They Come Back Singing: Finding God with the Refugees
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They Come Back Singing: Finding God with the Refugees

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  47 ratings  ·  6 reviews
For years, Gary Smith, a Jesuit priest, led a familiar life in the Pacific Northwest. Then, one day in 2000, he left that life behind to spend six years among Sudanese refugees struggling to survive in refugee camps in northern Uganda. He traveled to this dangerous, pitiless place to be with these forsaken people out of a conviction that “Jesuits should be going where no o...more
Paperback, 248 pages
Published February 1st 2008 by Loyola Press
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Give Fr. Gary Smith credit for this much: he's honest. _They Come Back Singing_ is Fr. Smith's frank accounting of six years working with Sudanese refugees in northern Uganda as a staffer with Jesuit Refugee Services ( Smith doesn't mince words when evaluating African politics, the faith experiences of the refugees in his care, and even his own reservations and discomfort about the job he did there.

Frankly, Fr. Smith spends most of the book sorting throu...more
Overall, a nice memoir from a Jesuit priest who eventually found himself called to minister to the Sudanese refugees in northern Uganda. At times I felt it was a little self-serving, but mostly I was impressed by Fr. Smith's willingness to go outside his comfort zone and accept a vocation to work with the poorest and most destitute of people, in a war torn, disease ravaged, climate challenged location. The simple faith of the refugees was quite staggering in the midst of much suffering.
Smith draws the reader into his world, gives us a close-up look at what life is in the Sudanese refugee camps in Uganda. At least for me, it is impossible to read a book such as this and not be changed.
I had to take the book back to the library before I was done with it...but I look forward to finishing this book one day and reading Gary Smith's other books.
This is a fantastic book that I highly recommend to anyone working with refugees, or interested in social justice, africa or poverty. The author did a fantastic job inter-weaving history, politics, social justice, theology and personal stories.
The writing feels a little uneven and a bit forced at times, but that doesn't make his stories from Uganda any less powerful.
Wow, it's been almost a year since I've been on this site. Wonderful book about a Jesuit priest in Africa.
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