Being Made New

The ER was packed with people, but one stood out. She met my eyes right when I entered. Sitting on a corner bed, she was being supported by two women with her, both with smart phones (an uncommon sight in our part of the world). She was thin, wearing stylish clothes that seemed two sizes … More Being Made New

The Nursery Mothers

I remember when I held my first child. It was in the early morning hours of a clear, spring day in 2012. After undergoing a grueling marathon of two hours of pushing, a vacuum, forceps, and ultimately an episiotomy, my wife birthed a slimy, seven-pound one-ounce shrieking creature – our daughter. When I held her, … More The Nursery Mothers

The Worry Song

It was the song that got to me. This story starts in a grass hut, on a bush trail far from the main road, late on a Wednesday night. While most of Jiwaka Province sleeps, a young man, drunk, enters his aunt’s house with a knife. He intends to stab her. In his drunken stupor, … More The Worry Song

Baby Pack STAT!

When 18-year-old Maria brought her tiny, limp newborn boy to our hospital, my first thought was: This child is dead. Three days before she had delivered her baby at home premature (eight months gestation). Earlier that morning, her baby stopped breastfeeding and had trouble breathing. Maria rushed the infant to a nearby health center thirty … More Baby Pack STAT!

The Bloodthirsty Ground

“The ground ate men’s blood and was never satisfied.” This was how the men at the Kuldamung groundbreaking ceremony described the land upon which they were standing. During a five-year tribal war in the late 90’s between two small tribes, 26 men died fighting over this land. They were killed in close hand-to-hand combat with … More The Bloodthirsty Ground

A COVID Survivor

James was on a trajectory that had become all too familiar, and it was not good. Due to an overwhelming number of cases in New York City, Samaritan’s Purse was battling COVID-19 in a tent hospital in Central Park. Available treatments were limited and were not well researched. Along with teams in the wards and … More A COVID Survivor

Anything but Routine

Pregnant with her fifth child, Esther was referred to Kudjip Hospital from a small aid post for possible twins. Her second baby, a girl, had died soon after birth. She had left her other three children, all boys, at home. Esther and her husband had already agreed this would be their last child and she … More Anything but Routine

The Bell

At the exit of the “hot zone” at the Samaritan’s Purse Field Hospital in Central Park sits a bell. An old-fashioned cow bell. As patients were being discharged after days and sometimes weeks of battling COVID-19, they rang the bell. It was a scene of pure joy. A deathly sick man or woman was now … More The Bell