This is the storu of Orozu, one of the South Sudanese visitors welcomed by The Church of Scotland in March 2018. The story was told to the Presbytery meeting by Rev Ian Gilmour.
Orozu, born into the royal family within his tribe, grew up speaking Arabic and then native languages. Wealth in his community and indeed in his country was perceived in cattle His mother named him Orozu, which means, 'Dog', because dogs are worthless in this culture and having lost 7 children she hoped God would not take away a dog from her.
His father had eight wives, consequently, Orozu had
16 brothers and 24 sisters. He grew up naked living in
the village, but he saw some children who had been to
school and they impressed him. They wore clothes
and had some wisdom. He had to choose to leave the
village to connect with a school and knew he would
likely be rejected by his family.
He was. And his mother said that didn't have a heart
because he left.
So this so-called heartless dog, Orozu found a school but refused to stay in it when the teachers insisted he must change his name.
It was a Muslim school and they demanded that he would change his name to a tradition Islamic name like Muhammed.
He refused - reasoning that if his mother ever came to find him, how would she know him if he had altered his name.
The small boy was now alone on the streets, but he had not given up. He knocked doors asking if anyone needed a houseboy. He was taken in by a Muslim family and he cleaned, washed dishes, tidied and look after their babies.
The Father in the household had compassion, seeing Orozu had an ability and kindly said he should attend school with his other sons without losing his name.
Orozu completed his education, committing his life to Jesus Christ, then becoming a minister.
He has one wife and eight children. He has freed his daughters from the dowry system and his two eldest, male and female have finished school and now back to the home village in South Sudan.
He was in Scotland to learn better how to bring about reconciliation in a trouble-torn land, where rape and the capturing of boys and turning them into soldiers is still prevalent, even clergy aren't trusted and eight have been killed.
It was our privilege to meet Orozu and his delightful companion Gideon who is from a tribe on the other side of this vicious dispute.
If your congregation gets the chance to welcome visitors from other countries and cultures, jump at it. It will increase your knowledge both of the world and the church; deepen your prayers and strengthen your faith in God.
Now Orozu eventually returned to his tribe when he was much older. He returned home bearing gifts.When his mother saw him, she cried and they were reconciled.It seems to me he is an ideal person to lead the reconciliation in a fractious situation. We will pray and support as best we can.