By Richard Martin

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In their way, my parents were rebels, determined to defy the status quo and live out what they believed in. Although I didn’t realize it then, their emphasis on love, service, and following one’s beliefs made a lasting impression on me. I was also tremendously impressed by a documentary I watched when I was eleven. It was about a Japanese doctor who traveled to China’s remote interior in the late 1800s to offer medical aid and love through his faith. The doctor lived in the villages with the people he served.

In that same village we slowed nearly to a stop when we came upon a game of street soccer. Kids ranging in age from about as old as twelve to as young as two were kicking a sack cloth tied with string on the pavement. Some wore sandals while others played in bare feet. The game halted as we drove through. They watched us carefully until we’d passed, then immediately resumed the game. Soon after, the highway pavement petered out. As the twisting dirt road led us closer to the community center, I saw more single-story adobe homes scattered on the brown, rolling hills around us.

The Last Night 17. Rescue 18. Reborn 19. , WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2012 PUL-I-ASSIM, AFGHANISTAN “ARE YOU GETTING ENOUGH PROTEIN IN YOUR DIET? ” The questions in Pashto come from Miriam, a local midwife and employee of the same nonprofit I work for. She’s addressing twenty moms and kids jammed into a fifteen-by-twenty-foot office. About half of the visitors sit in metal folding chairs while the others stand. Miriam points with a stick to a board beside her. Tacked to the board are plastic baggies filled with nuts, beans, and rice.

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