Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in Oyam North

Pastor Fred, a Ugandan, was very interested in the history of Oyam North given that this was Joseph Kony’s territory. The Lord’s Resistance Army was very active in this area just five short years ago and we heard from two men who lived through his reign up close and personal.

Pastor Patrick and brothter Orville
Pastor Patrick went to primary school with Kony and described him as "a very humble boy." His boyhood home was just nearby. This is supposedly why he returned to Lira to inflict his regime…because he was familiar with the area. Pastor Patrick recalled Kony and his men marching in down the street in front of his house on a regular basis. He said scouts would spread the word that they were coming and families would take off for the bush before they arrived. Sometimes Kony would find out they were alerted and put spies in the bush to kill those who ran from their homes. Luckily, Pastor and his family were spared. So many families lived in IDP camps at some point or another, and Pastor’s family was no exception.

Pastor’s brother, Orville, told the story of his capture. Honestly, I have a hard time not likening this story to a traumatic memory of an Auschwitz survivor’s story told when I was in about the seventh grade. I just shut some of the details out. None the less, Orville’s story went on until he said they let him go by some freak mistake (we call that a God thing).

Today absolute peace reigns this area and as Pastor Fred and I walked these roads we prayed that God’s angels would continue to stand guard on their behalf.