Now that I've gotten my feet back under me, I wanted to share a few more stories from the trip to South Sudan. My role was to document with pictures all that was happening. I sat with patients waiting for surgery, talked with those who weren't able to have surgery for one reason or another, and tried to capture those whose sight had been restored.
The more people I talked to the more I realized that each person's story was hard in more ways than it was easy. A missionary who lives in South Sudan said if I really wanted to hear some things, there were four topics to ask about: the war, the famine, their children, and lastly, if they had ever seen a lion. Here is a sampling of the responses...
Deng'ng'ong' said his eyes started getting bad 3 years ago. He believed it was because his son was killed and no one had answered for it even up till now.
The next morning, when Deng'ng'ong' had his eye patch removed, he was absolutely beaming.
"The toughest lion to kill was one that came into the camp to kill a person, not a cow." Kiir went with 9 other men, tracked it down and killed it with spears.
"I've seen a lot of hard things in the war, but the worst thing above all of that is this blindness."
The following day her patch was removed and her eyesight was restored.
Patients are led cautiously and carefully to the clinic.
It was our goal that each person coming to the hospital would hear about the steadfast and saving love of Jesus Christ. Many had heard the gospel before, even if they didn't believe it. Many had not. Amuor (the woman in the center) said this was the first time she had heard the gospel. She knew children in her village that went to church, but thought it was a school just for children. After hearing about God's unconditional love she said, "The success of the surgery is because of the power of God alone. As soon as I go home, I will be going to church with the children."
Led in by the hand, but walking out on her own. For this we praise God!!
Mike (pediatric surgeon) and Julie (nurse/mother to two) living in Kenya, East Africa