Alexander Schimmeck Hmbz6fwzb7k Unsplash

At our church, there were 24 young people, and we enjoyed meeting at the church. In August, soldiers began to arrest young people and put them in jail. That’s why young people started leaving the town. In the first week of September, when we were having a youth meeting at the church, soldiers came to arrest us, and we closed the door, and we were able to escape through the windows. That night onwards, soldiers sought young people to arrest. Therefore I also left my wife and son at home and ran to the forest to help the young people. Heavy rain fell, we had no plastic or umbrellas, and we all were under the rain the whole night. People ran in different directions; there were 38 people in our group.

We had no food for three days, and all of us were hungry, and we did not dare go back to the town. Fortunately, we found a stream, and we drank water. After three days, we could go to a small village, and they gave us food and did eat. Soldiers still went to villages to arrest or to kill people. Most of the young people went out to the Indian side. Since I have family, I did not want to go far. Some of us, after three weeks, thought of going back home secretly, and we started moving toward our town. When we approached the town, the terrorists who ambushed people began shooting at us, and we threw ourselves here and there. It was a heartbreaking thing that two of our friends were shot dead. I went in another direction toward the forest by myself. I was under the tree for four days. Then I could reach a village where there are few people. They gave me food, and I was with them for two weeks: no telephone, no internet, and no news. After two weeks, I tried to come back home. I did not walk through the road this time, but in the jungle, mountain, and forest. Finally, after five months, at midnight, I could come home.

When I reached my town, most of the people had left. I am now at home, day and night inside our house. There is no internet and no telephone. So far, we are fine, but with my family, only four girls remain. I do not know where everyone else is located. In the town, soldiers are everywhere. No shop, no market. We eat what we have at home little by little. Pray for us continuously.

Sincerely, Thomas