Never shall I forget the moment my mother stood up for our family during the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It happened in 2003 when I was five-years-old.
The war was between two tribes: Hema, our tribe, and Lendu. My mom told me that before the war, most people in our tribe were cattle keepers and Lendu were farmers. The Lendu tribe complained that our cows were destroying their plantations. We were rich and we had everything, and they were telling us, “Please don’t let your cows destroy our plantation.” The Hema people disregarded the Lendu people. But then, they started to steal our cows. Next, they started to kill people at night from other states.
We thought it would not happen in our state, but one night the Lendu attacked us. When they were almost at our home my mom, dad and brothers heard the neighbors screaming. My parents and brother ran outside and saw the house of our neighbor burning and people sobbing because people were burning in their houses.
After seeing all of these things my mom said, “I can’t leave my daughter here.”
She returned to the house and called me, “My daughter, wake up! We are going to die!” she screamed.
“What? Mom? What happened?” I responded, still sleeping.
“Wake up,” she said.
I was frightened and woke up quickly in my bed.
When I looked at her, I saw the tears on her face and I also started to cry.
“Stop crying, my daughter” she said. “Let’s go.”
She took my hand and we ran.
“Where are we going, Mom?” I asked her.
“We are going to hide in the forest until morning and we are going to search for your dad and brothers, I don’t know where they are my daughter,” my mom said.
“Are the animals going to eat us Mom?” I asked.
“Don’t worry my daughter, God will protect us. We will not see any animals here,” she said.
Very early in the morning we saw my dad and brothers who were also searching for us. I was overjoyed and hugged them and my mom, too. We thanked God for saving us all because many people lost their family, but we were still alive, even though they took all of our resources.
After one week, we moved to Uganda and started new lives as refugees. That changed my life by having new friends, learning new languages and working hard. Still, living in a new country made my life difficult.
Remember, God never leaves His believers, and He protected us in that situation. Mom, I want to tell you: you are strongest woman and I want to thank you for the wonderful job you did for me. Let God keep you forever and ever, Mom.