Submitted by Henry Reitzug, M.D.
Dr. Reitzug is formerly a resident of Puyallup, now Scotland, and served on the board of directors for Northwest Commercial Bank, now Heritage Bank. Back in 2008, Dr. Reitzug wrote a 15-part series for The Suburban Times titled A view of Africa from western eyes. Travels have now turned into a book titled Seasons with Sojourners. Learn more about the book’s release below.
“Pushing carts, pulling suitcases, carrying babies, and dragging old folks, the endless procession in winter coats and mud-caked boots struggles up wintry hills. Gaunt faces reflect the silence that pervades when there are no more words to shout, the well of tears has been drained, and the deluge of grief has drowned all other feeling. In a funeral cortege for a country and a way of life, the outcasts trudge on, mile after mile, hour after hour. At the top of a knoll, a weed-covered marker mutely announces the border of Albania. An Associated Press photographer standing next to it snaps a picture of the latest refugees from genocide.”
The picture on the front page of the New York Times three days later awakened threads to a distant refugee past in Dr. Henry Reitzug. In the anguished faces, he saw his own family’s season on the run. Moved deeply, it began a second career for him. Practicing medicine among refugees and outcasts – modem day “sojourners” – the next two decades often found him in refugee camps and the hard places of disaster.
Seasons with Sojourners was released on March 3 in paperback and e-book by Dog Ear Publishing. It chronicles Dr. Reitzug’s travels by canoe, helicopter, Mekong River Speedboat, Land Rover, Russian Jeep, and sometimes on foot, to places without roads and minimal amenities. He finds joy and heartache, danger and sometimes illness, as he is privileged to enter the lives of the forgotten in their season of need.
Henry Reitzug was born in post-war Germany to parents who had been driven from their home in East Prussia. Treated as unwanted outsiders by fellow Germans in West Germany, his parents moved the family to the United States in 1956. After growing up in Fort Wayne, Indiana, he attended the University of Notre Dame, Indiana University School of Medicine. He enjoyed a thirty-year career in Pediatrics in Puyallup, Washington. Starting with Medical Teams International of Tigard, Oregon, he also worked with Tearfund UK, World Challenge, and Times Square Church’s On-Call group.
Dr. Reitzug currently lives in Scotland with his wife. He is active with Prime Tutors, sharing his Christian medical expertise with young physicians in developing countries.