I was watching a show on TV today and they mentioned the Lost Boys of Sudan. So I thought that I would do some research and look into who these boys are.

I was shocked and saddened at what I found.

The atrocities of the Second Sudanese Civil War occurred between 1983 and 2005. During these 22 years around 2.5 million people were killed and many millions more were displaced. Terrible things happened during these years that should never have happened. Families were destroyed and lives changed forever.

Also during these difficult and painful years more than 20,000 boys from the African ethnic groups of the Nuer people and the Dinka people in the Sudan joined the ranks “Lost Boys of Sudan“.

This term “Lost Boys of Sudan” was actually a colloquial term that the aid workers used in the refugee camps that were trying to assist these many thousands of boys. The term was based on “the lost boys” from the Peter Pan story.

Many of these boys were very young. Some 7 years olds and even younger, were amongst those who were forced to flee their homes, families and villages, just to survive.

In fact, many of the boys who did flee never knew if their families were killed or still alive. As they saw their villages and communities being attacked and destroyed by the government troops and government-sponsored militias, the boys fled into the thick African bush in order to survive.

The boys then walked for years to find a safe place that they could live. They first travelled thousands of kilometers from the Sudan across the south-eastern part of the Sahara Desert to Ethiopia and then continued on to Kenya.

There were many long days when the lost boys of Sudan had no food to eat or food to drink. Sometimes they found leaves they could eat. Other times they sucked on wet mud to cool their dry throats.

These years were long and hard with many of the boys dying on their journey to find somewhere safe to stop and live. In fact, over half of the lost boys died of starvation, dehydration, attacks by wild animals, diseases and attacks by enemy soldiers.

A resettlement program was initiated in 1999 to allow Lost Boys and Lost Girls of Sudan, who were considered to be orphans, to move to America to live. If these children had been living in family groups then they were not considered to be orphans and hence were not seen as eligible for this resettlement program.

In 2001 the US Government and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), allowed approximately 3,800 Lost Boys of Sudan to settle in America. These boys were distributed between around 38 different US cities.

In 2003 a full-length documentary was made that followed two Sudanese refugees as they journeyed from Africa all of the way to America to begin new lives.

It was not easy for the boys once they arrived in the USA. Their exact ages were not known and so the aid workers had to guess their ages.

If they thought that the boys were under 18 years old then they were allowed to go to high school and get an education, but if the boys were considered to be 18 or older then they were not allowed to go to high-school. If judged to be over 18, then they were sent out to get a job.

But getting a job was not easy for these young men as they did not have skills to assist them. So many of these lost boys were forced to get low-paying menial jobs.

To me this is sad. Each of these young boys and men who were brought into America should have received an education so that they then had the opportunity to better themselves and not be stuck for the rest of their lives in menial low-paid work.

It is true that these men, now in their thirties, can sleep at night without fear of enemy soldiers or wild animals killing them, but they should also know that they have a future.

I only hope that the Lost Boys of Sudan who are living in the USA will be able to give a better future to their children.

I also hope that mankind can see the pain that has been caused to so many over the years, such as these innocent young boys, and take a stand to make the world a better place for future generations!

Until next time, Remember to Enjoy Life, Smile at a Stranger and Make a Difference in the World!

Leanne Annett <><

Vision Radio Stations AustraliaLife throws many challenges at us each and every day. Whether the difficulties and obstacles involves finances, relationships, health or other issues, there is not a person or a family that is not impacted in some way by the ups and downs of life.

In order for us to live strong lives, knowing who we and that we can get through any challenge that comes our way we each need to have a support system. This support and encouragement can often come from family and friends, which is great. But there may be times when we need direction or an encouraging word or just to listen to an uplifting program and this is where the Vision radio network comes in.

Many thousands of lives throughout Australia are touched on a daily basis through the many stations that are spread around this amazing country of ours! Currently there are AM and FM stations in every State and Territory of Australia.

Here is a list of the vision stations that have recently come ‘On Air’.

New Vision Radio Stations

Town State Frequency
Beulah Vic 88.0 FM
Capalaba Qld 87.6 FM
Cooktown Qld 88.0 FM
Dimboola Vic 87.6 FM
Lyndoch SA 87.6 FM
Penong SA 88.0 FM
South Perth WA 88.0 FM
Willunga SA 87.8 FM
Wongaling Beach Qld 87.8 FM
Woodend Vic 87.6 FM

As well as these new radio stations there are also towns that are currently waiting for a Vision station to be launched. These are some of the towns around Australia that are so close to having a Vision station opened, but still need to finalize some of the steps.

