33 pages 1 hour read

John Bul Dau

God Grew Tired of Us

Nonfiction | Autobiography / Memoir | Adult | Published in 2007

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more.

Summary and Study Guide


God Grew Tired of Us, published in 2007, is a Christian memoir that chronicles John Bul Dau’s 1,000-mile journey from his home village of Duk Payuel in Sudan to the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya. This study guide refers to the 2008 first paperback printing edition.

In the Introduction Dau states that although he is just one of thousands of Lost Boys, he wanted to tell his story in hope of using his education and experiences to change Africans’ lives for the better. Dau’s memoir is written linearly, starting with his young life in Duk Payuel and ending with his current life in America. Dau sprinkles in facts about Sudan at the start of each chapter, and he also includes some brief interviews with people who know him. Although he’s telling his own story, he’s also portraying the collective story of the Lost Boys.

Dau’s story begins with his childhood as a Dinka boy. He illustrates how his home village and its people, the Dinka, shape the core of his being, teaching him values and morals, and instilling in him the understanding of his Christian faith. Yet, he is also shaped by his experiences as a Lost Boy who was essentially on his own by 13 years old. While the first chapter illustrates Dau’s childhood with his family, the subsequent chapters reveal the specific, often tragic circumstances that Dau endured on his journey to seek safety.

Dau’s initial trek is 1,000 miles by foot, spanning from Duk County, Sudan, to Kakuma, Kenya. From age 13 to his early twenties, Dau’s young life is plagued by instability as he travels in and out of various refugee camps, making friends only to lose them to starvation or disease. When he begins to feel comfortable in a camp, encroaching violence forces him to leave. Even when he finally makes it to Kakuma, he quickly realizes that although it is relatively safe, there is no future in the camp.

After many trials and much paperwork, Dau relocates to America. The latter half of the book follows his struggles and triumphs in his new country. He experiences the best and worst of American life, and he constantly questions what America means to him. Although he encounters pockets of hatred and culture shock, by the end of the book he is immensely grateful that America has given him a future that he can dedicate to helping those in Southern Sudan.