In continuation from Part 1…
One area that John Dau, one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, hit very forcefully on was about how we can reach our dreams. In America, nothing prevents us from changing the world. Yet John noted how many of us hold ourselves back. “I worked as a security guard at a psychiatric facility. Many of the young girls and boys there wanted to kill themselves because they had just been broken up with by their girl or boyfriends.”
“We have a saying in Sudan, about your partner. It’s like a Matatu,” says Dau, describing the private mini bus system that provides transportation throughout many countries in Africa. “It comes by often. So there are more opportunities. If one girl doesn’t work out, then we wait for the next Matatu!” he said with a grin.
But even more seriously he pointed to the fact that the people in the U.S. would tell him they couldn’t reach their goals because they had been abused. “I have the scars. I have the beatings on my back. I can show you them. But they do not hold me back. I have my goals, and I reach them, and we can all reach them. There is no reason, why? Why? Why? Do not let it hold you back, it cannot,” he said emphatically.
An audience member asked John how he retained his strength and ability to persevere, and accomplish many things for so many people. “First I have my faith. I am Christian and God has led me, and that is what works for me. Second is our Dinka culture. In it, we believe we are here to help others, and when we do, angels come into our home, in the form of people.
John Dau is a grateful and strong man, cognizant of all the angels in his life who got him here. He’s now funded four nonprofits, serving thousands through education, food programs, medical clinics, and even the first Sudanese ambulance, made from a makeshift van.
John, thank you for being our angel. Thank you for your example, positive strength, belief in all things possible. And for helping the lost boys of Sudan continue to find and appreciate their sense of home, both in Sudan and the United States.