Get Kony

The Lord’s Resistance Army—a murderous rebel group made up mostly of Ugandans, and led by a crazed warlord named Joseph Kony—today ranges across the jungles and scrubland of Uganda, Congo, Sudan, and the Central African Republic. Its ranks may be depleted, but the remnant deals death wherever it goes. U.S.-backed military forces are trying to hunt Kony down. So is a Pennsylvania-based evangelical preacher named Sam Childers. It is a story of pursuer and pursued, each believing that God is on his side.

  1. It’s two a.m., and we’re barreling down a deeply pocked dirt road in Southern Sudan. In the cool of night, the temperature is nearly 100 degrees. Sam Childers, 46, is behind the wheel of a chrome-tinted Mitsubishi truck. Christian rock blares on the speakers. He has a Bible on the dash and a shotgun that he calls his “widow-maker” leaning against his left knee. His top sergeant, Santino Deng, 34, a Dinka tribesman with an anthracite complexion and radiant black eyes, sits in the passenger seat, an AK-47 across his lap. I sit in the back. Since leaving the town of Mundri, headed toward the Congolese border, we’ve been driving for two bone-jarring days on roads littered with the charred wrecks of armored vehicles and fuel tankers, remnants of battles past. A truck follows close behind, carrying 15 men from the small militia group under Childers’s personal command. The convoy is on its way to a Sudanese town called Maridi. In the area we’re passing through, just hours ago soldiers from the Lord’s Resistance Army (L.R.A.) hacked 15 villagers to death with machetes, then disappeared into the bush. Intelligence sources from the Sudan People’s Liberation Army—the ragtag military wing of the breakaway government of Southern Sudan—have indicated that elements of the L.R.A. are now headed to Maridi. Childers wants to intercept them, and kill their leader.

    The unflappable Ugandan driving the militia truck wears a torn white pro-life T-shirt emblazoned with a picture of a fetus, a gift...