Could it really be?
After three months of effort and many phone calls, I was once again flying
to Sarajevo, Bosnia. On my last trip to Bosnia, in June of 1997,
I had left after three weeks with such a heavy heart. I thought I
would never again see the people I had come there to help. Three
months later I was flying to this country that I have come to love.
Why? Because the people there have responded to the help and love
that my friends, family and I have delivered for several years.
Incredibly, I would be reunited with those families whom I have been involved with, but I was also taking in 600 pounds of supplies for them! The airlines had graciously allowed me unlimited baggage, at no cost, due to the humanitarian help I was providing. But my main reason for returning to Bosnia was to get Aldin, the 17-year-old Bosnian boy with Hodgkin's Disease. I had met him on my last trip to Bosnia and wanted to do something to try to help save Aldin's life.
With the help of many people, I arranged for medical treatment for Aldin in America. Acquiring the passport, visa and proof of help for Aldin here in America was by no means an easy task! God, in His infinite love, had provided everything needed through people who cared enough to lend a helping hand.
Once I arrived in Bosnia, I was able to spend time with Aldin's family and let them get to know me. It was not difficult as we had instant love and rapport for one another. They were relieved that Aldin would be getting the help he needed. A burden of weight that was too much to carry had been lifted from their weary shoulders. Their expressions of appreciation were deep and sincere. Any parent would completely understand their feelings.
Aldin has been living with us for 2 weeks now. We have seen the doctor already and his chances for complete recovery are about 98% sure. Hodgkin's is a very "good" cancer because it does not tend to reoccur after treatment. We are very confident that Aldin will be fine and lead a productive and normal life. He will be with us for several months while his body regains strength and healing.
Aldin is more than a success story for medicine. He is an example of hope. He is a symbol to his people and mine that if we care for one another; love and saving a life are possible. It took many people to save Aldin; people whom I believe, were moved by God to care. I have also seen that it is one of the beautiful compensations of this life, that no one can sincerely try to help another without helping himself. All who have been involved in getting Aldin to America for help will surely attest to this truth. We have much to learn from Aldin while he is in our home and community. He has much to learn from us. Language, cultural, religious, and personality barriers, even cancer, have not been able to stop the love and care that have been displayed for this one Bosnian boy. The capacity to care is the thing that gives life its deepest meaning. Without it we are doomed to despair and inhumanity. As I have personally witnessed the destruction of a country due to war and hatred, I have seen that the capacity to care crosses borders and is stronger than hatred. There is hope for us all when we care for another. Aldin is a living example of that. I believe his story and life can speak to both Bosnia and America.
October 26, 1997
Click here for Part I
If you would like further information about how you can make a difference for someone in Bosnia, please contact Jane Wiebe or the Fourth Street Church of God, Madera, California.
Return to Bosnia page.