The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


A refugee's tale

Sudanese refugee finds healing in helping others like her

Anne Aroste, 24, still dreams of her childhood in rural southern Sudan. Sometimes she's running through the green foothills of her village, Tombura, beads of perspiration burning her eyes, before she plunges into the coolness of the river outside her home. Other times she's surrounded by lush jungle, gazing at her father's campfire-lit face as he recites tall tales until dawn.

"He was such a loving father," Anne said in her soft, lilting voice. "He wanted us to never forget God."

Sometimes, when she's alone, she'll take down a small box hidden within her tiny Chicago apartment. She handles the photographs inside gingerly, so as not to scratch these fading vestiges of an equally fading past.

In one tattered photo, Anbrose, a handsome young man in his early 20s, smiles winsomely with sleepy eyes and a warm face. Growing up, Anne had a wild crush on her brother's schoolmate, Anbrose. They were married at 18. Within months, she was pregnant and blissfully happy.

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February issue


Embracing diversity