Simon’s Story… GRN Early Years

photo1When Simon was seven years old, he and his family lived in South Sudan. One day, Muslim militia came from the north of Sudan and raided his village. Simon’s whole family was killed before his eyes. He was taken to the north and sold as a slave. The man who bought him put him in charge of his sheep. Simon did not know how to take care of sheep, so he did not do as good of a job as his master wanted him to do. As punishment, the master tied a rope around Simon’s neck and tied the other end of the rope around a camel. He proceeded to slap the camel and made it run. Simon was dragged and nearly killed by the incident. Simon was then sold to another man, but his new master did not like him either so he sold him. Finally, another man purchased him. Out of hatred for Simon, he literally took him to the bush and hung him from a tree. Just “by chance” a person was walking through the bush and saw Simon’s small body hanging from a tree. The man cut him down from the tree and saw that there was still life in him. The man happened to have known Simon’s father when he was still alive. This man  adopted Simon as his own son. I met Simon many years ago in a camp with his adopted father. He graciously gave me his shirt and I gave him a brand new shirt. The shirt he had been wearing represented many bad memories of being forced to go to an Islamic school and learn things that went against his Christian faith. I will never forget him.” – Tom Zurowski