This is a guest story from Midnight Sun, originally posted on July 7, 2017.
It was an average day for Angel. She lived in the Congo with her mother and six siblings. Little did she know, that on this day in 2008, she would be forcibly separated from her family for the next 9 years.
Angel was 14 years old when strangers broke into her family home and began to steal valuable items from the house such as their TV and furniture. The men, after selecting everything they wanted, looked to Angel and her older brother. They pointed at the two of them and said, “You and you, take this. Follow us.” The two were forced to transfer their family belongings to the vehicle and travel with the strangers until the items had been safely delivered.
Angel didn’t know where she was being taken, or when she would be be back, if at all. Those fearful days with the strangers were full of uncertainty, until the unthinkable happened. They would be taken back home, without a scratch. But, when the men delivered Angel and her brother back to their house, their entire family was gone.
Not knowing what to do, Angel and her brother stayed with a family friend until they could find a way to be reunited with their family. Because of the tumultuous conditions of the Congo at the time, they were eventually taken to a Ugandan refugee camp 5 years later, in 2013. It was there where they connected with the people who attended the only Christian church in the camp.
One of the men that attended noticed that Angel looked familiar to him. After Angel told him their story, the man recognized her family name. He informed her that her family had moved to America, only three months prior to Angel’s arrival. Even though she had just missed being reunited with her family, Angel was utterly relieved to know that her family was alive.
Their mother explained that they abandoned their home both out of fearing for the safety of their family, and in search for their missing children. Four years later in 2017, Angel and her brother were finally able to be reunited with their family. They traveled to where their family’s new home was– Lexington, KY. At the airport, her mother nearly fainted with joy at the sight of them as the six siblings were anxiously waiting in a line at the bottom oft he escalator. After years of grueling separation, the moment had finally come when she could wrap her family members in her arms once again.