Wednesday, April 17, 2013


We found a void in Nimule, South Sudan. Everyday, there was a loud cry for medical knowledge at the Children's Home - enough for a sole worker to stay busy all day everyday, if only funds were sufficient to hire such a one. If only funds were sufficient to support the changes such a one would desire to make. 

But truth: I knew it wasn't me. I couldn't really eat while we were there, and I only recovered from the stomach issues I had a few weeks after our arrival back in the states. And in the way of other changeable realities: I know nothing of malaria, tuberculosis, typhoid, parasite infestations, and STD's. All these caught me re-thinking dreams of South Sudan as a long-term home. It made me sad. 

But something happened the last day we were there. Those dedicated to that place - who live there with the children day in and day out - saw the effects of the void being filled for just a few days. And they agreed to hire someone, our fast friend, Daniel from the Christ the King Clinic. 

I took four children and one young woman to see him one day. He assessed and treated them all and wrote detailed doctor's notes for each one, even though he only has the two years of medical training that might be long enough to name someone RN in the states. All five were given long individual attention (more than five minutes) and treated for $40. All five recovered completely by the time our three-week stay had ended. 

By the beginning of the next month, he had moved in at Cornerstone Children's Home as a full time healthcare worker. His wages were slightly over $100 each month. One-hundred dollars...four hours of work as a nurse in the states for one month of work in Africa.

Since then, he has done such a good job with the children that work has slowed down, and he has begun using his skills part time at the neighboring hospital. Extra funds have been allocated for healthcare by the executive board at the children's home, because they have seen the difference he is able to make.  

That place might not be home for me, but I can't think about my home here without remembering the home those children have. Being there has taken away every barrier I had before about giving generously. I held onto money then, but now I find myself pushing my money away. But not only away. Away toward faces. African faces young and old. Faces of all colors forever etched in my mind.

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