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Category Archives: Kenya

Kenya: January ’08

A group of college students and staff headed to Kenya on December 31, 2007, and returned January 12, 2008.  Traveling with a medical mission team from Little Rock, once in Kenya, they worked with KenyaRelief.org – meeting the needs of the medical team and ministering to the people seeking medical attention.  KenyaRelief.org is an organization with a mission/vision “to rekindle hope for a new generation in Kenya through partnerships between communities uniting for a common good.” Check out their website for more information: www.kenyarelief.org

The Team (left to right): Whitney Birch, Justin Thweatt, Stephanie Bond, Stephen Martin (staff), Angela Wright, Emily Seal, Becca Looney (staff), John Moody.

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2008 in End of the Earth, Kenya

 

Kenya: January ’08

In preparation for this trip I felt something that told me I would fall in love with Africa. I felt so sure of this feeling that I was telling everyone I talked to about going to Kenya how I felt. We landed in Nairobi at night and there was no traffic because of the riots and violence there. Also we had to leave Whitney behind in Fayetteville and so I began wondering what was going to happen on this trip. The next morning Whitney caught up to us and we began our drive to the Marindi Children’s Home of Grace. On our way out of Nairobi the van carrying our luggage broke down and we had to leave it behind to be brought later. Then we got out of Nairobi and I saw the Kenyan country side. It was amazing. Even though the drive was long and dusty, everything I saw was something I had never seen before. Then we finally made it to Marindi and we where exhausted. The next day was the first day of the clinic and I still had no idea what to expect. We made our way to the clinic and upon arrival we found hundreds of people already waiting to see a doctor. Most of these people where children. This told us what our day would be like. The doctors and nurses worked in the clinic but those of us with no medical experience stayed outside with the children who were waiting. I was a little nervous about this because I am not one to just sit and play with kids. We went inside and prayed together and then went out into the yard. At first I didn’t know what I was going to do so I started to take pictures of everyone sitting outside. A few of the kids asked to see their picture and so more started to come up to me. I finally put my camera away but the kids didn’t leave. They seemed to be intrigued by us and anything we did with them was entertaining. Just us being there and spending time with the children seemed to be enough for the older people. We spent the whole day just playing with kids. I now realize that we were there just for our presence. I think us being there during all the turmoil in Kenya gave them comfort that they are not forgotten. Now that I am back in America I look back and realize that I miss sitting with those kids and being around people that show such kindness even though they have very little. This is why I now know that I love Africa.

Written By Justin Thweatt

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2008 in End of the Earth, Kenya

 

Kenya: January ’08

Today we drove from Migori to the Massai Mara for our 2-day safari retreat. At first when I heard we would be going on a safari for two days, I felt really guilty and slightly selfish. I thought, “We’re going all the way over to Africa for a mission trip to help people with so many needs. Why do weneed to take two whole days for a safari for ourselves?” Even as we drove to the Massai Mara (where the animals are), I thought about how many other things we could be doing rather than a safari for ourselves. I didn’t know what God could teach us while looking at animals, but I was so wrong!

As we approached the resort area my breath caught as I saw the beauty of God’s creation. There were four lion cubs we saw almost immediately followed closely by giraffes, zebras, gazelles, elephants, hippos and many birds. We even got to see a rhino, which is very rare. While driving around in a land so uninhabited that you can see for miles on end, is an indescribable moment. I couldn’t help but be reminded of the vastness of God’s creation while surrounded by it on every side. To immerse yourself for two days in God’s creation is such a treat because it isn’t often that we are able to leave behind all the distractions of life and revel in God’s handiwork. Just think, God holds our vast world in His hands and he created it all in just six days! What a great big God we serve and even more awesome is that our great big God cares even more for us. I am so thankful that the Lord allows us to enjoy so much in this life and that He always teaches me so much when I least expect it, just like a safari in Africa! What a great two days it was to reflect upon all we had done in the village we served in through Christ and also be reminded of God’s handiwork and His love for us.

Praise God for all He has done!

