Seawall

The flow of human misery into this clinic is unrelenting.  Like a faucet of suffering that’s been turned wide open and the handle broken off, they come each day the clinic is open.

Mothers with young children make up the majority of those who wait in the heat for their turn, but there are others as well.  I walk throughout their midst to go into the clinic and they all look at me hopefully.  I’m a white guy in a medical clinic and they mistake me for someone useful.  So i pray for them, but they rarely understand what I’m doing.  I sat across from a man who was of indeterminate age but his face was weathered and hard.  He had made the four hour journey on foot from his village, carrying his two or three year old son.  His son had malaria, and he lay beside the man, never moving.  There was concern on his face, but only traces.  These are strong, hard people who’ve been forged from a brutal land and shaped by the anguish of war.

I’ve seen some terrible things in the time I’ve been here. Injuries that most ER doctors bak home would see, but here there are no deep pools of technology to draw solutions from, only raw courage and ingenuity…and grace.

The workers here at this mission and clinic are stunning.  Day in and day out, they pour out and pour out help and concern, from stores that can only be from God. There’s no fat paycheck waiting for them at week’s end, only the chance for rest and the promise of a new week of emotional intensity to come.

Last Wednesday was difficult. The midwife here had worked all morning long trying to deliver a baby that wouldn’t seem to move and was showing signs of distress.  The mother was barely in her teens, it’s how they treat women here.  Finally the decision was made to evacuate the mother to the hospital in Wau where an emergency c section could be performed.

Later that night during a bonfire/prayer meeting, word came that the mother was recovering, but the baby had died. The midwife stood up, as though she was going to say something, but just stood there with her eyes closed and palms up.  The pain and frustration of that moment radiated through everyone present; we all sat in reverent silence.  One of the girls who had been leading worship songs began to softly strum her guitar, and quietly began to sing “Blessed be Your Name”. We all joined in, including the midwife.  The only force greater than the oncoming pain and sorrow here is the grace and love that God pours into these workers.  Its like a sea wall of grace that braces against and stops what should be an overwhelming flood of hopelessness. These are remarkable people, and our God is wonderful.

I don’t have the time to detail all the heroics done here…of the 21 year old guy who knows so much from theology to welding, who works tirelessly to keep things running smoothly…of Sabet who moves like an anti-storm, bringing calm and peace to every potential crisis…and on and on.  Know that they’re out here, usually unnoticed but forging ahead and giving of themselves without reserve.

The good that’s done in this mission and clinic is palpable. It’s like a heartbeat in a vast, desolate, lifeless world.  God is at work here and the Kingdom is advancing, changing the world around it.  I hope we’ll continue to pray for the dear, broken people of Sudan and pray for these special souls called to serve them in God’s love.

13 comments

  1. …lost for words, but grateful for an insight on what and how to pray for the Kuj’s, all the volunteers @ the medical clinic, and the patients…thank u…

  2. Your hope of prayer will be realized in me because I will be devoted to pray for the precious souls of Sudan. I go boldly before His throne of grace daily and ask Him for healing & protection. I know His grace is sufficient for me and my brothers & sisters in Sudan.

  3. I agree with everyone who has posted so far…speechless. You are seeing things that will forever shape you and how you teach as well. I look forward to hearing more once you return. I am in awe of the people who are tirelessly working there to help the sick and dying and extending God’s grace no matter the physicial, emotional or mental toll it takes on themselves. Thank you for this post Rob.

  4. Your words and description leave us very sober-minded. My heart breaks, and at the same time it is filled with gratitude for the sweet movement of God, and also gratitude for those serving in such difficult conditions. Thanks, Rob…and especially for Tom, who will not be coming back with you & Dave. May God’s grace be an everpresent reality to him.

  5. Thank you for sharing this. We are indeed the poor ones like the voice of the martyrs speaker spoke about… or the ones in “trouble”. The people you are with know the purity and beauty of their blessings in the middle of their pain. I am in tears and praying for these precious people. Just hearing about you all with “the least of these” my heart feels the closeness of God and His compassion and love for them. Thank you.

  6. My daily experience in a “clinic” is so far removed from the clinic where you are. Most of the people I see have a small fraction of the need you are seeing there. I want so badly to help people that truly need help. Like Misti said, we are the ones in trouble here living in our comfort and ease. Much to consider…

  7. Rob, Most of us can relate to your feelings of “uselessness” amidst such great need, but your ability to communicate on such a visceral level what you are experiencing there is a rare gift and most useful. If it moves our hearts so, imagine how it’s moving the Father’s on their behalf. Thank you for going and for sharing.

  8. Thank the Lord that He provided a way for you to physically go and then write what you are experiencing. I felt emotion in the depths of my soul while reading what you wrote. I say ditto to every comment . Thank you for keeping us up to date on this lifechanging journey.

  9. Thank you Rob for sharing this with us, it has touched my heart. I will be praying for the special workers there and the people who come for help ceaselessly.

  10. I am with everyone else who posted here.. speechless but also ashamed. The pathetic little things my heart whines about should not be. Thank you for the insight, I will pray…

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