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From Rebel Attack and Refugee Camp to Hope

My name is Orach Bosco. I currently live in Northern Uganda in a place called Pabbo. I once lived with both parent and two brothers in a very small village in Pabbo. I was yet a little boy of about four years. We had a happy, love filled family.


One day during the Northern Uganda insurgency; a group of armed rebels attacked our family; and looted all of our animals. They captured my father, forcing him to walk hundreds of miles through bush and forest heavily loaded with food for the soldiers. Fortunately, no one was killed; and we were left with our mother. Two weeks passed when our neighbor who had also been taken, escaped from his captors. He reported that our father had been murdered by the rebels.

My mother had to toil to provide for the family’s needs. Although she worked hard, there was never enough money to care for all of our needs. My elder brother fell sick of measles and died a month later. He was not able to receive the treatment that was needed. Life became more difficult day by day.


Marriage was the answer my mother chose to ease the situation. Unfortunately the man she married did not help our problems at all. My brother and I were used as child slaves by our step-father. We were forced to work a long, hard day digging in the garden. We were fed one meal once a day at 6PM every evening. This man beat us heavily and often. He used to chase us from the home when our mother was not there. Our step-father reminded us of our father’s death, and told us that we were useless to him. He sent me to school two days a week, but I worked in the garden the other five days of the week including Saturday and Sunday.


I decided to run away from my family, and live on the streets looking for food. I frequently invaded people’s gardens and took what I needed for the day. Each time I was caught, I would be beaten and often injured. My bed was a blanket on the floor of an abandoned house in the town. When I got tired of this life, I went to my uncle’s home hoping he would allow me to stay with him. I stayed for a while laying bricks to pay my school fees. He turned out to be an alcoholic and very physically abusive. One time he demanded money from me. When he found that I had none, he beat me, ordered me to leave his house, and locked the door behind me.

The rebel activity had increased so much in the town and surrounding areas that no one was safe unless they lived in a refugee camp. I moved into Pabbo Refugee Camp in 2002. Life is the camp was very difficult. We did not have a school to attend and often did not have enough food to eat. However, it was in the camp that I met a nice woman and asked her for some tomatoes. After talking to her, I found out that she was the sister of my late father. We were both so excited, and she introduced me to the rest of the family, and invited me to live with her and my 78 year old paternal grandmother.


My aunt and I moved out of the camp in 2009 and resettled 1 mile away from a Four Square Church. She cultivated gardens for others and tried to raise the money for school fees, food, and my other needs. Soon we were a year and a half behind in my fees, and I was sent home where I began to work in the gardens.  In my mind, all hope of finishing my education.


On December 26, 2009, I attended a gospel crusade in the town of Pabbo. I became interested in knowing more about the Lord Jesus Christ. I started attending the Four Square with Pastor John Bosco and received Jesus as my Lord and Savior. My first friend from church was Hillary who was Pastor Bosco’s son. Hillary told his father all about me. After learning why I was not in school, I was invited to move in with the Bosco family. My school fees were paid and I started attending school again. It brought so much joy to my heart.

A woman named Mary Sue sponsored me through Prepare the Way Ministry to finish high school and take a 2 year course in teaching. I completed it in 2014 and am now teaching at Pastor Bosco’s primary school in Pabbo.


In 2015-2016, Pastor Bosco tried to reunite me back to my relatives and step-father. To my dismay, they all rejected me and sent my aunt and I away. They destroyed some of our property which was already minimal.


My aunt became very sick, and died in June of 2016. I reflected back on my situation and wondered what I would do. I cried as I thought about the bleakness of my future. In the Acholi culture, a man builds his home on clan land which is given to him by his family. My relatives had refused to give me land to build a home. When Pastor Bosco saw me with such a heavy heart, he said “You are now my son” and moved me back into his home.


Pastor Bill and I wanted to share the story of one of our kids who was able to go “from the streets to a family, survived a rebel attack, and lived in a refugee camp” with the help of sponsorship through Prepare the Way Ministry. We are sending a special “thank you” to all of you who sponsor a child, and an invitation for the rest of you to get involved and change a life forever.