5th update – ” My mom doesn’t have a net”
“My mom doesn’t have a net” this sweet little girl told me. She had managed to capture my attention and my heart in the midst of the chaos. And, it seemed this little girl’s mom wasn’t the only one in the village of Watamu without a net to protect their children from malaria. I have held medical camps before but never in conjunction with the distribution of bed nets. Distributing bed nets brought thousands of people to the medical camp. To say the “ground was mobilized” for this medical camp doesn’t really describe the response. The first day we arrived what we thought was early to find at least two hundred people in line waiting for us. There were 500 people registered by 10:00. The second day we arrived there were already over a thousand people waiting from 6:00 am. Sadly, we couldn’t possible see everyone. Dr. Jim from our team joined the local health practitioners seeing as many as they could. Ryan, Amy, Kristen, Stephanie, David, Logan, Rebecca and Nick ran the pharmacy ensuring the doctors and nurses had medicine, helped distribute bed nets and cheered for the final games of volleyball and football. Nick and Charles worked with the local VCT counselors to test people for HIV and Njenga (from CT) interpreted the medical symptoms of the people for Dr. Jim.
Charles testing people for HIV
Dr. Jim with his daughter and Njenga examine a child
Only with a team of 8 security men were we able to distribute the bed nets. Justus shared the word of God and prayed for those who came as we organized the “flow” of people into groups of 10. He asked the people to pray for those who had brought bed nets and medicine to their village. The groups were moved through community health teaching as the local educators taught them how to prevent the diseases they were sick from – water borne diseases, poor nutrition, etc. Then the groups moved to family planning. George, as our outreach mission coordinator assisted by Franco and David, had spent two months and gone to the ground three times to organize the local committee. USAid joined us and had people there to help. Best we tried we could not serve everyone. The two days ended with the final football playoff. There had been 15 teams playing for the last 6 weeks. As the winning team lapped the field to the cheers of thousands it seemed like we were at the World Cup. Everyone came to the stage for the prizes and for the reason for the outreach.
The winners receiving their prizes
The Temples of Worship took the stage and Sammy told them of the need to stop HIV and create an HIV free generation. They sang their song what if? When Franko sang “we can stop our children from the street” the crowd cheered. Pastor Peter told the crowd about Jesus and when he made the call for Christ hundreds raised their hands. New believers were given bibles but everyone it seemed wanted a bible. Bed nets and bibles – both saving their lives but one saves them for eternally. We had worked with the pastor fellowship in Watamu. We pray that they can use this event to continue their reach for souls for Christ in Watamu and to bring those that accepted Christ the last night of the event into a relationship with Him. At the end of the two days: 1030 were treated and given medications 1450 bed nets were distributed 500 were tested for HIV/Aids 600 were taught community health 600 heard about family planning thousands heard about the Great Physician – the ultimate healer And many accepted Christ Even in the chaos of so many people with so many needs the whole team stood still and prayed for a little baby that was brought to Dr. Jim. The baby had been abandoned and a old woman brought her to the medical camp. The baby tested positive for HIV. She was sick with a large, infected lesion on her head. Dr. Jim removed the “pus” from the sore and gave the baby an injection and oral medication. The next day Dr. Jim stayed behind to find the child to check on her. While the rest of the team did as planned and went to see the beauty of Mombasa Dr. Jim and his wife Lyn and I walked the small village of Watamu with Justus and Franko. Dr. Jim and Lyn were tired, hot and weary from their 36 hour trip just days earlier but they wanted to do as Jesus would do – serve the people. We found the child who was doing better. She will be taken to Gede hospital for further testing and what could be a life time of medications to treat her disease of HIV. This child reminds us of why we do what we do. To stop babies from being born infected with HIV – stop their mamas from dying and leaving them orphans. We preach the gospel because we know He is the answer – the only answer. With Him all things are possible even stopping HIV/Aids. Thank you to all of you who supported this mission. Next we move to Marsabit in August where it is more difficult to get to, the ground is harder and the people more desperate. Pray for the team who is preparing their hearts to go. Praying this the Mombasa mission will impact the lives of the people of Watamu and spread the gospel to so many that need it. Connie Sent via Cingular Xpress Mail with Blackberry