Angelo Welo (The doors of hope)

Life goes on at its own pace, between ups and downs, until a shocking moment comes, when questions multiply, and concerns grow, but GOD opens other entrances, entering the hope and joy again…

A Breaking Year:
My name is “Aneglo Welo Akwa”; I was born in 1983 AD, as a first born for a non-Christian family that consists of two boys and two girls, in the area of   “Feshla” located in the state of “Poma” nowadays, one of the southern Sudanese provinces. I did not know anything about Christianity, until I entered school and learnt about our most important principles there.

This continued until 1999 AD, when my whole life changed. I had completed high school, and I did my national service. I only had to finish my university degree, but suddenly my father died. I did not go to a university; it was the most difficult period of my life. The load was heavy for me as the family elder.

Sacrifice memory:
When my father died, I cried a lot, not only because of my strong attachment to him, but because he sacrificed his life for us; although he did not go to school, he sacrificed his life to enter the Sudanese army, and continued in it for twenty years. He used to tell us that the army, throughout this period, was giving us the money necessary to send us to education.

I won’t forget the words of my father to me and to my siblings, he said in an occasion: “When the hour of his death comes, he would like to see that our eyes have been opened to life, because now we are like the puppies.” And we understood after his death what he meant with this metaphor, reaching the level of individual responsibility and self-reliance.

When I remembered my father’s words before his death, I cried a lot, especially that our relationship was very strong. He was the best example of a father who sacrificed for his children. I waited until I finish university and work in order to take over some of the life burdens, but unfortunately I couldn’t, as his death ended all hopes.

Many Challenges:
After my great shock, I began to ask difficult questions: “Why does Man die? and where do they go after death? Why did my father die leaving us in this situation?” In addition to the traditional questions: “How will we survive without my father?” “How will we provide the money necessary for us?”

Because I didn’t find answers to all these questions, I waited for a new phase with a new hope. I have already started my university studies, and I decided to bear the family’s responsibilities, even though I had no work and no income, and everyone was looking forward to my continuation to the sacrifice my father did, and to be their provider.

Beginnings of light:
Things started to advance a bit in my family, and due to my business at the university studies, I depended on my younger brother to follow up my father’s pension and his financial rights after his death. My brother has already given me the money, so I met him and gathered my other brother and sisters, and we managed together what we have to do.

Then I suggested to my siblings that we buy a house for the family, because we did not have a private home until this time, and this is what we did. After the family settled, I devoted myself to the university studies, which I finished four years later. Afterwards, I worked for another four years. My younger brother managed to get a job, and he became a support to me and the whole family.

Later on, I became a servant in the church, and then I thought of getting married in 2017 AD. My brother and my younger sister got married too and the burden on us became a little bit lighter, and the responsibility of our mother and our little sister remained ours; so we allocated a part of the house we bought for rent, to help my mother and sister meet their extra expenses.

End of fears:
After we became only the three; my married brother and sister and I contributed to the support of the mother and younger sister. Life was different somehow, and fear gradually faded, because our eyes were opened; as our departed father had said.

All this had happened in the framework of the old Sudan, before the independence of southern Sudan, and we came to the homeland with great ambitions and hopes, and we had high enthusiasm to rebuild our country.

Unfortunately, all these hopes were shattered by the outbreak of the conflict in 2013. Many southern Sudanese preferred to leave the country in search for security and stability, and my family andI were among them.

But I trust that GOD, who has been with us throughout these difficult years, will create hope for us, He will be a source of safety, peace and tranquility, and this is an encouragement to every southern Sudanese man, who may suffer from what we have suffered; because suffering could be the entrance to hope, and death could be the beginning of a new and better life.