Peter Graduates! 2004


Congratulations to Peter Machuak
who received his High School Diploma
from Matterberry Job Corps!


Peter's Story

I am one of the southern Sudanese young men who suffered for decades. We were brought to the United States of America to establish our life. I settled in Chicago, Illinois. I was born in southern Sudan and left my country in 1987. I walked toward the east where I met some of my friends, and we walked to Ethiopia then to Kenya, by bare foot -- I covered my feet with torn clothes because my feet cracked.

     There is no good war, and no small journey...
I lost everything I had during the war in Sudan between the Islamic government in the north and the Christians and animists in the south; I lost my parents, friends, homeland and its beautiful resources. We have seen the world community relaxing about it.

     A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step...
The first time I took a single step from my country to Ethiopia and from there to Kenya was begun with a single mile. It reached a thousand miles, and I think it reached a million miles when I arrived in the United States.

     An empty stomach and a broken heart...
I began to feel broken-hearted when I lost my lovely parents and country and felt my stomach empty and rumbling at the same time -- it was the worst thing to have happen at the same time. Some people believe that an empty stomach is worse than a broken heart, but I never think so -- I do think that the worse thing is to have them both at the same time. And I think that the broken heart is worse than the empty stomach because you can fill your empty stomach and forget those days of starvation, but the broken heart will never leave you because there is no way you can bring back those who lost their life and everything that you lost.

     What life is all about...
Life is about hope and determination and these are the only investments that will never fail. I smile, and make the whole world wonder why I smile and not cry. I know only God can save me and lift me out of this miserable life, but tears cannot help me, they only make it worse. Second, I believe that life is not a journey, it's a destination -- if you invest your life in hope and have a good heart, kindness, respect and determination, you will reach your destination.
My investment has led me to achieve my High School diploma and vocational training, and this is another step toward the thousand miles of my life time and journey to my accomplishment of different things in the future. Hope and determination are the only investments that will never fail.

     The world is for those who dare and do...
And that is why I smile and not cry. I thank God in the morning when I wake up and see sunshine again, and at night again when I go to bed to sleep in peace.



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