In 18 work hours, two “shifts” have never been so hard to describe. Three men shared how, a fewhours ago, they were a team of six, now three are gone. Those who remained are suffering from concussions and shrapnel injuries. Another man described how he watched a man jump from a burning building, four stories down to his death. Still another tells how, during times of extreme shelling, he covered himself with bodies of fallen comrades to prevent his own death. The man on the stretcher is barely responsive, with head wounds and leg injuries. He was in the fight for only six hours before his injuries occurred. If I was in the US, he would be flown to a trauma center; yet here we are, over an hour from any type of medical intervention and entrusted with the care for this man. The other man cradles his head, trying to escape the headache and nausea he has been fighting for only three days prior to his injury. Four transfers, ten patients, stories shared… none of this is meant for any human to ever experience. Emotional pain, physical pain, spiritual pain, laid bare and raw. Blank stares, eyes letting us know the patient’s are desperate for relief, souls begging for something but they are unsure what. Some patients pour it out, others contain it within. Working with translators who care about these men is an experience beyond words. I can’t speak their verbal language, but I can show compassion first, then communicate through our translator. Truly, a generation of men are going to come out of this war, and having no connection to God, they will become violent, bitter, angry and abusive. The fight is spiritual, how can we work to prevent this from starting a new series of generational sins. I learned to read eyes, and recognize some of their pain. I wish we had Bibles to distribute in the waiting rooms… I wish I could speak the language.
~ By one of our former volunteers