Written By Angela Wright

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2008 in End of the Earth, Kenya

 

Kenya: January ’08

Today is our last day of clinic. We knew to expect a larger crowd today so we all got up earlier today than in days past in anticipation of a long busy day. It rained early this morning as many were walking a great distance to clinic. When we arrived at the clinic just before the sun rose for the day hundreds of people were shivering because they were cold from the morning rain. Pastor Fred wanted more organization today than yesterday and worked with our Kenyan friends to make this happen, more chairs and benches were brought over from the orphanage and one of our two large tents was moved to the entry of the clinic grounds to provide reprieve from the hot Summer African heat.  Those who came to the clinic were given a number and it was more methodical and organized, much improved. One of our team members said at the beginning of the week that by the end of the week would be have this clinic running like a well-oiled machine, and it felt very much like that today.Our team spent most of our time inside the clinic today due to the volume of people being seen by the medical personnel. We saw over 700 people today with more than 100 people being turned away until the next day due to the lack of electricity in the clinic and safety concerns after dark for those traveling great distances. I spent a large portion of my time in the pharmacy today sorting medicines for our pharmacists. Of the over 2700 people we have seen actually in the clinic over these 5 days, each person has been prescribed a minimum of 6 prescriptions. We once again served the juice and biscuits (cookies) to everyone at the clinic; only today we wanted to make sure that everyone got their own package of biscuits as well as a drink of juice. My heart broke when I saw over 100 people that simply were not going to make it in the clinic today so we decided to serve even those outside the gates of the clinic. God is good and we had enough to serve everyone on the grounds as well as enough to go back through the inside of the clinic and give extras to some children.

The clinic was amazing today while at the same time sad as we saw many very sick people ranging from enlarged livers to full blown AIDS.  Craig (one of my friends from Little Rock) decided to give the last 2 patients of the day 1000 schillings (about $17) for enduring the long day. It was very rewarding to see this take place as we were told 1000 schillings could easily be a month’s wage in Kenya.  One of the last 2 ladies being treated had to be taken by van to an area hospital because she simply could not be treated any further by our medical staff.

It was very strange walking off the grounds of the clinic today knowing we could have easily done day after day of medical treatment, but our time in Kenya was nearing an end. I stayed around until all the patients had been seen and then walked back to the Brittany House reflecting on the day and God’s provision. I had been struggling all week with not getting to play with the children at the orphanage where we were staying so today I had already decided that no matter how tired I was I was going to go spend time with them. We played soccer, laughed, shot some basketball, and I got to scoop up a little boy in my arms who had a badly infected toe and take him to Scott (our doctor) to be treated. It was truly a precious moment for me as I missed my own children so much and I could feel this little boy relax when I picked him up to carry him to Scott. As evening fell on our last day at the Mirindi Children’s Home of Grace we ate dinner by generator light, packed our things leaving most of them behind for the orphanage, and then spent time praying over Michael and Sandy who would be staying in Kenya for a year at the orphanage, what a blessing today has been!

Written By Stephen Martin

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2008 in End of the Earth, Kenya

 

Kenya: January ’08

Today was another FULL day at the clinic.  We saw close to 700 people in the clinic.  Emily & I prayed over people as they were coming out of the clinic today for a while.  Teacher Jane was our translator, so people would talk with her and then she would tell us their stories and we would pray over them.  There was one older lady who was saying that her son had been kidnapped in all of the rioting.  She didn’t know whether he was still alive or not, but she was saying that she knew God would protect her and provide for her.  It was so wonderful to hear about her faith and to be able to pray with her and encourage her.  Emily started to feel sick outside, so she went in and Angela came out to pray over people with me.  After we had prayed over several more people, more and more people were trying to get into the clinic from the back, where we were.  We decided to go hand out crackers and juice because everything had become too hectic where we were trying to pray with people.  It was always such a joy to hand out the crackers and juice, just to see people’s faces light up when they were received just a handful of crackers and a small glass of juice.  In the afternoon, I was able to go outside and play soccer with some of the kids whose parents were seeing doctors.  Those kids are just so happy to get some attention.  I love how they will climb all over us.  After seeing so many people, it was close to 7:00 by the time we got back to the Brittany House.  A full day but a wonderful one!!!

