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my story part 1

I am originally from Congo and I come from a family of 9 children. I have seen a lot of war, overcame a lot of stress, and near death. I will only talk about 1 incident in this part 1. I remember I was only 14 at the time when my mum together with my siblings had to run away to another city, 6 hours away from the city where we were living because of war. We lived in that new city for about 1 month, then we got told that we could then go back because a new power had taken over my home town and it was safe to go back. In the city where we took refuge in, there were about 15 families and when we started leaving the city, another big group of refugees joined us. They were mostly women and children. We all took the road together, and when we arrived at 1 hour away from the city that we were leaving, we got stopped by rebels carrying very big guns. I have never been that scared in my life. We were being carried into lorries with our little bags of clothes, but these men with guns (They were so many and everywhere) asked us to get down so they could look through our bags to see if we had any money. They couldn't find any money, so they became angry saying that all men should go but all the girls would stay. Then one of them looked at my sister and said she did not look like a Congolese and that she should die. My mum, who was pregnant started crying, she went on her knees asking these men not to harm her children. Then a lot of them came, and all the attention was on us: my mum and my siblings. 

So, they aligned us, next to each other, behind us it was the lake and other dead bodies. This was a strange moment. The other were praying for us but none of them dared defend us. We were crying but all of a sudden we stopped crying. We held each other's hands, my mum kept saying we should stay behind her but this was making the rebels even angrier. I remember thinking: This is it, this is the end of us. At that exact moment, I wasn't scared anymore. It was like, my body was there, but my soul wasn't because I couldn't even hear any noise, and I couldn't even see anyone, although I was blind. I just felt at peace and my brothers and sisters, as well as my mum, I think felt the same...But I wasn't sure. Then, all of a sudden, A man, who happened to be our neighbor, came and asked to speak to the rebels and lied that my mum was his wife and we were his children. Nobody knew where he came from. It was like God heard our prayers and sent this guy to help us. It was like, my soul came back to my body, and we heard people shouting to this man saying that he is going to get himself killed by defending us. But this man was not scared, He asked to speak to the rebels' boss. They went somewhere with him and then they came back and told us that we can go and that it was our lucky day. We left there and this guy, the neighbor, later told us that he paid them 2000 dollars so they could let us go. So we owed that man our lives. That was also the time when I believed that God does exist and prayers do work.

So this is my little story of how I nearly died. This is just part of my story.

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