Former Child Soldiers Bring Their Story To Tulsa

Sunday, October 17th 2010, 9:45 pm
By: News On 6

By Chris Wright, News on 6 

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Former child soldiers brought a powerful story to Tulsa. Survivors of the civil war that ravaged Uganda for more than two decades visited a local church Sunday.

Many of the children have endured unimaginable hardships. But they are not running from their past. Instead, they are determined to share their story.

In a scene from the Restore Tour show, rebel soldiers invade a village, then murder men and abduct children.

Unfortunately, this nightmare is very real for many of the performers. All are from Uganda, and all have escaped the war-torn nation.

"Just unbelievable stuff. The story is so bad you can't even really tell it all," Said Restore Tour Pastor Gary Skinner,

Pastor Skinner, who has worked in Uganda for 20 years, helped to organize the nation-wide tour. He says the goal is to raise awareness about the plight of the people there.

"A ten year old child can be taken from their home in the middle of the night, turned into a child soldier, murdering people," he said. "Many of them being murdered themselves, and the world hasn't really paid much attention."

There are heart-breaking stories, like 19-year-old Geoffrey Alango's. He was abducted when he was 12. His brother was killed during the war, and his father is still missing. But Geoffrey says these performances have changed his life.

"I've gained the hope I've lost during the war. Now I'm focused. I have school. I have my mom in the house. I stay with my brothers and sisters," Alango said.

Almost every performer has a similar story. Gladys Lamwaki's father was murdered. "I really want to go and share, tell the world how God rescued my life, how God remove me from that pain," she said.

And that is the focus of the show. Despite the horrific subject matter, the focus is on these young people's future, and the future of Uganda.

"In the next ten or 20 years, I believe we are going to make a great change in our country," Alango said.

The tour is raising money for agricultural projects, city development and medical care in Uganda. The group will also perform in Canada and the United Kingdom.