Written By Becca Looney

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2008 in End of the Earth, Kenya

 

Kenya: January ’08

It is not very often that you can close your eyes and picture yourself sitting and worshiping at the throne of Christ. But, on this day, it was very easy to imagine. Our team had the opportunity to visit and participate at several local churches as well as fellowship at the home of Pastor Fred.

The first church we visited was Pastor Fred’s located at the Mirindi compound. Several of us volunteered to teach Sunday school in the morning, each at a different age group. When helping with the children’s group, I learned that the turnout was a little larger than normal (with over 200 children attending). Other classes that were taught included youth, women and men. After Sunday school, we attended the worship service where Craig preached a sermon.

Quickly after finishing the sermon, we traveled to another local church. I especially enjoyed the worship through singing at this church. The people’s love of God was so evident and it was great to witness pure worship without any inhibitions. Craig again preached a sermon at this church.

Another enjoyable part of this day was the time spent at Pastor Fred’s home, where we ate lunch and fellowshipped with many of the church leaders and members. We were also able to meet Pastor Fred’s family. Spending time here felt like we were at home, which I guess is only natural when you are with other believers in the body of Christ.

After lunch we visited Pastor Alan’s church, where Craig again planned to preach. Even though most of the team didn’t stay for the entire service, we were able to witness something exciting: this congregation was in the process of building a new building to accommodate their recent growth. It was such a blessing to see how the Lord is working in Migori!

Having completed 3 of the 5 days of the medical clinic, most of the team took the rest of the afternoon to relax and prepare for the remaining days. Reflecting back on this day, I most enjoyed participating in the unique worship and sharing in a small glimpse of what eternity holds.

Written By Stephanie Bond

 
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Posted by on January 6, 2008 in End of the Earth, Kenya

 

Kenya: January ’08

Today was the first day we felt like what we were doing was truly beneficial to the people of Kenya.  We felt needed before today but today we received a special blessing from the Lord when a Kenyan woman told Emily people on the grounds were noticing the work we were doing with the people outside the clinic. She was taken back by our showing love to the children by playing with them, and she told Emily that in their culture many time the adults and children don’t interact on that level often times even eating in separate rooms. This young Kenyan mother was excited to see our group loving on the children and enduring the hot Kenyan heat because we wanted to, not because we had to.

I made good connections with some of the orphanage girls from the Mirindi Children’s Home of Grace today while we were serving the juice and biscuits (cookies). Two of the girls, Emily and Rose,  have been very helpful as we are handing out the food and drink to the hundreds of people in the clinic. I noticed too that when one of my Kenyan friends, Geoffrey, is outside telling the people both young and old what to do before we serve the refreshments there is certain level of respect that is given to him as a male. Geoffrey is only 24 but he is a born leader. In the Kenyan culture the younger children listed to the older children and it seems that everyone gets along very well and the children are very respectful and grateful.

Another young woman told Whitney she will name her next daughter after her. We noticed this is common practice in the area we are in as many children are named after Americans that have come to Kenya to help. The young mother said to Whitney, “I already have a Brittany but it will be ok!” 

We have still experienced no safety issues and continue to feel protected by God day after day. It has been such a confirmation that we are where we are supposed to be doing what God wanted us to do. After we finished clinic today we rested for a few minutes, loaded up in vans to go to an area pastor’s church (Allen). This congregation was Pastor Fred’s first congregation. It was amazing to go to their church building and hear the stories of God’s faithfulness as the church had been previously all but demolished by a storm. These people had stories to share about growing in and savoring God’s faithfulness. The church in the very rural community greeted us and it was awesome to hear and see those people tell of God’s goodness. God is amazing and at work in the hearts of the people of Kenya.

Written By Stephen Martin

 
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Posted by on January 5, 2008 in End of the Earth, Kenya