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Monday, March 26, 2012

Today's not so bad.

Do you ever feel guilty about how good you've got it?
I know I live a life better than I deserve.
One of the things I hate about Facebook is the people on there who complain about the most RIDICULOUS things. Always playing the victim. I shudder to think about what they would think if trouble actually came their way. Their posts tend to go something like this...

Ya'll, please pray for me! First, my favorite television show didn't record on my DVR last night, I slept terrible and now I can't find my car keys. This is going to be an awful day, say a prayer for me please!

Then, what makes me even more angry, are the idiots that comment back like...
Oh girl, I hate that for you!
You are so strong, you can get through anything.
I know you can get through this day. I believe in you.
Praying for you girl. You can do this!You're one of the strongest people I know!

Please....please....stop feeding their stupidity.
They really have no clue how good of a life they have.
Yes, all of those things are mildly annoying. I've been angered by a missed recording....a lousy night's sleep....losing my car keys....but you're not going to see me get on Facebook and make it into a tragedy.

For whatever reason, there was a TON of complaining going on in the Facebook world this weekend. I had a great weekend, sorry yours was inconvenienced and you felt like it was the end of the world - I assure you it wasn't. Sunday night, I had the opportunity to hear the story of one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. It makes whatever problem I think I have look like a broken nail. I wanted to drag those complainers to hear him in by their ears and make them see the pettiness of their discontent - but I needed to hear his words, too!

This is Ngor Biar Deng who was born in Southern Sudan. 
When he was young, the 2nd civil war broke out between Northern Sudan (predominantly Muslim) and Southern Sudan (predominantly Christian). When he was 7, his village was attacked and he was separated from his family. He, along with thousands of other children, hid in the brush and in bushes until it was safe enough to look for help. They walked in lines miles long (you read that right....the line of children walking stretched for MILES) to Ethiopia for help. 

On their way, thousands died from the heat and starvation. It took them a month to reach their destination, walking the distance from Kentucky to Michigan. However, when they arrived, they were told they could stay as refugees, but had to build their own shelters and survive on un-milled corn. They couldn't grind it themselves and had no idea how to properly cook it to digest it properly, so many more of them died. They stayed in Ethiopia for 4 years until they were told they had to leave. 

As they attempted to cross the Gilo River to leave their refugee camp, soldiers opened fire on them. Five thousand children died that day from either being shot or drowning trying to escape. They got word Kenya was accepting refugees at a United Nations camp and took off again walking for another 3 weeks. Once there, they were given 2 weeks of provisions at a time that allowed for 1 meal per day. If you couldn't make your corn last 2 weeks, you went hungry. Ngor stayed there for 9 years before coming to the United States.

Once here, he was given 3 months of a place to stay and food to eat...after that, he was on his own. He got his GED. Started working full time as a janitor at a hospital in Louisville and going to school. He earned 2 bachelor degrees and a master's in chemical engineering. He now works in West Virginia. 

A few years ago, he found out his mother survived the war. He went back to visit her for the first time in 21 years. His father, sister and half-brothers had died in the war.

Ngor and some other Lost Boys living in the U.S. started an organization called the Juet Community Rehabilitation Service to raise funds to build schools for the children left affected by the war who have lost their parents. This war only ended in 2005, the amount of children left orphaned is staggering. You can check out his organization here.

Now...tell me again about those car keys you can't find?


The Pettijohn's said...

Agree with you on the facebook statuses. You should share this post on facebook and hope people like you listed above that put retarded statuses, read this and rethink things.

Sissy said...

Beautifully written Bethany. It was a pure blessing getting to hear him speak last night. As I told Johnny has we were walking to car "And people think that they have it so bad sometimes." Really puts your entire life into perspective.

Beth said...

I did post it to Facebook :) We shall see if any of those posters take the time to read it, lol.

And thanks, Sissy! I thought it was just amazing.

Cassie said...

wow - great post.

i am a firm believe in the saying, if everyone threw their problems in a pile you'd be quick to take yours back.
very true!!

Beth said...

I have only heard that quote recently (I think even from you on a blog post maybe a few months back?) and I am with you, could NOT agree more!!

Heather Dierks said...

Have I told you lately how amazing I think you are? You make me smile with your updates about JJ. (Real mom stuff, which makes me feel normal!) ;) And you GET IT. Life in general... and pass it on, which make other people better. I am proud to call you a friend!

Beth said...

Heather, you just made my week - if not my whole month! It's my pleasure, friend. Hope we see each other sometime, the future...again :) It's been forever!

Katie said...

Wow. Thank you for posting this! Jake and I are always looking for places where we can donate money so I'll have to check out his organization!