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Child Soldier Escapes to Freedom

Isaac was captured and forced to join the Lord's Resistance Army as a child solder. After witnessing endless horror, he knew he had to escape or die. Read Transcript


INTERPRETER: I was told killing with a gun is nothing.

It's like you haven't killed.

For my initiation, they handed me a machete

and told me to kill a man.

They said if I refused, they would kill me.

REPORTER: Isaac was only 14 years old

when the Lord's Resistance Army came to his village.

INTERPRETER: I told my mom to run.

I was going to lock the house and catch up,

but they came too fast.

REPORTER: Isaac hid inside.

When they torched his house, he ran out and was captured.

Forced to become child soldiers, he and many others

were given uniforms.

INTERPRETER: A friend refused to put on the uniform.

They made me watch as they stabbed him

to death with bayonets.

REPORTER: Isaac put on the uniform.

He and two other boys were told to kill a man with machetes.

INTERPRETER: The man cried I'm innocent,

but the commander screamed kill him!

Kill him!

If we didn't, we would take his place.

It was the worst moment of my life.

REPORTER: He tried to run away many times

but was caught and nearly beaten to death.

During one battle, he was shot in the leg

and later forced to keep marching.

INTERPRETER: I prayed all the time.

God, get me out of here.

Please, get me home.

REPORTER: Knowing he would be killed if he got caught again,

Isaac planned another escape.

He went to fetch water but didn't return.

INTERPRETER: When they came after me,

I hid in a banana plantation.

I heard one of them say if we catch him,

we'll cut him into pieces and take him back for meat.

We will show everyone this is what

happens when you try to escape.

REPORTER: Eventually, the soldiers gave up their search

and left.

Isaac could finally go home.

INTERPRETER: When I arrived home, people were afraid.

They told their children to stay away from me.

I felt so guilty.

At night, I dreamt of everything I was forced to do,

and I woke up screaming and shouting.

REPORTER: Then Isaac went to a gathering

in his village held by Exile International, which

is supported by CBN's Orphan's Promise.

Through one on one therapy--

singing, dancing, and drama--

we've helped many former child soldiers and war orphans

heal from terrible trauma.

INTERPRETER: You have brought so much back into my life.

You helped me love God.

I learned not to focus on the past

but to look at what is new.

REPORTER: We helped pay Isaac's tuition and fees,

and enrolled him in a Christian boarding school, where

he's made lots of friends.

INTERPRETER: It makes me so happy to be here.

My school uniform is always clean and fresh,

and it smells so nice.

The LRA uniform was for doing bad things,

and it was always dirty.

When I put on my school uniform, my thoughts are good,

and I am so proud to wear it.

REPORTER: We also gave Isaac a Bible, which

he reads as often as he can.

INTERPRETER: Reading my Bible brings me so much peace.

I know that God is the reason I survived.

Without him, I would be dead.

He knows the plans he has for me.

And I know that I am completely free and forgiven.

I appreciate all your help.

You will be blessed for it.

My future is bright because of you.




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