Lost Boy No More tells the incredible true story of Abraham Nhialbut the story is not his alone. As a nine year-old child, Abraham found himself orphaned as civil war in his homeland of Sudan ravaged his entire village because they refused to embrace Islam. His journey is one of a perilous walk along with 35,000 lost boys of Sudan who fled to Ethiopia. Abraham and others like him made it to the border but hard times were not over as he endured the refugee camps of Ethiopia. Abraham becomes a lost boy no more when he discovers real salvation through Jesus Christ. Lost Boy No More gives more than a narrative of Abraham’s story. It also gives a history of Sudan and the persecution of Christians by Islamic militants.
Nhial survived the unthinkable. Rebels attacked his village in southern Sudan
in 1987, killing many dear to him. He ran into the jungle, meeting other "Lost
Boys" and wandering with them for months, and survived by eating wild plants
and even mud. He watched some of his companions attacked by lions and daily
feared for his life. The Lost Boys-35,000 of them-found safety first in
Ethiopia, and when attacked there moved on to Kenya, losing a great deal of
their number in their escape across the Gilo River, where they were attacked
by crocodiles, shot or drowned. Eventually, Nhial was one of the 4,000
relocated to the United States. He and the others dream of going back to
rebuild Sudan into a peaceful and prosperous country. Nhial's story is told
third-person, in Mills's voice, which drains its power. Numerous chapters in
the middle of the book get weighed down with studies of Sudanese history, a
comparison of Islam and Christianity (Nhial's own faith), details on the
development of the Sudan People's Liberation Army, life in a refugee camp and
the history of oil resources and slavery in southern Sudan. These facts are
relevant, but they stop the progression of the story. The story is a
page-turner; unfortunately, the book is not. (Nov. 15) Copyright 2004 Reed
When most of us remember being nine years old, we think of our family, our best friend, our home, perhaps a favorite teacher or a big game.
Not Abraham Nhial. In Lost Boy No More, he shares being nine in southern Sudan. He remembers hearing the drums warning of attack by the Government of Sudan's Muslim soldiers. He fled to his parents' village to find it razed, the bodies of his uncle and neighbors bleeding on the ground.
Then he became one of about 16,000 boys, ages five to thirteen, who made the agonizing, terrifying 1000-mile trip, without adults, across Sudan to refuge in Ethiopia. Known as the "lost boys of Sudan," they faced snakes, lions, hyenas, starvation, thirst, crocodiles, drowning, injuries, and enemy soldiers.
Nhial and Mills do not dwell on the gory details but maintain a certain distance in their writing as they share not only Nhial's experience, but those of other "lost boys" too. They also inform the reader of the history of Sudan, of the civil war which has killed four million southern Sudanese, of the culture and religion of the region, and of the coveted land and resources. They describe the refugee camps where Nhial became a Christian and later where he served the Lord and give an overview of the refugee process that brought him to the United States to prepare him to return to Sudan to serve.
This book details not only the heart of a remarkable young man but the heartbreak of half a nation.
It includes notes, a glossary, maps, and a bibliography. The glossary is very helpful because it identifies the abbreviations of organizations, abbreviations that the authors too frequently rely on, leaving the reader momentarily confused. The maps are so small that they do not offer much help, at least not for middle-aged eyes. In spite of these minor problems, Lost Boy No More is well worth reading for anyone interested in true survival accounts, current events, or for the needs of a very needy people.
In addition to Lost Boy No More, you may wish to read Francis Bok's Escape from Slavery, a true tale of an amazing young boy who did not escape the marauders. The two books together provide a fuller picture of the tragedy that is Sudan, of two remarkable young men, and of the hand of God. -- Debbie W. Wilson, Christian Book Previews.com
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