Posted: 07/19/2012 in Uncategorized
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I should preface this by saying I’ve never met Romano, but it’s times like this that I feel caught up in the action of the moment so much that the guy must be family.

I support an organization called Make Way Partners. They are devout Christians, but not the type you would expect. They are not spending their lives evangelizing door-to-door passing out tracts and worrying about the best tablecloth for the church bake sale. The star of the organization is Kimberly Smith. She, along with her husband (Giant Manhood) have dedicated their lives to setting up and maintaining orphanages in Africa, primarily in Sudan. They provide food, shelter, and education for hundreds of children, many who have been orphaned by the numerous conflicts and highly oppressive regime in Khartoum. They minister by working to save lives in the worst parts of the world. Including Romania, but that’s a completely different story.

Now, one of the administrators of those orphanages is a gent named Romano.

So, Romano, in addition to caring for the needs of his own family, has dedicated his life to victims of the various conflicts in Sudan. Now, I can’t tell you a whole lot about Romano’s background, other than he is the administrator at Hope For Sudan, MWP’s orphanage.

Last week, he was driving from the orphanage to the Kenya/Sudan border to pick up a construction manager for the new school MWP is building on the grounds of the Hope For Sudan orphanage. The road he was traveling. The 25 KM (that’s how the rest of the world measures overland distance, but its about 15 miles for us American folk) stretch between the towns of Nadepal and Loki is Pirate’s Alley – and not the cool, Johnny Depp-style pirate. These guys are usually armed with AK-47s or SKS’s (the Chinese version of same) and just open up on anyone driving by. They kill and they loot like a video game. Except its real lives they affect.

So, at a river crossing, Romano is driving himself and several other people who didn’t have transportation (because real men serve others) when the vehicle ran into an ambush. Four gunmen in front, two gunmen in back. Now, Romano had hired security because almost no one travels on business without a security guard in that part of Sudan, or really, any other part of Sudan. Romano had a choice to make.

Like a boss, he gunned it and drove straight into the ambush. Recently, I spent a couple of weeks with a Ranger teaching basic combat tactics in a camp. One of the things we talked about was how to break an ambush. Short of having a whole platoon of Rangers at your back, the best defense is to crush the ambush and put them on the defensive. He did exactly that. His security guard, whom we’ll call Old Yeller on account of the fact that he was a complete coward, dropped his gun and tried to hide in the vehicle under the dash. Luckily, one of the other passengers (another guy with Giant Manhood) picked up Old Yeller’s gun and began returning fire. The ambushers ran and Romano and his party were on their way.

But this time, it was to an airfield. Romano was shot through the back, liver and other vital organs and was losing blood fast. With the help of the people in the truck, another orphanage director and a cast of several dedicated individuals, Romano was flown to Tenwek Airport (or really, a field near there, but that’s the closest landmark) and to a hospital. Romano, also “Like a boss,” held out and didn’t die on the way. Given the rate of his blood loss, lesser men with lesser wills would have given up and died. He didn’t.

Romano made it through surgery, ICU and is stable. So, I salute your manhood, Romano, as you are a paragon of what it means to be a champion. People count on you and you don’t back down. You’ve taken in the children abandoned by the world and made them yours. There may be bigger men than you, but not greater men.

Note: If you would like to donate to MWP to help their orphans, please visit THIS HERE LINK.


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