| Sep 17, 2015
Dr. Henry, a pediatrician, began serving with Medical Teams International during the Kosovo War in 1999. Since then, he's served on four continents and impacted many lives. His upcoming book, Seasons and Sojourners, shares his insights and experiences. We're honored to share his experiences here-- volunteers like Henry make such an incredible impact on vulnerable lives around the world.
The following story describes his bittersweet time in Kosovo after brutal violence left many homeless, wounded and vulnerable. Read the entire post here.
"Mourn with those who mourn,”
Romans 12:15 (ESV)
Dust clouds billowed in the foothills of the distant blue-gray mountains, announcing the approach of more trucks filled with refugees from Kosovo. For a month the daily convoys had come to the Mjede train station. Filled mostly with women and children, the misery index was high after the six hour trip over mountainous roads. But their ordeal was not over; after resting and recovering, they were loaded into ancient train cars for an overnight journey south to an unspecified destination, sojourners in a foreign country.
No home to return to: 16-year-old Bastri, used drawings to share his heartbreaking experiences with Dr. Henry after losing his father and home to violence.
Today’s convoy of trucks from the border was different. Not only did it contain only men, they had few belongings. As they walked into the ancient warehouse in groups of twos, their eyes were downcast. Their walk seemed robotic. Once inside, they sat on their meager belongings with expressionless faces.
One young man, sitting on the floor, head in his hands, never looked up for six hours, refusing water, bread, or Spam. We learned the men had recently been released from the horrors of a Serbian prison.
Some, like a man with shrapnel wounds, sought medical care. Two elderly brothers, wearing vests and coats over their shirts, apparently deemed too old to kill, related in heart-breaking fashion how, before imprisonment each had lost their sons in one massacre. Their loves, their joy, and their family name had been eradicated in one afternoon on a hilly meadow near their ancestral village. Facing the heartbreakingly personal reality of ethnic cleansing, it is difficult not to cry.
Victims of ethnic cleansing: Before imprisonment, each brother had lost his own son to ethnic cleansing in Kosovo.
Two dark haired men, with countenances free of guile, but eyes speaking of unthinkable pain, want to sit next to me and tell me their story. Keep reading >>
Learn more about Henry's experiences serving vulnerable people around the world: Check out the other stories on his blog, Seasons and Sojourners. Interested in volunteering internationally with Medical Teams International? Learn more about how you can get involved.