All the introductions lead to despair and failure, no nurture, no family and no money. But God had a different opinion, and He was able to raise me to the summit of many mountains, and I’ve never descended ever since.
A Homeless Childhood:
My name is Jacqueline, I’m famous for “Amy” or “Amina”, I was born and I grew up in Juba, but my troubles started even before I was born; as my parents got separated, and I was brought up in many places by many families, and in every new place I step into, more and bigger challenges appear.
I remember one day, while I lived with my grandmother, she told the owner of the house:”We have no money for food today”. So he said: “What about my children? I have little children who need to eat and drink milk too”. My grandmother used to tell me:”Daughter, if I died, unfortunately, you’ll have nobody to take care of you, and maybe you’ll face a lot of troubles in your life; so, you have to have a strong heart”.
In the 4th of June 1984, I heard a voice at 6 am telling me “this is the day that your grandmother will pass away”. Indeed at 8 in the morning I received the news that grandmother has been deceased or my mother as I used to call her. The news struck me like nothing had ever done before, but I remembered the words she told me a few months ago; that I have to have a strong heart in order to face every problem that comes my way.
After a huge struggle, I was able to finish my high school in Juba city, then I travelled to Kenya, where I found difficulty finding a house for me, so I tried sewing napkins and selling them, in order to get some money and pay the rent of a simple room, and also to pay the fees of typewriting courses.
Bit by bit, I learnt typewriting, Dr. Samson enquired about me, as he sympathized a lot with me; so he asked:”To what degree have you mastered typewriting?”, and I replied that I had completed the initial phase, so he asked me to type some sheets of paper. Then, he accompanied me to the office of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement. There I took charge of printing membership cards for the movement, I used to collect the simple rate I get from this job and use it to search for scholarships at the university.
I lived with a roommate; she was studying for a master’s degree at the American University in Nairobi. But one day, unexpectedly, that roommate hired the room where we live together to someone without our knowledge!!
And when I asked her why, she refused to tell me the reason, but she told me the tenant’s name, who was a South Sudanese citizen like us. So; I went and inquired from him on the date he will move into our room, he replied that he will come tomorrow, so I didn’t sleep all night, thinking: How will I stay? How will I complete my studies?
The next morning, I went to the headquarters of an organization called “African Refugee Education Program”, which had already interviewed me before. So, when the organization’s accountant saw me, he rose from his seat and shook my hand with his right hand, while giving me a bank check with his left hand; saying: “This check is for your school, go and pay your university fees “, it was a miracle in every sense of the word; especially after God has prepared for me a group of South Sudanese young people who study at that university, who helped me get a room to live in.
Life at the university wasn’t easy too, but the organization’s aid would only suffice buying food for about two weeks, and I would spend two whole weeks with no food!! That’s why I had the idea of typing some sheets of paper for the Master’s degree students every weekend, in order to get more expenses; and that’s how I managed to complete my university studies. Then I returned the typewriter to Dr. Samson, thanked him, and told him that this machine had helped me a lot.
After graduation, I worked with many organizations; the first one was “Woodrance”; it is concerned with the rehabilitation of widows, orphans and disabled people, but I left it after ten months. Afterwards, I joined a field survey about women in the Nubian mountains, where we spent six weeks moving on foot for long distances.
Later on, I found a temporary job with the late Dr. Samson, my job was to record the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) meetings, which usually starts at 3 pm and lasts until 9 pm. From there I found a job with the Norwegian People’s Aid for three months; where we used to educate citizens about HIV and other diseases.
One day, some people came to tell me that there was a new office for the organization, asking me to stay there, until the signature of peace, and it happened, peace was made , and the government was formed, so I worked there till year 2008. At the same time, I was studying Master on my own expenses, and then I was moved to Juba as a technical advisor with the SPLM.
After sometime, a misunderstanding occurred between me and one of the senior military men, and I was suspended from work for seven years, during which I applied to work in many places, but I wasn’t admitted in any of them. As a result, I decided to do simple business; such as selling food commodities, and bed sheets. Until the current moment, I have an amount of bed sheets that just arrived at the land port that I’ll have to get, because an organization in Juba asked me for quantities of it.
Last year, my husband applied for a job at the Council of Churches of Southern Sudan. Before they interviewed me regarding this position, there were prayers to celebrate the commemoration of the World Day for the suffering women, and I was invited to attend, and 500 shillings should be paid as entry fees.
Despite my hesitance to attend that event; for I didn’t have the value of subscription fees, but that evening Dr. Jane Francis phoned, the day’s organizer, informing me that she paid my subscription fees value, so, next morning, I went to a place called “Divine Mercy”; it lies in Mashakosh area, down the mountain, and we went up mountain while we prayed.
The Mountain’s Prayer:
At the top of the mountain, one of the priests gave us some lessons, he said: “Women in all the world bear the utmost burden”, and one of the servants performed a special hymn, its words said: “hold my hand, O Lord, hold my hand to the heavens, hold my hand, O Lord “.It really touched my heart, then he asked each one of us to sit on the summit of that mountain and leave all the troubles that disturb us to Lord Jesus.
So I looked down; where Mashakosh city lies, and I prayed: “ O Lord, even if my problems were as enormous as that mountain, here I have climbed this mountain easily and without fatigue, if my problems were tied to me as a piece of cloth; then please Lord, that piece of cloth became old after these seven years, please tear it”.
That’s how I prayed, shedding tears in silence, then I burst into laughter!! Because I saw the rest of the women screaming out loud, I always thought my problems were the bigger and the heavier, but it looks like some people have way bigger and heavier problems than mine.
After we finished praying, we descended the mountain, and Dr. Jane Francis asked me: “Dear, how were the prayers?”, “These are the same prayers that I thought of in my mind, but I did not know how and when I would bring them out to God”, I replied. “It was God’s plan that you came here today”, she replied.
Response of God:
That was on Saturday, in the next Wednesday, I received a phone call from the Southern Sudan Council of Churches, to interview me the next day, I answered:” I’m in Nairobi, if you don’t mind postponing the interview till Monday that would be great!” the caller replied that he will contact the specified committee and get back to me later.
Afterwards, I pleaded God saying:”O Lord, if you want to give me that job, to serve your people, let the committee agree to interview me next Monday, but if that job doesn’t agree with your will, let the committee decline”.
After a while, I received a phone call from a personnel affairs administrator, he was inquiring: “At what hour are you coming on Monday?”, “I’ll be at your office at 9 am”, I replied. Indeed I did and I was interviewed, I used a little of my knowledge in the written exam out of fear, and I waited for the results that will appear after 24 hrs, but it didn’t for two weeks!!
I returned from Juba to Kenya feeling desperate. One day after we had lunch, my daughter asked me to check my email, because she hasn’t checked in a few days, and I have reached a phase where I do not write any mails.
As soon as she opened my email, she said:” congratulations, mom, you got the job!”, so I replied:”What are you saying?”, “You got that job at the Southern Sudan Council of Churches.” she said. “O God, let your will be done” I replied. And I thanked God from all my heart for responding to my prayers, and on my rescue when I needed Him. I have learnt that God can make the impossible with any person, if only he was honest, responsible and faithful.