A Long Walk to Water, by Linda Sue Park

a long walk to waterThis is the remarkable story of Salva Dut, a survivor of the Sudanese Civil War that raged from 1983-2002. Salva spent years walking, avoiding the war, living in refuge camps—surviving. He was one of the lucky ones who eventually migrated to America. He then chose to return to drought-ridden Sudan and drill wells in poor villages. His vision has changed the lives of thousands.

I remember this war. I didn’t know much about it, but I heard it mentioned often when I was growing up. It opened my eyes to what these millions of Sudanese people went through because of a corrupt, intolerant government. It reads like a history, which it is. That war is over.

But this same oppression is still going on and in Sudan, in Iran, in Syria, in Iraq, in Nigeria. Power hungry Muslim militants and corrupt governments. They go hand-in-hand, it seems, all over Africa and the Middle East. It’s called jihad, the militant spread of Islam, and it’s devastating to civilians.

ISIS is crucifying adults and children, selling children into sex slavery, burning pilots alive. Boko Haram in Nigeria has killed more than 10,000 Christians in six years and abducted more than 1000 women. Christians beheaded in Egypt. Christians arrested, imprisoned, and murdered in Sudan. The war in Darfur. The war in Syria. Hundreds of thousands killed, millions displaced. Massacres, chemical weapons, rape, torture.

This isn’t the stuff of history. It’s happening every day. Right now. And it’s not going away.

You and I can’t control it, but we don’t have to wait and read a story about the atrocities a decade from now. There are charity groups currently in place ministering to the hurting and displaced. The Red Cross. Samaritan’s Purse. WorldHelp. And many more. Even Salva’s Water for South Sudan.

I encourage you to read Salva’s story. It’s heart-rending, but appropriate for 10+. Then be part of the solution. Get involved. We have.

The Kindle version is only $3.52.

5 thoughts on “A Long Walk to Water, by Linda Sue Park

  1. I love Linda Sue Park’s book. The state of New York made it required reading for 7th graders in 2014. Did you see the youtube interview with Linda and Salva? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkxkisRUmMM So much to admire about the work Salva is doing today to help his community.
    Although the book is written about the war that spanned 20 years, you are right — it continues today and is a horrific part of humanity’s history. Koni is another force to reckon with in Africa. History keeps repeating itself again and again. It’s important that young people understand from people like Salva.

    1. That’s a great interview! Thanks for sharing it, Pat. We in America are far away from what’s going on in Africa, but even kids can learn about it and empathize and DO something. Such an important title for kids (and adults!).

  2. ISIS also attacks Muslims who don’t agree with them–to the horror of most of the Muslim world (even Al Quaeda, for goodness’ sake!). They are monsters, but not ONLY because they are anti-Christian.

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