On October 3rd, in an effort to raise awareness of the unique population of refugees being resettled in Jacksonville, World Relief organized a viewing of The Good Lie, a film about three Sudanese refugees, “Lost Boys,” their tragic and beautiful story including their struggles in Sudan and the joy and pain in arriving to America and having to adjust to the culture.
World Relief is a refugee resettlement agency with the goal of empowering churches to reach out and serve those who are vulnerable. According to the UNHCR (2014) (the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), there are 263,662 refugees residing in the U.S. World Relief Jacksonville served its 500th refugee this Fiscal year.
World Relief staff gathered to go view this film on opening night to support efforts to raising awareness of refugees living the United States, but also to raise awareness of the number of refugees living right here in Jacksonville.
The film told the story of these refugee boys from Sudan as they lost their parents and were forced to join over 20,000 boys who were either displaced or orphaned in a mass exodus to the refugee camps thousands of miles away. Millions died at the hands of Sudanese soldiers, but many millions died by more natural causes, such as wild animals, starvation, disease, and dehydration. In the film, three boys and one girl made it to one of the the refugee camps where they survived for thirteen years. Finally, after years of waiting, they were some of the few who are chosen to be transported to America.
The rest of the movie documents the culture shock they encountered in coming to America and their enduring impact on the lives of those who were there to serve them and help them succeed in the American way and be reunited with their family.
Many people are unaware of the people who work or live around them and the tragedy they have faced and have endured. No boy should have to see or experience what the Lost Boys of Sudan have had to face; however, it is something that happens every day, and this is the sad truth that refugees live with.