“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Paul Ruot Gack is a LCSS member whose hope has been restored by the ministry of the LCSS. He has experienced the trauma of war and death. All members of his family died in the deadly conflict in South Sudan, and he narrowly escaped the sting of death under the cover of darkness. Paul fled the conflict at age 25 and settled as a refugee in Ethiopia. He tried to reestablish life, married and has a child, but the trauma and the guilt of being the only surviving member of his family haunt him. Paul was depressed as he saw himself failing to financially support his wife and child. He blames himself, questioning why God spared only his life and not his family, and he attempted to take his life numerous times.
One day, Paul Ruot Gak walked to the LCSS Head office in Gambella where he met with the Vice-President, Rev. Deng Lual Keat. He explained his situation and the nightmares of the trauma. Pastor William had compassion and wanted to help the young man, but the LCSS was not prepared enough to handle his level of trauma. Pastor William contacted the Former Gambella Governor for better assistance. The governor agreed to work with the young man and help him in any way possible. A few weeks later, the governor was fired, and the hope dashed away.
Pastor William then opened his house and took in the young man along with wife and child. He hosted him for several weeks providing shelter and food. The leadership of the LCSS met and decided to shine light of the gospel amidst of this brokenness and despair. The leadership hired Paul as a librarian and gave him a scholarship to study at the Trinity Lutheran College. This offer helped Paul to regain joy and a purpose in life. The LCSS filled the void and gave hope.
Now, Paul participates in the choir and is involved in various ministry of the church. His wife became an active member in the women ministry and the family enjoys in life again.
We celebrate this story of hope restored!