human alteration; the right to pure water and clean air; the right to balance; the right not to be polluted; and the right to not have cellular structure modified or genetically altered. A controversial aspect is the right to “not be affected by mega-infrastructure and development projects that affect the balance of ecosystems and the local inhabitant communities.”
A group of countries led by Bolivia have recently brought the issue to the agenda of the United Nations General Assembly asking for a UN treaty that would grant the same rights to Mother Nature as found in the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” providing legal systems to maintain balance between human rights and the rights of other members of the Earth.
Bolivia’s “Law of Mother Earth” has as its foundation several of the tenets of indigenous belief, including the belief that humans are equal to all other entities. The “grandparents” teach that all belong to a big family of plants and animals, that everything in the planet forms part of a big family. The legislation will give the government new legal powers to monitor and control industry in the country. Other countries that have supported these initiatives include Nicaragua, Venezuela, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Antigua and Barbuda.
Now Turkey, in May 2011, is the latest country to discuss constitutional rights for Mother Earth. Over forty Turkish politicians, academics, and lawyers have organized the “Initiative for an Ecological Constitution” (IEC), which envisions an ecological approach to the country’s constitution. Turkey’s Green Party spokesperson Ümit Şahin, one of 40 people involved in the IEC, said, “As Turkey has been talking about making a new constitution, which is supposed to value the individual, then we should be talking about an ecological approach to it.”
From Sandra Rooney
I think we all hope to hear God’s call in a new and powerful way that can transform our lives. A month ago, 10,000 young people gathered in Washington, DC, USA, as part of a movement called Power Shift. They came from all over the country to share stories about local campaigns against dirty energy, to hear speeches, and see videos. But more than that, they spent time in training and regional organizing sessions because they are serious about mobilizing a powerful movement for clean energy and social justice.
Jessy Tolkan, one of the founders of the Energy Action Coalition, the coalition of 50 youth-led environmental and social justice organizations behind Power Shift, talked with Sarah van Gelder of Yes! Magazine about what has been happening since the first Power Shift gathering in 2007. Tolkan talks about their enthusiasm for electing Barack Obama, whom they saw as representing the progressive environmental agenda for which they hoped. Then Jessy Tolkan said, “Here, in 2011, there are a lot of pissed off people. Our hero-in-chief has not been as heroic as we want him to be. We haven’t won, but we’re also better organized than we’ve ever been.”
On the final day thousands took to the streets and demonstrated in front of the White House, and at British Petroleum offices and US Chamber of Commerce, which represent two of the country’s biggest climate emitters (and deniers). President Obama took time to meet with eleven representatives of Power Shift, and spent almost half an hour with them. He urged them to pressure the Congress. They urged him to provide stronger leadership. One of the last things the President said was for them to keep pushing him and his administration.
Speaking of the coalition, Tolkan added, “I think Power Shift 2011 is a lot about realizing we are digging in for the long haul, and if it means criticizing people that are, in theory, our friends, like Barack Obama, then we do that, because we’re standing up for our climate and our generation.”
From Sandra Rooney
We know that coral reefs are important to ocean health and healthy marine life is critical to human life. According to Stephanie Wear, the Nature Conservancy’s coral expert, “If we don’t act, we could lose 70% of reefs worldwide by the middle of the century.” Many coral reefs have already been destroyed. This vital ecosystem is threatened by climate change, over-fishing, pollution and costal development.
One person, sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor, has undertaken a unique project to witness to this impending natural disaster. The Silent Evolution is Taylor’s monumental underwater sculptural installation off the coast of Cancun. This is an area that draws 750,000 visitors a year, placing immense pressure on its natural resources. Located in the Cancun Marine Park, twenty-nine feet under the waters around Isla Mujeres, 400 life-size figures made of cement and steel are bolted to the substrate. Together they weigh over 164 metric tons/180 tons and cover 1090 square kilometers/420 square miles of barren seabed.
Taylor’s purpose is to promote recovery of the natural reefs and relieve pressure on them by drawing visitors away. The Silent Evolution installation is interactive so people can swim among the sculptures. The sculptures themselves are changing over time as coral grows on them and marine life establishes itself around them. Taylor hopes to demonstrate that positive human intervention can promote the renewal of nature.
Casts for The Silent Evolution represent a broad cross-section of society, old and young, male and female, predominantly Mexican. The figures are haunting, all with their eyes closed, wearing expressions of dejection, resignation, contemplation, petition, and anticipation. They are meant to suggest how we are all facing serious questions concerning our environment and our impact on the natural world.
By Fraser McNaughton
Most of us, most of the time are free to worship and practice our faith as we see fit. But in many parts of the world Christian communities have to daily take up their cross and decide whether they are prepared, like Stephen, to exhibit an enduring witness. Although Libya is so much in the news at present, it is easy to forget the plight of the Christian community there.
