Colonel Craig Lambrecht, MD, FACEP, an emergency physician stationed in southern Iraq on his second tour of duty, was walking outside of the military base when he walked inside a metal building to find 30 children awaiting medical attention.
“Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.” —Mark 10:14b
Medics inside were treating burns that children had received, mostly from kerosene and diesel oil fire burns, often from cooking on open fires.
“I saw these soldiers volunteering their off-duty time to help Iraqi kids and realized I needed to be involved,” Dr. Lambrecht stated.
The medics were surprised to see an Army colonel walk in, especially one trained in emergency medicine.
“I was profoundly impacted that we were doing procedures like surgical tissue removal and redressing, which are extraordinarily painful, and had no pain medication,” said Dr. Lambrecht.
He contacted everyone he knew back home. Local newspapers picked up the story and money started pouring in.
Patients began to come from as far as Iran and Syria to get American health care.
“Iraqi physicians would bring children by ambulance from another hospital, even though they knew we were an outpatient facility,” Dr. Lambrecht reported.
After completing his second tour, the doctor went back to work as an emergency physician back home, yet halfway around the globe, his desire to help the children of Iraq is unstoppable.
“As long as my medics keep saying there’s another child we have to help and we need supplies,” he said, “I’m going to continue to be there for my fellow soldiers and those kids.”
Job descriptions and distance rarely stop true passion.
DEAR GOD, thank You for children and how they remind us of the gift of life and the simplicity of love. Help me to always pay attention to the smallest of Your sons and daughters and care for them as my own.