The Schweitzer of Sudan
In Tonj he built a medical clinic with his own hands. He treated some 300 patients a day there. He had a Jeep so that he could make personal visits to patients who could never travel to him. In particular, he sought out Hansen’s disease victims.
Fr John had grown up in grinding poverty and never kept himself aloof from the poor of Tonj. He could have lived the affluent life of a highly qualified doctor. But instead, day after day, he was both nurse and doctor to some of the world’s poorest people. No longer daunted by the sight of the lepers, Fr John spent long hours cleaning and bandaging their wounds. He recorded his experience of helping them in two books: “The Rays of the Sun in Africa are Still Sad” and “Will You Be My Friend?”
But he went ahead because he believed that Fr John was a good role model for Buddhists. “If we could have one Buddhist cleric like him, the better it would be for Buddhism,” he said.