Notes from Nakivale, Uganda
Recently, Dr. Paul Neumann was a member of a medical team that traveled to Nakivale, Unganda, to treat hundreds of refugees seeking medical care.
From Dr. Neumann' Journal
"My patient enters the exam room. He is a recent arrival to this refugee camp and afraid of returning to his home in the Congo.
"He does not strike me as a man who would fear anything. He is a big man, muscled firmly and strong of bone and spirit. Inside, I sense a break—his smile looks more like a crack giving entry into a place of tears than an opening for joy to escape from.
"His eyes seem alive but heavy, like a beast struggling with a fatal wound.
"He complains of an ache in his back, present for three days. No clues are given to suspect the source is dangerous—no awaking wetted with sweat, full cooperation of the leg muscles and nerves, no weight loss. I question him how he caused injury to his back. He explains that his brother’s daughter died three days ago and he volunteered to dig her grave. He explains he had to spend half a day pulling rock from the earth to make room for her little body.
"This is a brother’s work and he completed his duty, placing heavy stones over the little body until her grave was filled. A terrible task leaves him with a deep persistent ache in his spine. I did not ask if his heart aches when he asks me to ease his pain.
"Sometimes the body reflects injuries of the soul. These hurts that are dark and ethereal. These are the places human hands cannot touch to heal. I am reminded of this daily when treating people damaged by the slow wounds of poverty and the sudden trauma of conflict and disaster.
"This is the sad damage within a person that requires a greater power to bring back to wholeness and back to light."
- Dr. Paul Neumann
Your opportunity to help
In the months ahead, Medical Teams International plans to provide care to almost 200,000 people in
Uganda. Our expertise, partnerships and commitment to efficiency, combined with the efforts of volunteers like Dr. Neumann, make it possible to provide that care.
Today, you have the opportunity to bring back health and life to a suffering child, mother or family in Uganda. Your $10 gift can help 5 people in Uganda. Your $100 gift can help to save the lives of 50 refugee children.
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