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Snapshot: A Passion for Health — Impacting Lives in South Sudan « International Aid Services America

Clinical officer, John Mark, examines a child for pneumonia.

What is it that you are passionate about? Family? Career? A cause? For a group of people working in South Sudan, their lives are all about passion. That may sound a little romanticized, and I will be the first to admit that living in such a remote place is anything but romantic. Adventurous? Definitely. Challenging? You bet. Exciting? When will the adrenaline rushes just stop already! For the IAS team at the clinic in Nyinbuli, South Sudan, living a life serving others isn’t easy but it is also incredibly rewarding.

A few months ago, the relative peace that reigned in this region of South Sudan was shattered. Fighting was close and the local authorities told the team to move to safety. Not only would this leave the village without any medical care, but there was a woman at the clinic in labor with twins. The first baby had been born at home, but the second baby was stuck. It was too dangerous to make the three hour trip to the hospital and the team was forced to leave the woman in the hands of the local community health workers with only hopes and prayers.

That evening, when the fighting slowed, the team cautiously returned to the village. What they found was astounding. Not only had the woman miraculously delivered a healthy second baby, but the community health workers had bravely stayed to treat people hurt in the fighting, stitching up wounds and caring for a man who had been shot. Not long after this, the IAS team was evacuated until it was safe to return. While the team was away, the community health workers did all they could to continue caring for their community and using all the knowledge they had gleaned over the years of working alongside the IAS team. They cared for children sick with malaria and listened to the bellies of the pregnant mommas for tiny heartbeats.

“…I AM WITH YOU EACH AND EVERY DAY
until the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:20 ISV

IAS staff member, Brian, a Kenyan pastor in Nyinbuli, says, “Nobody enjoys being out of their comfort zone, especially where people rarely appreciate what you are doing. I am here in obedience to the great commandment in Mathew 28:19,‘Go into the world and make disciples of all peoples …’ and I also draw my confidence in the last verse, which is a promise that God will always be with us.Why did I return even after the fighting happened so close? Having been in Nyinbuli for more than four years, it was hard to enjoy the comforts of my home when I realized that someone may be suffering for lack of basic medical care. It is a privilege that He has chosen me to be a part of what He is doing in this part of the world.”

Community health worker, Deng Guot, prepares to distribute food to malnourished children.

It’s passion that brings a person to work in a place like Nyinbuli, South Sudan . . . raw, rugged, tear-stained passion. It’s not being able to sleep at night because you know that you could be doing something for someone who needs you. It’s knowing that you have a part to play and that no one else can do it quite the same. Will you join us in our passion to bring medical care to people who would otherwise not have any?!

With gratitude,

Holly Holloway
Midwife, IAS America

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