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Rescuing my Family in Wartime, Part Two
11/19/2019 6:00:00 AM by: Néaouguen Nodjimbadem

(Part 1 story: I was teaching in a Christian high school in N’Djamena, the capitol of Chad, when civil war erupted. Gunfire sounded day and night, and there were dead bodies all over the neighborhood. I knew I needed to get my extended family out of the city. My two younger brothers and sister and my cousins lived with me. One of my brothers was in the hospital recovering from an appendectomy. He and my aunt, who was with him, as well as my older sister and her seven children were trapped in the central city, where the gun fighting and bombing were worst.)

N’Djamena is divided into two parts. In the northern part live people who are originally from the Islamic northern tribes. In the southern part live people from the Christianized southern tribes. The civil war in Chad was ethnic, religious, and all those things together. So if you were from the wrong tribal background in the wrong part of the city, your life was in danger. It was not just a matter of avoiding soldiers in uniform. Anyone might shoot you. Some of my friends were shot before they got out of the city.

My sister’s escape with her seven children

My sister’s seven children were traumatized because their neighborhood was especially targeted by the bombing. Four days after the fighting began, when the first cease fire was called, my sister just took the children and walked to my house, five miles away. It was so terrible for them. They left home bare-handed, with only the clothes on their backs.

My aunt’s escape with my brother

My aunt was in the hospital with my younger brother, taking care of him. It was only five days after his surgery, but the two of them also walked six to seven miles to my house. There was no way you could get a car.

When they all arrived safely, I was finally able to sleep for the first time in four days.

Help from Missionary Aviation Fellowship and the Red Cross

We called Missionary Aviation Fellowship to ask for help for my brother. MAF said they had to fly to the south, and they agreed to save two places for that brother and my younger sister. The Red Cross helped us take them to the airport, and MAF flew them down to a southern hospital.

Trucking home

After several days we were able to pay for a truck to get the rest of the family out of the city. We packed light, bringing only what we could hold in our hands. We switched trucks two times on the way. We rode 350 miles all the way to my parents’ home in the back of trucks, packed in with dozens of other refugees.

When we reached our hometown of Moundou, people were fighting there, too.

TO BE CONTINUED

What the psalm writer wrote about trouble

“I took my troubles to the LORD; I cried out to him, and he answered my prayer” Psalm 120:1 NLT)

Today's prayer

Thank You, God, for your servants who risk their lives to help strangers who are in trouble. I pray that the people of African nations at war today like Somalia, Sudan, and Nigeria will be willing to take risks, too, to sit down and agree to bring justice for all and to come to peace with each other to unite their countries. Amen.

Resource: Listen to the sounds of Chadians singing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=137g96x4xQQ


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