With the sound of NATO bombs in the background, the priest of the Anglican Church of Christ the King in Tripoli, Hamdy Daoud, explains that though most Christians have fled the city in search of safety, he and other ministers have remained. “Even though the majority of our community has evacuated, I am still here to serve those who are not able to leave or who have chosen to remain. It is important that we retain a Christian presence here at this critical time,” Hamdy said.
The cultural and religious tensions experienced by the early church threatened to diminish that Christian community. The current tensions of civil war in Libya have diminished the Christian communities there in number but not in witness.
By Fraser McNaughton
For decades North Korea has been treated as a pariah state by much of the world. Periodically it surges into the headlines but actually little is known of this remote land. However one person who has consistently provided a powerful witness to continuing dialogue and the need to keep channels of communication open is former US President, Jimmy Carter. He hopes to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-il during a visit that will concentrate on Pyongyang's nuclear programme and food needs.
The Nobel Peace prize winner is leading a delegation of former state leaders – called The Elders – on a three-day visit to the secretive state. “We would like very much to meet with Kim Jong-il and also Kim Jong-un,” Mr Carter told a news conference in Beijing, referring to the leader’s son and handpicked successor. “We have no indication that we will do so, but it would be a pleasure if we could,” he added. “Concerning the nuclear issue, we will report as accurately as we can – after we visit North Korea – of what they had to say, but we’re not pre-judging in advance what our experiences in Pyongyang will be.”
North Korea quit the six-party nuclear talks with the United States, South Korea, China, Japan, and Russia in 2009, after new United Nations sanctions following North Korea’s second nuclear and long-range missile tests.
Mr Carter and his team, which includes former Irish President Mary Robinson, former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, and ex-Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Brundtland, will also be looking at the country’s parlous food resources. The United Nations reported last month that more than six million North Koreans are in urgent need of food aid because of substantial falls in domestic production, food imports, and international aid.
Mr Carter brokered a deal in 1994 which pulled Washington and Pyongyang back from the brink of war over North Korea’s nuclear programme. But the former president said that this time he was not going to North Korea as anyone’s envoy.
“The Elders” will have an opportunity to provide a powerful witness as they accept the hospitality of North Korea and spend intentional time with leaders in that country.
By Fraser McNaughton
Since 1950 the people of Tibet have been hoping to regain their independence from China after the forces of Chairman Mao invaded. Tibetan Buddhism, a faith of peace and tolerance has been at the forefront of maintaining distinctive Tibetan traditions. The Dalai Lama is the spiritual head of Buddhists in Tibet.
Self immolation may be seen as an extreme form of witnessing to faith.
When Jesus broke bread the eyes of the Emmaus disciples “were opened.” Seeing Christ in the other shows us the God within each of us.
By Bruce Grindlay
In November 2009 Clive Hamilton wrote a provocative article in Crikey, an online news magazine, entitled “Denying the Coming Climate Holocaust.” The article was provocative not just because it questioned the deniers or doubters who argued that climate change was simply a passing phase of planet earth, but because it also used the word “holocaust.” This word evokes the genocidal killing of Jewish and other peoples by the Nazis.
By Bruce Grindlay
Something that finds expression in the newspapers at this time of year is the advertisements for places to go and things to do in the Easter “holidays.” Currently in Australia there are special holiday packages being offered for holidays in Bali. In Britain there are advertisements such as, “With the Easter school holidays fast approaching, why not arrange a break away for the whole family at…including a whole host of special Easter fun for all the family!” Is that what Easter is for us, a range of “Easter fun for all the family”?
And in the midst of this Christians will be observing two of the most important days in their faith life, Good Friday and Easter Day. The glorious celebration of Easter Sunday will now have to compete with a cacophony of the marketplace. People will have to choose between attending church and going to work.
Christians often find themselves marginalised by a culture that is consumer oriented.
By Bruce Grindlay
Since January this year we have seen an extraordinary number of governments across the Middle East face protests by large sections of their citizenry. In each country people of all ages have taken to the streets to protest against their leader. In most instances the leader has been so for many years and has held on to power in a dictatorial fashion. Now the people have had enough. They wish to be freed from their chains, from the system of oppression that has held them in thrall for decades. They have taken to the streets of the cities to march, to shout, to cry out for “freedom.”
Young people in the Middle East are leading peaceful protests for a more just society.
From Sandra Rooney
With all the turmoil in the Arab world and the earthquake in Japan, many other events in the world are going largely unnoticed. One such is the preparation for the creation of world’s newest nation, South Sudan. A peace agreement signed on January 9, 2005 brought an end to a civil war between the largely Islamic North and the South, largely Christian and Animist. The 22-year civil war had cost 2 million Sudanese their lives and displaced 4 million more. Among the displaced were thousands of children. Some had been forced to become child soldiers, others were sent from their homes by their families at the height of the violence. We know the story of how they ended up trekking hundred of miles through swamps, desert, and hostile territory. In 2000/2001 the United States granted refugee status to approximately 3800 young boys, who became known as the “Lost Boys of Sudan.”
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