Not a Soul in This World for Little John

Please meet John. John first captured our camera one day as we sped by him en route to the Internally Displaced People’s (IDP) camp in Sudan. He was alone on the side of the road, but the commissioner of the area was with us, and he said he was on tight time constraints. So, we did not even stop to talk to John on that day.

JohnSome days later, however, I had the blessing of stumbling upon him once again. John told me that he thinks he is five years old. That is what his mother told him before she and his little sister died. John’s little sister, Abuk, died first and then his mother stopped eating so that she could give all of the food she found to John. John’s mama died soon after Abuk. John did not cry as he told me about his mama. He just said that he missed her because she was his only friend—his father died before John was old enough to know what killed him.

I asked John if he wanted us to take him down the road to the IDP camps so that there would be other people who might help him. He said that his mama told him that he would be safer in the bush than in the camps where the militia came in to get new slaves; John did not want to become a slave. John’s mama told him it was better to die a Christian in the bush than live a Muslim in slavery.

I pulled aside James, the director of Make Way Partners’ Indigenous Ministry, to ask him if we could take one more orphan into our orphanage. He reminded me that just the day before I had told him that I was concerned that he had taken in 50 new orphans since I had last visited him (raising our total to nearly 450) and that we still didn’t have enough sponsors to take care of the ones we already have.

I had told James that I knew it was very hard for him to watch the orphans around him starve to death or be vulnerable to slave raiders and hyenas, but we simply could not take more in until we had provision for our current 450. Through tears, James agreed to not take more orphans.

Now, here I was, facing what James faced every single day of his life.

I thought of the final scene in “Schindler’s List” where Schindler counted the cost of his watch, his car, and every single possession he had held onto and thought how many lives he could have saved if he had let go of those “precious” possessions. I thought of what James felt every day. I thought of what it meant to leave little John on the roadside, where he felt safer than in the IDP camps. Now being beyond tears, I knew I had no right to violate what I had just asked James to commit to—to alleviate my conscience.

James and I prayed together over little John. I promised John that I would tell others about him. He wanted to know “who” I would tell and what they would do. I told him that there were too many people for me to tell all of their names but some would be black like him, some would be white like me, some would be brown like the Arabs that he was afraid of, but that all would pray for him.

I gave him a blanket and all the food that was in my bag.

John smiled. We left. James and I both cried.

Kimberly Smith is the president of Make Way Partners, a Christian mission agency committed to preventing and combating human trafficking and all forms of modern-day slavery by educating and mobilizing the body of Christ. Visit their website at

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Through the hope of the Gospel, Make Way Partners (MWP) goes to the most vulnerable and least protected to end human trafficking and sexual slavery. They use two criteria to select places of ministry:

1.  Where women and children are at highest risk of human trafficking, forced prostitution, and other forms of modern-day slavery.

2.  Where little to no other help is available because it is considered either “too” dangerous, “too” expensive, or “too” remote for most people to go.

A year ago MWP completed the building of a girls’ orphanage in the heart of Sudan which currently helps children from both South Sudan and Darfur (the western region of the country); they are currently in the process of completing a boys’ dorm. Their next orphanage will be built near the border of Uganda and Sudan. In this strategic location, they will be able to reach both the Sudanese and Ugandan children. There is a huge need for an orphanage on the border because the Arab Northern Sudanese government provides most of the funding for Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army (, who operate out of Uganda and attack and inflict terror on the Southern Sudanese.

For more information on this ministry, contact:

Click here to help us take-in more orphans.

Make Way Partners
PO BOX 26367
Birmingham, AL 35260

Phone: 205.240.8597
Fax: 205.822.8091

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