Tuesday, February 8, 2011

God Grew Tired of Us

I watched the movie “God Grew Tired of Us” again.

I’m not entirely sure why I keep watching it since it’s not exactly a ‘feel good’ movie. It will make you cry, it will make you laugh, it will make you think, it will make you re-evaluate and it will hopefully not leave you the way you were before you encountered it.

For those of you who have not seen it – it’s the true story of the Lost Boys of the Sudan. The story of how an entire generation of 13yr old and younger children had to flee, parentless, from the Sudan during the war. About 27 000 children left Sudan and when reaching Kenya some years later, roughly 12 000 survived. 13 year old child leaders had to bury the-dead-and-barely-there bodies in shallow graves.

Looking at the bunch of youngsters who had settled in Kenya, although they were often thin, they looked so happy, their faces shone, they danced to music from small radios, they shared everything that they had with one another and they loved being together. These children had formed one large family.

One man, realising the need to keep their spirits up when food was short and times were tough, established “Parliament”. This was the gathering of the people under beautiful trees, where he would sing to them and tell them stories for as long as was needed.

Several of these “Lost Boys” were given the opportunity to move to the USA to make a ‘better life’ for themselves. There are some humorous bits which I will leave for you to find out (I don’t want to give everything away!) They all had to work, which they did faithfully and well.

What blew me away were some of the ‘throw away’ comments:
  • A comment about the Christmas Trees: the one remarked that ‘its all very pretty but can someone please tell me what it has to do with the birth of Jesus Christ which is what the celebrations should be about’.
  • Another remark that was made was when it was felt that some of them were beginning to lose their identity and beginning to merge into western society and he said “If you don’t have a culture you are not a people” (possibly slightly paraphrased)…
  • Another comment: He felt that perhaps God had grown tired of them and that’s why they were suffering so at home.

I think what hit me most was the scene where one of the guys had just finished working and was waiting for his bus home at 02h00. He looked so sad, and reflected that everything was so busy, the work, the people and the city, and he wondered when the family got together. He missed home.

He missed home. He missed the people he loved.

He didn’t think of lack of housing or of food shortages or of the heat...he missed being able to just be with people that he loved.

I can’t tell you exactly how I felt about the movie because I am not sure. I don’t know if it was the right thing for the Boys to go to the USA, although good did come out of it in some of their lives. I don’t know if it made me feel better about my life, or worse.

I don’t know if it made me happy or sad.

I do know that I have changed since watching it and that my heart has been softened even more to the plight of those countries and families torn apart by war. I hope that I will never take the time I have with family and friends for granted and always remember how precious that time is.

I believe too that every opportunity to help others is an opportunity that we should take and not miss.

For up-to-date info go here. To view the Trailer go here.

For the transcript of an interview done with Jon go here.



  1. Wonderful movie
    And wonderful post
    I agree with you - the movie leaves you happy and sad: proud of humanity and ashamed of it: uplifted and horrified
    But a must see?

  2. I love this film - it helps me look at Westernised cultures through different eyes and how strange some of the things we do seem. It reminds me of how different my hubbies upbringing was to mine - the first time he saw Vienna's as a wee boy he & his friends buried them as they thought they were fingers!

  3. I will admit that I actually cried watching this movie a few months ago. We have become so materialistic in our ways when the most basic need of family, love and friendship is the tie that binds us and gives us strength. Thanks for sharing Lisa.

  4. Allie - Exactly. Definately a 'must see'
    Tracey - It must make for some really interesting conversations at home comparing your cultures - speaking of which, I had to laugh at your snake post this morning!
    Andy - Totally. Its a humbling movie and makes us realise what is really important.


So, what do you think?