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'Lost' no more, young man to speak at church
Journey from Sudan updated
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Forsyth County News

If you're going
* What: The Lost Boys of Sudan
* When: 7 p.m. Monday
* Where: Cumming First United Methodist Church, 770 Canton Hwy.
* Online: www.cfumcga.com

Forsyth County residents will get a chance to hear from one of the "Lost Boys of Sudan" on Monday.

The term "Lost Boys" refers to a migration of thousands of children, mostly young boys, who left their families and sought refuge from a civil war in Sudan in the mid-1980s.

They walked hundreds of miles to a Kenyan refugee camp.

In 2001, America brought more than 4,000 of the boys into the country, with about 150 settling in the Atlanta area.

On Monday, one of them will share his story at the Cumming First United Methodist Church, 10 years after moving to America.

Lisa Woolard, a member of the sponsoring group United Methodist Women at the church, organized the event based on her personal interest and following a group study about Sudan.

"I think it's interesting because they came to us," she said. "They came to Atlanta, and a lot of people didn't really know about it.

"All these young men are living with us, and what's happened to them now?"

The event will feature speeches by Lost Boy Ngor Kur Mayol, or John Madut, and Linda Austin, one of the mentors who helped him and other boys transition to the U.S.

Madut will give an update of what's happened in his past decade in America, Woolard said, while Austin will discuss her experiences working with the Lost Boys.

Both will share some of the projects that they have been doing in Sudan, such as building schools.

"That's a great thing for people who want to get involved," Woolard said. "They're going to talk about ways that people can help."

When Woolard set out finding contacts for the event, she had no idea how timely the discussion would become.

Sudan recently held an election on whether to remain a single nation, for which Madut returned home to vote in.

Woolard said the church women's group is excited to offer the opportunity for the community to think more globally.

"When you find a human interest side of it, then it makes you really think about what happens outside of the United States," she said. "We're not just reading about a war over there."