I mentioned in my last post that I was looking forward to 2013 with wide-eyed excitement, wondering what the New Year would hold for us. I had no idea when I wrote those words (one month ago), that I would be returning to Kenya so soon! I had felt a heavy burden on my heart for weeks to go, knowing that I could be instrumental in setting up the Clinic in Western Kenya and planning for its future. There was so much I wanted to discuss with Bishop Javan Ommani, but I needed to know that it wasn’t merely my wish, my desire to return. I wanted to know for certain that it was God’s will. Everyone around me seemed to know it, but it wasn’t until John laid his hand on my shoulder and gave me his blessing, that I knew I had to go.
John is sitting this one out. Last summer, he lost 20 pounds while we were there (12 of them in ONE DAY), and hasn’t managed to put much of it back on. He can’t really afford another 20, so he’ll continue to beef back up while we look forward to our next trip together. The older we get, the more precious our time is together, so the excitement of my going is tempered by knowing how desperately I will miss The Love of My Life!
I have been reminded this week of the Prayer of Jabez in 1 Chronicles 4:10 – “Now Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, ‘Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain.’ And God granted his request.”
God has blessed us indeed, and it seems He has expanded our territory. When we first felt called to Kenya, it appeared that the focus was 100% on the Valley of Truth Learning Centre in the Tassia Slums of Nairobi. Oh, how we were blessed by serving, and continuing to serve, the dear children there. Out of nowhere, however, came an invitation to Western Kenya, near the border of Uganda, to speak at a Women’s Conference at Ematsayi. Upon our arrival, we were housed in a totally empty Clinic/Hospital that had been out of use for some time, with no personnel nor funds to staff and supply it. This is the nicest, most modern building in the entire area, and to see it sitting there, unused, was a tragedy.
My first thought was of our dear college friend, C.H. McClure, a retired physician living in Galveston. I e-mailed him and said the place had “C.H.” written all over it. That was in late August. C.H. leaves with his family on Saturday to train a nurse and a clinic officer, and do whatever is necessary to get medical help to the people who live in the Bush Country around Kakamega. In his owns words, he’s “ready to draw his sword and do battle with the dragon,” very excited and grateful for the opportunity to serve his fellowman again.
Here are just a few of the children who live in this rural bush country of Kenya.
What a joy it will be for me to assist in this effort, to sit down and brainstorm with the Good Doctor and Bishop Ommani, to find ways to bring help to these dear children and their families. Last week, the night before I made my decision to go, one of the local families had brought their 8-year-old son to the Clinic, seeking help. There was no one to help him, and he died. He was buried the next day. I can’t bear to think of this loss, not when there is so much we can do, so many people who would be willing to go and serve if they just knew!
Of course, I couldn’t return to Kenya without spending at least half of my time with my beloved little ones at Valley of Truth in Nairobi, so that’s just what I’m going to do! Since I just bought my ticket a couple of days ago, I have managed to keep my arrival a secret from the teachers. I’m like a little kid, bubbling over with excitement, ready to jump out from behind the corner of the building and yell, “SURPRISE!!!”
Can’t wait to send reports!
Love to all,