Opinion

No matter what you face, God still cares

By Ngor Khot Garang

This Finding Hope column, though is just a small platform has made me a great family. I have had hundreds of calls from different kinds of people from the time I started writing and their stories humbled me. People who have had identity crisis, mostly those who didn’t believe in themselves and how Finding Hope has gotten them back on their feet called their stories and me touched my heart. I love them all. I sacrifice my time and energy because of them.

Some of these people are students; others are people like you who hopes or are hoping for a better future. Majority of these people are going through pain, rejection and all sort of things that they can’t even imagine.

I used to think that I’m a useless guy. My current economic status is pitiful and sometimes I cry alone in my heart. With my friend, we have had a lot of problems and worries about the future combined.

Most times we have to move long distances just because we can’t afford a taxi fare and we still hope for a better life. 

We also initiate plans about how we can get some money to support others and ourselves but it just doesn’t work. When it gets harder we feel like what we preach on the print media is just nothing but a fallacy. Sometimes it even sucks when we think about a future that almost seemed unreal.

Sometimes back, my friend in the fight told me that one of his readers called him almost in tears and asked if there was a way he could find him a job.  It was in regard to an article my friend wrote titled “Young man do any work” published to encourage young people to hide behind their pride and do something better for themselves but it was taken, somehow, ironically by the reader as if my friend was a job creator and he was looking for someone to employ. When you meet the friend in real life, something will tell you that this young man needs help. He is very thin and when he is on a tight jean and t-shirt, you will really cry out to God.

And when you see me, you will really believe that God has completely forgotten about us. It is not about weight or potbelly; it is about what you do for others. That is what matters in this life.

I laughed heartily when I heard this story because my friend himself was and is still in need of a job to finance his studies. On that same day, I went home and asked God many questions and one of those was why our efforts don’t produce good results but before I could make a conclusion, something told me that despite what we are going through or what you are going through, there is still a reason to celebrate all that we face.

It is true, am a struggling young man. Most times, I couldn’t even imagine where my next meal would come from. I can’t even imagine my future because the presentsituation is not pleasing but there are people down there who really wish they were in my shoes but they can’t and they really don’t know how to start.

This life is really funny. It treats people smartly and leaves tears in our eyes. As a writer, I have had many of my writing read by some of the powerful people of our country. Some even reached out through phone or even text messages to appreciate my work.

I appreciate them but I really wish they know what I go through. I am just a broken young man but people who have gone far in life are admiring me.

God is really in control and he will surprise you and me with a good job, good life and right partner one day. No matter the intensity of pain or the load that you carry, just wipe your tears and count on God. He will never let you down.

On April this year, one of Finding Hope readers called me and started crying. I was moved because I have never heard a man crying but that time, I was aware that something was wrong.

“Ngor” He mustered some words with difficulty. “ Thanks for being my only source of hope. You have made me strong with your writing. May God bless you and keep you healthy”. He introduced himself as John.  It was true that it was not John speaking but God through him because those words got me back on my feet.  I was also down with my own problems but when I heard those words, I collected the broken pieces and put them together.

As I mentioned before, John has been a regular follower of my Finding Hope and this time he could not hide his own story about the way Finding Hope has changed his life.

He went on to tell me how God has been testing him and how he has remained strong even in the face of overwhelming challenges.  On June 30th2020, his wife and his son Chol were on their way to Bor but their passengers’ vehicle did not reach the final destination. They were attacked on the way and his wife was not so lucky, she was killed but God spared the life of this innocent child, leaving him with some of the ribs broken. 

John himself has tumors (cancerous cells) around his body. These lumps worsen every day but he has always been a very strong man with nothing in this world but God as his only hope.  This sickness has taken him to India when he was still financially buoyant with hopes of coming back in better health but the treatment only drained his pocket and worsened the sickness.

When I heard John’s story, I was greatly moved. My humanity too was challenged. I know I had to do something even as a struggling man.  I phoned John on Thursday morning April 29th and told him that I would write an article about the situation of the boy and run it in my column for my readers to help or talk with one of the local pastors to organize a fund raising ceremony.  I could only hear John mustering “Thank yous” on the other end.

When we were done talking, I thought of the then concluded Youth leadership in Sherikat. Several people have told me that these young men who were doing all they could to ascend to a community leadership were blindly spending a lot of money to win voters. “These people should not play with money when there is a child who needs it to have his life restored”. I said to myself, by then, I had already designed a small booklet with some writings about 500 words and the boy’s picture attached to the document and it was already in my bag.

I was told that general campaign would take place on Saturday may 1st. This time, I was very sure this was going to be the opportunity to have the boy helped by the contestants who have already wasted a lot of money during campaigns.  But the biggest challenge was how to get the already engrossed electoral committee because they were the right people to use.

On Saturday morning may 1st, I went to the place and tried to connect some dots but it failed. I tried to talk to some friends who were very close to these guys but they discouraged me saying it was very impossible.  This time, I was not discouraged, I went again and it worked. Fund raising was made and to my surprise about SSP 325,000 and $1000 was collected to help the boy. This was through Finding Hope and that night; I praised God for using a broken young man like me to put a smile on someone’s face.

I may not have money but I have taken the right path in my twenties and this is even more than money. This also applies to you. I know what you are going through. You are struggling alone in life. You are worried about your future. You don’t have a dad and you don’t even know how you will get through this alone. It is just you alone in the journey.

Sometimes you feel like you should commit suicide. It is just hard always and there seems to be no way out. Your plans don’t work and everything you try just hurts.  For some people, it feels like God doesn’t care about anything they go through or if he does, he likes the way we struggle without success but I tell you that you are enough and God will make a way.

You need to be strong and when I say this, I mean it. I have known people who have stood strong even in the face of pressing challenges and you are one of them but one is a friend that I cherish and love like a part of me.

This young girl was my classmate but there is something I like from her. I admire her even when I cannot tell her in the face. I call her Susan and this name is not enough. As a young girl, growing up in a male chauvinistic society where girls are seen as people of no value but mere humans to be taken by a highest bidder was a sad reality that she had to accept. She also went through a lot but she went through it all with hope that one day, her situation will change and she will be in her dream place.  She is now a University student and her future is promising.

If she was weak, she would have given in and blamed the world for being unfair. This is the same challenge you are going through as a young girl, man, woman. Life is unfair. It is unkind!

It hurtsinnocent people but when you go through these things, there is something special about you. And there is no doubt; there is something better on your way. God gives strongest battles to those that he loves.  The question may be why it has to be too much but that is life.  Do what is right and put God above everything, he will surely make a way.

Thanks for reading Hope and for being part of a community working towards positive transformation of South Sudan.     

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