I was able to meet Khot Deng, a fellow from Vanguard University and a survivor of the Second Sudanese Civil War, at a local convention I attended this weekend.
As he grew up in war-torn Sudan, Mr. Deng was separated from his parents (but met them again many years later) when he fled from his country, but he fought tooth and nail for survival as he migrated with refugees to Kenya and back. With tree branches for a classroom and humble homes he and other Lost Boys built themselves, Mr. Deng came to appreciate what he had and made the best of them, even if the constant pressure of war pressed on him each day.
Mr. Deng had quite a bit of wisdom to offer with his recollections. Through his story of growing up on the trail, he helped me appreciate more what I have and who I am with; through his story of surviving war, he taught me to “walk in [his] shoes” and better understand the plights of others, so that we can hold out hope of overcoming our own.
I’m grateful that Mr. Deng came to speak at this year’s Walk in My Shoes convention. Thank you, Mr. Deng, OC Human Relations, and Vanguard University for providing an eye-opening experience.