‘Coming Soon’ Vision Radio Stations

Town State Frequency
Bicheno Tas 88.0 FM
Bundaberg Qld 1656 AM
Cummins SA 87.6 FM
Elliston SA 88.0 FM
Kalumburu WA 88.0 FM
Melbourne East Vic 1665 AM
Red Cliffs Vic 87.6 FM
Ungarra SA 88.0 FM


If you have any contacts in these towns or regions then perhaps you may be able to assist with the final steps that need to be fulfilled in order for the Vision station to be opened. Often a building in a certain location is needed to set up the necessary equipment for the people of the area to hear the encouraging words and music that Vision transmits each day.

For more information on the new stations and how you can help, you can go to the UCB (United Christian Broadcasters) website.

As more and more of these cities, towns and rural areas receive the uplifting messages that are broadcast on Vision then lives and families throughout Australia will be touched and strengthened. In this way individuals and families are able to better face the obstacles that may arise and even be an encouragement to those around them.

Barcodes to mark propertyAll around the world today human slavery is still a major problem with girls, boys and young women being taken captive and made to do things that no one should have to do!

Michael Martinez has just written an article for CNN about a young 19 year old woman found with a barcode tattooed onto her wrist in Madrid. This tattoo was forced upon her after she tried to run away from her captors. Along with the barcode tattoo the amount of her debt was also included as part of the tattoo.

An extract of this CNN article can be read below.

(CNN) — A Spanish National Police investigation into two Madrid prostitution rings led to the rescue of a captive 19-year-old woman who was tattooed with a barcode on her wrist after she tried to escape the ring, authorities said Saturday.

The bar code served as a form of identity for the woman and as certificate of “ownership” by one prostitution ring, and beneath the bar code was also tattooed the amount of money she owed the ring, police said.

Held hostage by a pimp, the woman had multiple lesions from being beaten and whipped, and her head and eyebrows were shaven because she tried to flee, police said.

CNN Freedom Project

In all, police disbanded two prostitution rings along Madrid’s Montera Street that were operated by two Romanian nationals — an uncle and his nephew — and authorities arrested a total of 22 people, including the two relatives, in Madrid and Getafe, police said.

When the 19-year-old woman tried to escape, the uncle advised the nephew to tie the woman to a radiator and not feed her, police said.

No one, no matter their age, gender or nationality, should have to put up with such disgraceful treatment. It is encouraging to see the authorities stepping in and bringing some justice into these unjust circumstances!

I encourage you to think about what you can do today and this week to make a difference in the world around you and in the lives of others. Perhaps you can support a charity that is working to set people free and to stop human slavery. Or maybe there is someone in your own life who needs to know their value as a human being.

So ponder what you have in your hand that you can use to be a blessing to others and to make this world a better place.

Yesterday I was reading my daily devotional, while spending some quality time with the Lord and it really spoke to me so I thought I would share what it meant to me today in this blog post.

The article in The Word for Today was entitled “Give Them Another Chance” and spoke about giving people a break when things don’t go as we hoped for in life.

I find more and more as the years pass that life often throws things up at us that we did not want or expect. Often friends and family leave us and sometimes even cut us out of their lives.

Sometimes we lose the job that we were relying on to allow us to pay our bills.

We may find that we or a loved one becomes sick and then we have other hurdles to face and overcome.

In the devotional there were two examples given of people whose lives could have gone 2 very different ways. But the fact was that they had someone in their life that believed in them and supported them and, where necessary, forgave them and they ended up living Victorious lives.

One man was Nathaniel Hawthorne. Nathaniel lost his job. When he came home and told his wife she could have reacted in a multitude of ways.

His wife could have focused on their finances and said something like, “How could you have lost your job? What are we going to do now? How will we feed the kids and pay the school fees? Now we might lose our home to the bank!”

Or perhaps Nathaniel’s wife could have attacked him personally and said, “What? Nathaniel, you are a loser! You have never been able to provide for this family like you should! What is wrong with you?”

