Seek and Find
I never thought that I could get a college education until I came to the United States. This is not because there weren't any colleges or universities where I came from, but because those colleges "cost an arm and a leg!" On top of the nearly impossible price, I was not stable, but a refugee who traveled from Sudan to Ethiopia, Kenya and then to the USA. As a refugee in a desert camp in Kenya, attaining a high school certificate was about as much education as I could get. However, despite my situation, and with no apparent hope or plans, I chose to put into action one big, yes, really big, indestructible plan. It was the only meaningful plan that was going to be permanent and safe, regardless of where I would go. That plan was to know God's will. This led me into extensive research about Jesus Christ-how He came into this world, how He lived, and what He said about God's will.
2000, a faithful Mennonite, Dale Long, from Lititz, Penn. took me in through INS as an asylum from a Sudanese refugee camp in Kenya. I stayed with him for the next four years until I finished high school.
As soon as I graduated from Philadelphia Mennonite High School, I wanted to go straight to Andrews University to study religion and geography, but Andrews didn't accept me due to my low SAT scores. In 2003, Geneva College, a Presbyterian school in Beaver Falls, Penn., accepted me based on my good GPA. It was in Beaver Falls that I met a family that later became my own family, Jim and Linda Kusch. By the following year, knowing about my plan to come to Andrews University, mom Linda promised to sponsor me at Andrews. She kept that promise, and so did the rest of the family. When Andrews finally accepted me in 2004, I was financially equipped and good to go! Had I initially been accepted by Andrews, I could be in over thirty-some thousand dollars in debt by now.
It never dawned on me until three years ago that God had been working everything for my ultimate good all along. For me to get money for college, Andrews had to have rejected me the first year so that I could go and meet with mom Linda in a place I never wanted to go. Who can know how God makes things come to pass? One thing I can say is that "we are called to live a life of faith," always seeking and trusting God even at times when He doesn't seem to be there. I usually remember how Jesus went through that himself on the cross (Mt 27:46). I came to America not knowing anyone, but I put my trust in God and cried out when I was lonely and helpless. I told God "you are the only true friend and family I've got here, so please touch me and comfort me." Sometimes, I didn't understand what I told God in my prayers when I got homesick, but I do believe that God understood and did something. Among all the Sudanese refugees in America, I believe that I have been blessed the most because of the family I am privileged to be part of, being physically and spiritually nurtured. That's a gift from God!
This year is my last year at AU, and God has certainly been faithful and nice to me, walking me from the eastern part of the world to the furthest west. The will of God has been my hope and will continue to be my desire. To me, that is the greatest purpose to live for. We all want two things in life-to understand the meaning of life now, and the hope for tomorrow. Both questions are answered by pursuing God's will. If you truly seek God, He will be fond of you and take care of you in whatever way He chooses.
A college education was obviously impossible to me while in the refugee camp, but with God, it became a stepping stone for higher horizons into exploring His love and power. In my life as a Christian, the following sacred text became a summary of how God works in my life. "We know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love him " (Romans 8:28, emphasis added). And to believe just that is part of knowing the will of God.