At 7 years of age, Jacob Guot became a “lost boy” when war came to his peaceful village in what is now South Sudan. Forced to run for his life, not knowing whether his family members were alive or dead, he joined up with others in the African bush to walk a thousand miles to Ethiopia. After years in a refugee camp there, he fled to Kenya ahead of armed militia members and ended up in a refugee camp there for another nine years. Then the United States government, working with the United Nations, made arrangements for thousands of “lost boys” to come to America for a chance at a new life.
In his own inimitable way, Jacob tells of his years of acclimating to America, living in a strange new land and learning new ways, all so different from his native Dinka childhood. He went to work, became an American citizen, gained a college education, and completed seminary. After returning to South Sudan to marry Rebecca, he was able to help her and their infant son join him in America.
Now Jacob is working and raising funds through his non-profit organization, Africa Sunrise Communities, to enable him and his family to return to Africa to work in a large South Sudanese refugee camp in Uganda. There he plans to help provide an education for refugee children, while at the same time working for peace and reconciliation between competing tribes within the camp.
Jacob and Rebecca live in Wilmore, Kentucky with their children Biar, Angieth, and Ayiei.