(Snapshot: IAS team members Kairsta Peterkort (RN) and Lindsi Bennett welcome a new arrival to the Nyinbuli community)
After almost forty-eight hours of travel, broken only by the chance of a few short hours of rest, eight IAS volunteer team members from the United States finally arrived at their African destination – the IAS medical clinic in Nyinbuli, South Sudan. Once the team and their cargo of medical and dental supplies had been dropped off at the remote health center, the small chartered plane sped down the short, bumpy runway and was gone from sight in a matter of seconds.
Thus began an amazing week of medical and dental assistance for the residents of this remote region of Bahr El Ghazal, South Sudan. Included in the IAS US group were two doctors, two registered nurses, a counselor, and support team. What followed was a week of intense capacity-building medical and dental assistance designed not only to impact the local community, but to train the IAS resident staff at the Nyinbuli Clinic as well.
Every day, approximately fifty Sudanese took advantage of visiting a dentist for the first time in their lives. As Dr. Kevin Wegrzyn saw patients, he also trained the IAS local medical staff to carry out routine dental work and extractions. In addition to providing training, he left necessary equipment so that they could carry on dental aid once the US team departed.
Simultaneous to the dental clinic, Dr. Wade Huffman and the IAS nursing team had their own full schedule of patients. And, unlike the dental clinic which could close by late afternoon, the medical team was always on call. The joy of welcoming new life into the world was often dampened by the loss of life from an ailment easily treatable in the West.
And all the while, other IAS US team members made repairs to the IAS clinic compound, maintained equipment, and provided support to the IAS local staff in whatever way possible. It was a week of intense labor, intense emotion, and intense assistance for Nyinbuli.
Speaking Spiritually into Lives
Through Meeting Physical Needs
Dr. Kevin Wegrzyn (left) gives instruction to Dr. Wade Huffman on the art of extracting a tooth
Meeting physical needs in the developing world is often a prerequisite to speaking into lives spiritually (James 2:14-17). Meeting physical needs is also often a precondition to building capacity into a life through either microfinance or education. IAS America is committed to bringing this holistic approach to the gospel to our brothers and sisters in the developing world.
However, it takes partnerships to carry out this goal. The Nyinbuli region of Southern Sudan will reap the benefit from the recent IAS US team visit for years to come. But before there was an IAS team, there needed to be volunteers. And in concert with volunteers, IAS financial partners are critical to helping us carry out our mandate.
However you may become involved, we welcome your partnership as we work together to share God’s love and compassion with the less fortunate of this world. To find additional ways that you can stay engaged with the expanding work of IAS America, please visit our newly redesigned website at www.iasamerica.org.
Working together, I look forward to a productive year of serving and empowering the world’s poor.
With much thanks,
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