Since meeting Nyabuol over a year ago, I have always known her to be “ciek mi buom buom,” or a strong woman, full of life as she is hilarious and extremely joyful. After being reunited with Nyabuol at the refugee camp, she shared with us all that had occurred since we had seen her in December.

There was a dispute with her son-in-law regarding the dowry paid for her daughter. As a result, her son-in-law shot her. When she was shot, she passed out and was taken to the MSF (Doctors Without Borders) compound in town. The bullet entered through her stomach and exited through her back.

Her wounds were so bad that she was flown to another MSF location in South Sudan for better care.

Nyabuol remained there for a few months, having many surgeries to repair her mangled organs. When finally released from the hospital, she walked for 10 long days back to Nasir with little to no food. Shortly after reaching Nasir, she was relocated to the refugee camp where we were reunited with her.

As Nyibol shared her story, she paused periodically to look up, point to the sky, and say, “Kuoth ja thin,” which means, “God is there.”

Nyabuol now walks with a limp and battles infection from the bullet wound. Nyabuol was a very thin woman to begin with, but after all this she is even smaller. However, she is still incredibly strong, and she hasn’t lost her humor or her joy.

Nyabuol regularly talks about the time that she “died” and how God saved her life. When I see the scar that covers the entire length of her stomach and the hole in her back from the bullet exit, I can’t help but think that she really shouldn’t be here with us today. She is a constant reminder that “Kuoth ja thin.”