Saturday, January 25, 2020

"Chamgei"

"Chamgei"
("Hello" in Kipsigis)

As I was walking on the other side of the river I heard someone yelling, "David" close by.  I look over and it is Florence, Leonard Rono's wife who remembered me from years ago.  I asked to see Leonard and she then asked me to come into her home and sit on the couch.  She leaned over and poured me some tea and asked for her son Mathew (age 18) to come over and talk with me.  I asked where Leonard was and Florence brought over a photo album.  Mathew began to show me the photo album and then said that his father got very sick many years ago and died.  They showed the death certificate which showed that he died at age 39 from pneumonia.  As tears welled up in my eyes I turned to Florence and Mathew and told them I am so sorry for your loss and didn't mean to bring you pain.  She said that she was so happy to see me and thought she saw me many years ago, but it wasn't me.  She said she has been looking for me.  She then showed me pictures that she had been saving of Leonard with me.  
I went on to tell her that Leonard was a good man who worked so hard on all of the electrical for the Community Development Building (what they call the Greenhouse Building).  Florence told me how much she has been relying on God and that she believes He helps her through the hard times.  I commented on how good it is to see her smile.  I turned to Leonard's son, Mathew, and let him know how proud he should be of who his father was.  As the conversation ended, I pulled out my phone and showed them some old pictures and that is when Mathew said that he knows many of the other people.  And that is where the journey of today started. 
Mathew said he knew where Steven lived so we then began hiking to Steven's house.  After quite a long hike/walk we found Steven.  He quickly remembered me and was so glad to see me. He showed me around his house and told me that he is in the process of rebuilding his house so that he can get electric power.  He said that his daughter is in school and his son is at a university to become a high school teacher.  

Stephen and I then sat down and had tea with one another and talked about old memories.  Stephen told me that he now earns his livelihood from what I taught him many years ago, carpentry, and is so grateful that I took the time to teach him. I told him it was so good to see him and his family and was so glad to have met him. We then talked about having a big get together possibly next Saturday at the Greenhouse building site.  I mentioned I would talk with Jonathan B. early next week.



At this point in time, the word was out in the community that I was at Tenwek and people began to look for me.  I went to a couple of other people's homes and each one of them had pictures of me and pictures of them building the Greeenhouse building.   

After walking several kilometers to other houses I eventually got back and found Kenneth.  So David, Kenneth and I took a picture together in the same place that we did 17 years ago.  

Overall, it was such an incredible day.  I'm so blessed to have met up with old friends and hear how years ago I was part of helping them learn skills that have changed that changed their lives. It is incredible to see that even through hardship they surrender their lives to Christ.  They are incredibly thankful and joyous of their lives. 

Friday, January 17, 2020

Encouraged and Supported

As Kristie and prepare to leave for Tenwek Hospital, we have so greatly appreciated all of the love, support and encouragement that we have received.  This past week has been especially encouraging to us. 
Monday started out by getting together with our Lifegroup spending time watching medical missions videos, discussing and praying for Kristie and I's trip.  Being vulnerable and asking for prayer and help is not easy for us; but when we are, it feels like incredible burdens are lifted from us.  Hearing each of them pray for us, our trip and everyone involved with the trip made us feel so incredibly loved.   
Picture below of those that joined in prayer on Monday Night

On Tuesday, Kristie created a "Meal Train for Pepsny kids and Caregivers" and received immediate signups.  Providing a meal may feel like a small gesture to some, but is an incredible blessing for us.  We are so thankful for this. This is just another example of how we have had those support and love our family.  
Wednesday came around and I received a call from a gentleman that I have done business with that sells medical equipment.  It was an incredibly encouraging conversation about how for the past 43 years his company has been providing medical equipment and biomedical training to mission hospitals in Africa. I was blown away by his encouragement as this is a man who understands it and knows the importance of giving so much to providing Christ's love to those who are in extreme poverty.  He is currently taking on a very large project of providing medical equipment and biomedical services to mission hospitals specifically in Zambia over the next 3 years.  Hearing a glimpse of the challenges as well as the rewards that he and his family have faced over the past 43 years made me see the bigger picture of how everyone plays a role in the Great Commission.  He and his wife's desire to support us in this pursuit is another example of great deal of encouragement and support that we are receiving.  
About a week ago I received a message from a Pharmacist who has a passion and ministry for helping those who want to serve in medical missions.  Surprisingly, he is the father of a good friend of ours that we recently became reconnected with.  He has received numerous regional and national awards for his pharmaceutical experience, projects, and contribution to service.  I had no idea the passion and love that this man had for helping those who are traveling.  We met yesterday evening and shared stories and I was able to listen to how for the past 16 years he has been providing a Travel Wellness plan, mission trip coordination, medication coordinator, medication procurement for those who are going on overseas on missions.  His heart and ability to understand over the counter medications and how they help with preventative care when traveling is remarkable.  I'm so happy he reached out to us and let us know one way that he can help.  
Below is a picture of what Missionary Rx provided.

The conversations, prayers, and actions of so many wonderful people have made it possible for us to begin to really focus on the vision for medical missions that God has for our family.  Our hearts go out to all of those who have and are giving their time and energy to our family with the idea that this trip is playing a crucial role in furthering the Great Commission by sharing the love of Jesus to others through medical missions. 

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Physical and Spiritual Healing of Hearts in Sub-Sahara Africa


 “Rich or Poor, educated or uneducated, belonging to one nation or another, to one religion or another, adhering to this ideology or that, ultimately each of us is just a human being like everyone else. We all desire happiness and do not want suffering.”
-Dalai Lama

It was almost 2 months ago that Kristie and I attended the Global Missions Healthcare Conference in Louisville, KY.  In less than 3 weeks we travel to Tenwek Hospital in Bomet, Kenya.  We are honored to be invited by Tenwek Hospital to see how we can be a part of an incredible healthcare movement that is taking place in the sub-Sahara Africa region.  This 3min and 17 sec video gives an overview of the latest undertaking to create a precedent-setting 80,000 square ft cardiothoracic center.  

“The impact of this new cardiothoracic ward will be unprecedented in terms of its magnitude, and that’s an understatement"

-Dr. Lance Plyler, director of World Medical Mission


Thursday, January 2, 2020

2020


As Kristie and I get closer to leaving for Tenwek Hospital, our children ask more and more questions about Africa, Kenya and Tenwek Hospital.  These questions have created quite the dialogue at the dinner table.  Some of the random questions/comments that they have had over the past 24 hours include:  

  1. Do they have pets in Kenya? 
  2. Do they have High School in Kenya? 
  3. What are you guys going to do? 
  4. Do people walk around in bare feet?
  5. Is it cold there? 
  6. Do they have dolphins in Africa?
  7. Are there dentists in Africa?
  8. Can I take my Legos to Africa?
As much as Kristie and I would like to have all of the answers to their questions...as well as ours, we just don't.  Walking into the unknown can be a bit overwhelming at times, but I believe our family has found peace, joy, and happiness in the midst of the unknown. 
Isaiah 42:16 
         I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
              along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
         I will turn the darkness into light before them
              and make the rough places smooth.
         These are the things I will do;
              I will not forsake them.

As Kristie and continue to step in faith into unfamiliar paths, we listen for what 2020 has for our family.