Now think about it. Would either of these responses been helpful in this situation? Would either of these reactions have brought light out of the darkness?

My answer is “No!”

So it is good to know that Nathaniel Hawthorne’s wife responded totally differently and changed not only their own lives, but also the lives of many others for good!

His wife said, “Nathaniel, what a great opportunity this is for you! Now you can begin to write that book that have talked about for so long.”

In 1850 Nathaniel Hawthorne published his first novel, “The Scarlet Letter“, which is a romantic novel in a historical setting. More novels followed.

Without Nathaniel’s boss firing him from his job and then his wife encouraging him to write this book, we may never have any of his literary works.

James Abbott McNeill Whistler failed at becoming a minister, as his mother had hoped for him. He then failed at West Point, United States Military Academy and was thrown out for misconduct in drawing class. He then went on to fail in business.

So what did James have left after all of these failures?

I would imagine that he was not feeling too good about himself and his prospects for the future.

But James Whistler had a friend who believed in him and encouraged him to try painting.

Well James did paint and he created the portrait that many of us will be well aware of named, ‘Whistler’s Mother‘ in 1871.

Whistler went on to paint many other portraits and even full-length portraits over a period from the 1870’s to right through the 1880’s.

Now it is likely that neither of these men, Nathaniel or James, would have reached their full potential and touched many lives throughout the years without having someone to believe in them.

So have a look around you today and find someone who you can believe in. Be a cheerleader instead of being a critic. Find a person and go and make a difference in their life for good!

Until next time, Remember to Enjoy Life, Smile at a Stranger and Make a Difference in the World!

Leanne Annett <><

Orr Shalom Helping Children & Youth At RiskWe recently received an email from friends living in Jerusalem, Israel. They shared about a special home for young Israeli boys that have been traumatized by years of abuse.

There is a video clip that you can watch below. The video is in Hebrew with English subtitles and shows interviews with some of the young men who have lived at Orr Shalom’s Re’ut home and had their lives drastically changed forever.

The sad thing, that our friends shared with us, is that Orr Shalom’s special home may need to close if they can not complete their renovations and meet all of the criteria of the Ministry of Welfare before the deadline.

So let’s partner together so that Orr Shalom’s doors can stay open!

Click to Read What Our Friends Wrote About Orr Shalom

You may be wondering what Orr Shalom do. So let’s have a look at that.

Orr Shalom's Re'ut Home for BoysOrr Shalom has a home, which is called Re’ut, and this is a closed residential treatment and educational campus for 24 boys aged 7-14. Each of these boys has been especially traumatized in their short life through years of extreme abuse, including sexual, physical, emotional and also neglect.

The trauma that each boy has suffered over the years has left them scarred and in need of love and healing. This is not a quick or easy process. But the end goal is to see each of these boys healed, whole and being able to, once again, be a fully functioning member of the Israeli community.

So at this intensive-care home, each of these boys is loved, supported, taught and taken through the healing process. So that as they grown into the teenage and adult years they will become free from the bondage of the pain of their past.


I love the motto at Orr Shalom’s Re’ut home: ‘We don’t give up on any child!’

How powerful is that belief? And every boy in the Re’ut home experiences that daily as they travel the road to healing and wholeness.

In Hebrew the word “Orr” means Light. As one of the men shared in the film clip that this Light is especially powerful in the lives of these young boys coming from such darkness.

Shalom” is well known around the world to mean “Peace“, but Shalom means so much more than peace. It means completeness and wholeness in every area of life.

How appropriate that this word is used of this home where broken lives are brought in, accepted, loved, cared for and escorted along the path towards wholeness and completeness for these boys and young men.

I know that there are many charities that we can each support and so adding another one may not always be easy, but I ask you to consider giving a gift to this worthy organization that is investing in the lives of young people for better future!

Click to Read More About the Re’ut Home

Any gift, no matter the size, will make a difference in the lives of these young Israeli boys, who have not always been shown the hand of love. Let us change that and invest in their future!

Orr Shalom Life-giving Flowers

Thanks for prayerfully considering what you can do to Make a Difference in the lives of these young men who will one day be leaders in the Middle East.

Until next time, Remember to Enjoy Life, Smile at a Stranger and Make a Difference in the World!

Your Friend,

Leanne Annett <><