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September 15, 1999






First WMU team returns from Bosnia
___SARAJEVO, Bosnia--Members of Texas Woman's Missionary Union labored together with women from five other states to supply medicines for a WMU-sponsored medical team recently sent to Bosnia. But the trip ran into its first snag when those essential medications were confiscated by customs officials as the team entered the war-torn country.
___The over-the-counter medications, donated by Baptist Nursing Fellowship chapters in
bloodpressure
DANA WHITFIELD (center) of Fort Worth gets a check-up from James Davis, one of 12 nurses working in Bosnia. Whitfield and Norman Crisp (right) of Marshall are among a group of six Texans serving in Sarajevo through the International Mission Board. (Photo by Teresa Dickens)
Alabama, Tennessee, Texas, Arkansas, Hawaii and Georgia, were released six days later and put to good use. But in the meantime, the volunteer team of 12 nurses had to function without them.
___"It was amazing to see the work we did without them," said Matthew Lee, son of WMU President Wanda Lee and a senior pre-med student at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala. "God used the time to strengthen us and to teach us that he is always in control. If we can learn to rely on him for everything, then it will all work out for his glory and according to his plans."
___Debra Scudder, a registered nurse from Wilson Baptist Church in Wilson, Wyo., noted that the lack of common medicines and high-tech equipment helped the nurses get back to the "basics."
___"I had to go back to the basics of treating patients," she said. "Through a translator, I would ask questions. I watched the patients' body language as they spoke the Bosnian language, and I listened to the English translation. I touched the patients, and the human touch with a smile put the patients at ease. The lack of equipment forced us--allowed us the opportunity--to return to the basics."
___The Southern Baptist representatives from six states were among the first to enter Bosnia under the auspices of WMU's Volunteer Connection. WMU is sending volunteers to Bosnia in partnership with Southern Baptist missionaries in the region. The partnership is the overseas expression of Project HELP: Violence, WMU's current social emphasis.
___"I was so proud of the work done by this team of Southern Baptist nurses," said Lee, who herself is a registered nurse. "I believe nurses are one of the most overlooked resources in Southern Baptist life. They are by nature nurturing and compassionate. Add to that their Christian commitment, and you have a powerful source for dispensing just what people in places like Bosnia need."
___

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