Holly Findley experiences the joy of new birth at the IAS Nyinbuli medical clinic
Life is difficult for the IAS health team in Nyinbuli, Bahr El Ghazal, Southern Sudan. Before the Nyinbuli health center was established in 2006, residents of the region (a population of over 30,000 in the immediate area) were required to walk over nine hours to the nearest clinic. Now, in 2013, lives are saved on a daily basis in Nyinbuli thanks to the sacrifice and dedication of the IAS staff choosing to live and work in this remote region of Sudan. This month I would like to share with you, in the words of Holly Findley, IAS midwife and missionary to Nyinbuli, just what it is like to live and work in a place that often seems to be at the end of the world.
Nyinbuli village is an incredible place . . . it didn’t take me long to lose my heart. Have you ever been to a place where you just knew that this was where you were supposed to be? Well, that’s how it is for me here. There is something incredible that happens when you are exactly where God wants you to be, doing what He has created you to do. I can’t explain it, but if you’ve experienced it you know.
There is so much need in Nyinbuli. So many people who need to know that Jesus loves them! Often, the people who come to the clinic aren’t so much in need of medicine as they are love and compassion. My job as a midwife has got to be the best job in the world. I get to spend my days palpating bellies as babies grow inside and helping the mommas as they work and labor to bring their little ones into the world.
Often there is a lot of heartache with the job as well. I don’t think you ever get used to telling a woman that her unborn baby has died, or pray so hard as when something in childbirth goes dreadfully wrong and the only hospital is hours away. But it’s where God has called me to be and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Do not despise these small beginnings,
for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin.
. . . Zechariah 4:10 New Living Translation
Sometimes it’s the small things when you’re out on the field that mean the most and impact you deeply. When every week brings someone who is hurting, scared or even dying, it’s the little tidbits of joy in the midst of the pain that touch you most.
Holly Findley conducts a medical exam at the IAS Nyinbuli clinic
In the last two weeks here at the Nyinbuli clinic we have had a little boy who was perhaps three years old die of tetanus, another boy died of what appeared to be severe malnutrition and perhaps malaria, a preemie who fought for twelve days before becoming too weak to live, and a heartbroken third wife to an important man in the village who so desperately wants a child that she has made herself believe that she is pregnant even though she is not.
My heart breaks for the moms who have lost children, and for the woman who so desperately longs for love and good standing in her family that she has made herself believe that she is pregnant. I can’t even imagine the loneliness. It can be overwhelming if I allow myself to dwell on the hurt that seems to be all around. But there are sweet moments of joy and love that come as well in the small things, and I know that if I am going to make it out here for any length of time, then it is these moments that I must cherish and hang on to.
Thank you for your continued support in 2013 for the work of IAS. In so many ways, small things do make a huge difference in this big world.
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