This trip to Kenya, I have become more convinced than ever that people in developing nations can and will reach their own people, care for their own people, and build their own bridges to their future. We in the developed nations can help by equipping them to do the work. And, together we can celebrate as they move their villages, their nation towards development. Let me share a few examples of equipping that we are blessed to be able to do because of our donors and partners in the US.
First, there is Pastor Hirbo. We have equipped him with the resources to reach the children of Parkishon treating their hands and feet for jiggers. He has reached 113 children in the last three months treating them for jiggers. Twenty-three of these children have now returned to school. They had stopped going to school because of being infected with jiggers. He told me last night he has expanded his territory to other villages in his area. And, he has done this without any means of transportation! Imagine what he can do when someday we are blessed to be able to equip him with a motor bike. Jackie Scott is with me this trip. She sat and talked with Pastor Hirbo last night. She said to me his eyes light up and dance when he talks of reaching the children.
Then there is Dr. Vincent and Charles, Franko and Peter who we have equipped with a medical clinic. They have treated in the first 3 months 350 patients, distributed 250 bed nets and screened 250 people for hypertension. Everyday they see more patients. This trip we have brought smart phones for them to implement mHealth. With this program Dr. Vincent can reach thousands with the help of his non-medical staff using smart phones in the slum to collect and transmit medical information to his computer. These smart phones serve as Dr. Vincent’s eyes and ears…these devises can take photos and even video tape the patients. Our partners on this project is Global H.E.E.D (globalheed.org). who is partnering with SANA (sana.mit.edu). If you are interested in learning more about this Initiative go their websites. The staff here are so excited about this new initiative…they are already talking of Phase II of implementation – Mathare Slum and Marsabit.
Next is the ministry of Nick and Charles. We only equip them by paying their salaries and helping sometimes financially with the 34 children they care for. Their ministry reaches to the very heart of Mathare slum – 2nd largest slum in the world. They have helped almost 500 people who are infected with HIV/AIDS through the mobilization of young men and women volunteers. We don’t need to tell Nick and Charles how to care for their people…and we don’t need to do it for them. I am a nurse and a social worker and I have been in healthcare my entire professional career. I have seen healthcare in health care settings in 35 states in the US. I am in awe of what I see in Nick and Charles’ ministry. A ministry without nurses, social workers and medical supplies and equipment. But, what they lack in degrees and equipment they make-up for with a heart and passion to care for their people.
And, the Temples of Worship have been equipped with a keyboard , drums, guitars, microphones, speakers and a saxophone. They use their music to reach thousands with the message of salvation and HiV/AIDS prevention. Next they want to make and distribute a video of their song Peace and Love. It is a song they wrote during the Post-Election Violence. It is a message that will inspire Kenyans as they move toward elections next year. A message of peace.
We have also equipped the team with two vehicles so they go and spread the gospel. The last example I want to share with you is the equipping of the sports program. Partners for Care staff here started a what if? football team in Maruri Village. Now there are 12 football teams in this village. Thanks to our partner PEACEPASSERS we have been able to bring football equipment for the players equipping them with what they needed to play football.
This trip I have brought the information about the Atlanta Food Bank. I was truly blessed to spend time with Bill Bolling a man who has had a passion all his life to eliminate hunger. Bill is the founder and Executive Director of the Atlanta Food Bank. Bill connected me to the Global FoodBanking Network. The Global FoodBanking has helped create food banks in 30 countries. They have given me the Feasibility Analysis:Starting a Food Bank System Toolkit. My part is to pass this information to people here who like Bill have a passion to eliminate hunger. PFC will play a role in the development by partnering with others and equipping where we can.
Ryan Morris who spent three months with the team here in Kenya once wrote that he was blessed to have a front row seat to watch God at work. I feel the same way – blessed to be a small part of equipping this team on the ground in Kenya to reach their people.
I am grateful for mentors like Steve Saint and my daughter Mindy who continually teach me ways to help and not harm.
Connie Sent via Cingular Xpress Mail with Blackberry