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WANTED GLOBAL SAMARITANS
Our ability to become global good Samaritans may be intimately connected to our willingness to get to know the Deborah Acots of the world.
Standing in a hot and dusty schoolyard in the noontime sun of southern Sudan in January 2005, I met a steely-eyed girl named Deborah Acot. Like many of the kids in her school, she'd been drafted into southern Sudan's rebel army as a young child. But now, at age 15, she was done with the army. She was starting a new life in the wake of a just-signed peace deal that ended Africa's longest civil war. At her school, with its dirt-floor classrooms and few ratty textbooks, she hoped to learn enough math and science to become an airplane pilot.
As I was interviewing her for an article in The Christian Science Monitor, a powerful set of questions occurred to me: Could this shy girl be the modern-day equivalent of the man who was beaten up and robbed in Jesus' parable of "the good Samaritan" (see Luke 10:25-37)? Did she need a Samaritan's help? If so, was it possible that a reader of the Monitor would respond to the needs of this faraway girl? Might a reader reach around the world and become a Samaritan to her?
Certainly, the parallels between Deborah's life and the man in Jesus' story are strong. Like the man on the road to Jericho, Deborah once "fell among thieves." When she was seven, a government airplane attacked her village, dropping bombs and creating chaos. In the confusion, her family scattered. She hasn't seen them since. Soon she was spending her days ferrying supplies for the rebel army—and nights cooking for them.
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About the author
Abe McLaughlin is The Christian Science Monitor's Africa correspondent. He's based in Johannesburg, South Africa. To read McLaughlin's Monitor story "Cellphones, roads, and girls in school. Is this south Sudan?" go to http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0124/p01s02-woaf.html.
with contributions from BARBARA WAGSTAFF, BETTY GILLIS, TOM GALLANT, ADRIENNE BLACKHART
Trusting... and finding peace of mind
MARILYN JONES, SENIOR WRITER
ITEMS OF INTEREST
with contributions from Anne Reilly, Shirley Whyte, Joanna Wu, Tali Trigg
FOUND: 'A deep-settled calm'
By Betty Jenks
GETTING BELOW THE SURFACE
By James Spencer
WANTED GLOBAL SAMARITANS
By Abraham McLaughlin
'BE GLAD, GIVE THANKS, REJOICE
By Kim Shippey
By Jillie Periton
GOD IS THE HEALING POWER
MAKE POVERTY HISTORY
JEFFEREY HILDNER, CREATIVE DIRECTOR
U2 CAN BE A WITNESS TO PEACEFUL RELATIONS
GOD'S PROVISION FOR EVERYONE
FATHERED AND MOTHERED BY GOD
GOD'S CARE IS HERE AND NOW
SANDRA GROW MURRAY