At seven, he was a happy, loving little boy looking forward to his first trip to town to sell peanuts with the older kids.
At eight, he was a slave living under the threat of death and mutilation. His owners called him "Maggot."
At 24, he received an invitation from the White House to attend the signing of the Sudan Peace Act.
Escape from Slavery is Francis Bok's powerful account of his life. He starts with the loving relationship he had with his parents on an idyllic farm in southern Sudan. His parents' belief that he, Francis Piol Bol Buk, would be a great man, a man like "twelve men," sustained him during ten years of slavery.
Then he tells of the day that changed his life forever, the day Sudanese I slamic terrorists rode into town, mowing down men, women, and children with impunity. They seized the women, children, herds, possessions of their victims and rode north with seven-year-old Francis with them.
His parents had instilled in him a belief that "God is always with you. Even when you are alone, He is with you." God rewarded Francis' simple, childlike faith with protection, guidance, and eventually freedom as he escaped from Giemma Abdullah and eventually from Sudan.
With the help of other southern Sudanese, Francis registered as a refugee with the United Nations and came to the United States. After he had spent about a year in the United States, the American Anti-Slavery Group (website: www.iAbolish.com) invited him to help them in their efforts against slavery.
Bok writes in a transparent style that compels the reader to read "just one more" chapter. He prevents the story from becoming a "poor-me" story by including his faith in God, the lessons from his parents, and the incredible closeness of the southern Sudanese. Every teenager should read this book to learn the important potential influence of one person. It's a good lesson for all of us and an exciting adventure as well.
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