Liberty University students had a firsthand look inside a life-saving facility. Samaritan’s Purse brought its Emergency Field Hospital to the Academic Lawn for Global Focus Week-an event aimed at raising global awareness. It’s first time the hospital has been featured on a college campus.
Many of those who work in the medical field for Samaritan’s Purse- a Christian organization providing emergency services in disaster areas-consider it a calling.
“To go into an area, where you weren’t sure if you would make it back home, it takes the peace of God to do that,” says Kelly McCormick, a nurse practitioner with the Samaritan’s Purse Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART).
The organization is headed by Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham, who took a rare opportunity to speak with students at Liberty University about the group’s work in war-torn areas like Mosul, Iraq.
“The wailing and the screaming of the women and the children is something that will never leave your ears. For these nurses to pick up these children and to love them and kiss them, to smile at them-incredible,” says Graham.
Samaritan’s Purse brought the same mobile emergency field hospital used in Iraq to the LU campus. And students were able to hear about the experiences of medical staff firsthand. McCormick shared with WFXR a story about a mother with a 7-year-old girl suffering from a gunshot wound.
“There were lowpoints,” McCormick says of the experience. “I had a child who was around 7 years old and the mother had brought this child to our emergency field hospital. She had been shot in the chest by an ISIS sniper. And they drug her back into the house-this was in an ISIS-controlled neighborhood,” says McCormick. “They waited for four hours before they would go and get help for her, because they were afraid they would all be killed. So after about four hours, they asked an ISIS solider if they could take her to get help and they said yes, you can. But you have to give us your other five children. So they traded their five children to get help for the one. They carried her in the 20 degree cold, waded across the river, holding her above her head.”
Samaritan’s Purse saved countless lives in Iraq, including that 7-year-old.
“At the moment that the mom handed that child to me, she said in Arabic, ‘Did I do the right thing?’ That was a low point for me,” says McCormick.
He didn’t have the answer for that mother, but the girl’s life had been spared. The group has saved many lives over the years and has touched many lives as well, including some of the students on the LU campus.
“It really encourages me to make sure in everything I’m doing I’m loving people just like Christ would want me to do,” says God’s Gift Tamuno, a junior at Liberty University.
In following their calling, the medical staff with Samaritan’s Purse are inspiring many students to, perhaps, a calling of their own.