The Story of B. – A Refugee Boy from Kenya

Kenya Refugee


I grew up in a religious family. When I was a kid, I remember loving God. I would always think that I was meant for something great, some task that God would give me to do. I felt this immense presence of God, it was crazy!

First,  my early childhood. I was born in Congo. I barely remember how it looked or what it was like there but I have blur memories in my mind. When I was four years old, there was civil war and we had to get out of there to save our lives. So we moved to Kenya! Kenya was a beautiful place, beautiful people and great weather too, it was almost perfect. Although, the place seemed like home, it wasn’t. We were refugees there so we had to gain citizenship. We joined a resettling program where we could fly overseas, gain citizenship there and start a whole new life. The idea sounded too good to be true for me, but it was something that one of our many family friends experienced so it had to be real.

In Kenya, I went to a private school. My dad valued education so much, that he did anything he could do to make ends meet so that we wouldn’t be sent home for school fees debt. When I was in sixth grade, I started seeing school as a burden, as a load on my back. I found the discipline unnecessary and cruel. My love for God withered when puberty kicked in. I would go to church to meet my friends and hang with them because Sundays were the only days we could do that. “No better place to do that than church, right?'” I always thought. It didn’t seem right and it wasn’t either but I chose to ignore that.

I was depressed, I didn’t have suicidal thoughts but I definitely didn’t want to keep on living the same way. But the hope that I clung to was the resettlement program. “It will be fine, soon we will be in America,” I would say to myself, smiling. My uncle and his family too decided to be a part of the resettlement program. Our families were very close so we saw it best to include them in it, because we wanted to share happiness with them! In 2010 they got a call saying that everything was all worked out and they would be traveling in a month. Immediately, they called us telling us the good news! We were ecstatic, we jumped up and down not only because of the news they told but because we knew we would get a call too that afternoon, getting the same news. So we waited, suddenly joy turned to impatience, impatience turned to somber. Don’t get me wrong, we were happy for my uncle and his family but we were just flabbergasted by the fact that they didn’t call us. My dad went to the agency to ask the reason for not calling. He came back home with the news that our time hadn’t come yet. One month passed, and it was time for farewell, we bid them goodbye the week before and prayed for them.

We waited, hoping our time would come soon, but two years came and went. I was in eighth grade, I lost all hope, despair was my companion. At that time I had so much hatred towards God because I used to think He saw what I was going through, yet He was sitting there, folding His arms doing nothing. I didn’t see the point in praying. One thing I admired though was my parents’ perseverance, they never lost hope in God. So one day, my dad told us to fast and pray (because we couldn’t do it by ourselves, obviously). So we fasted that day, which I didn’t find the point of doing at the time. The evening we prayed, my dad received a phone call, telling him to go to the agency the next day because everything was sorted out and it was a matter of signing. When my father told us this, at first I was perplexed, then I was beyond happy. The reason I was so perplexed was because this was not coincidental at all, and that is where I felt the power of prayer. It was almost tangible!

After signing the papers that week, we were informed that we would come to Boise, Idaho in a few weeks. No offense, but I had never heard of the state ‘Idaho’ so when we heard that, we almost thought that it was a scam, some joke, because we were not aware that it was a state until we searched it on the map. We bought everything necessary, I still could not believe that my dream would become a reality in a few hours. We hardly had time to say goodbye, but to those who were around, we bid farewell. It was all just unbelievable to me! We were so glad to be reunited with our cousins again.

Fast forward to 2014, I started getting into promiscuity. At that time, I was ashamed for what I did but I wasn’t willing to give it up. In the month of May, I got really sick. My heart was throbbing quickly, constantly. I had anxiety. I had a skewed perception of reality. It was a strange state I was in. I went to the doctors but they didn’t seem to find a thing. It was the worst time of my life. One thing I didn’t realize is that God was trying to get rid of the idols in my life. I remember telling Him that I didn’t want Him. I told Him to heal me so I could go back to what I had been doing. I thought satisfying my lust was the only happiness there was. It didn’t satisfy. All it did was over promise and under deliver. On September 11th, I was tired, disgusted at myself, I was broken. I thought it was because I had no girlfriend but that wasn’t it. So that night, I watched the movie ‘Son Of God’ because I heard it was a great movie. “With God everything is possible,”, Jesus said, in the movie. These words hit me and I remember sobbing. I gave my life to God and at that moment, I knew I wouldn’t be the same. I still struggle with my desires but victory is the Lord’s so I have nothing to worry about.

There may be a war going on in your life at the moment just like in my story. It may be physical or emotional but let me assure you, if you let God in and let go, it will lead you to places you’ve dreamed of. Be encouraged!