Partners for Care – just where we need to be
I have returned from Kenya. I want to use this update to share with you
the status of the Partners for Care organization in Kenya.
It has been said every man has a turning point…I believe every organization also has a turning point and PFC Kenya ends this year having made a turning point. Our mission is to equip, engage, encourage and empower young Christian leaders in the fight to save lives for the kingdom. It hasn’t always been easy to do this. We have struggled with many attacks from the enemy but God has been faithful.
We are working with the highest moral authority of the Nation – Dr. PLO Lumumba who is championing the move to eradicate all corruption from Kenya. It is an honor and a blessing to work with him and the people who run his foundation. One man in particular, Vincent Omondi, doesn’t speak of serving his people – he serves them! Through medical camps and his own personal work in the slums of Kenya, he shows the hurting, the lost and homeless Christ’s love and brings them to Christ. We are blessed to serve with him.
The PFC staff in Kenya are leading the way – we in the US are supporting their efforts. They work in the slums, using music, sports and medical outreaches to transform lives – to win souls for Christ. Sammy Wanjau leads the team with good direction and dedication. He is well respected by the PFC staff and pastors and community leaders. Sam Wachira leads the what if? Life Changing Centre, working closely with Sammy as they create a sustainable business that helps the small village and slum of Mururi. Just yesterday a TV station interviewed the team to learn of their work. The news show about Kenya Partners for Care will air 6 times on TV next week.
We used to struggle when working with some Kenyan doctors at our medical camps because of their lack of passion for their people – no more! We now work with Helping Hands led by Dr. Martin Okello who serves the poor with passion, kindness and respect. We will hold medical camps together all over Kenya next year.
Pastor David Karanja of the Christ Harvesters International Ministry (based in Marietta, Ga.) has agreed to preach the gospel where ever we go for medical camps. We could not have asked for a better man of God to spread the gospel! Our opportunities in Kenya continue to expand. We are now working through PCEA churches to spread the message of HIV/AIDS.
And for me personally I have been blessed by those who have gone – seen the work and now call this “our ministry”. What a blessing to have passionate people engaged to help equip the Kenyan team to do God’s work.
This next year will be the best year for Partners for Care in Kenya. Thank you for reading these updates, for sending encouraging messages and especially for the prayers and financial support. It takes many people to help the children, the hurting, the homeless and lost. I look forward with great anticipation to what God has planned for these young leaders in Kenya as they work everyday to save lives for the kingdom.
Sent via Cingular Xpress Mail with Blackberry
Thank you for the continuing updates of your ministries in Kenya. I am so proud of you and what you have wrought in that little corner of the world. I look back at some of your first attempts to satisfy God’s calling on your life by organizing teams to provide medical clinics in the slums of Nairobi.
I remember sitting at the dinner table at H.E.A.R.T. in the outskirts of Nairobi and the feeling of despair of you and the team members when your attempts were thwarted by the arrogance of a Kenyan doctor hired by you to provide the medical services. I understood his usurpation of the team’s effort for his own self aggrandizement, of his barely concealed contempt for your female leadership, and our discussions of how that model compared to my own somewhat limited knowledge of fielding medical teams. You asked for my input from a few of my experiences of leading medical teams to various parts of the world to address the matter at hand. I shared what I could, but the model I followed was more of servant leadership. My main advice was for you to take charge, quit beating yourself up over the past decisions, put the doctor in his place and pray for direction from God. I imagined that the following day would be confrontational with perhaps a parting of the ways with the hired Kenyan medical staff.
You speak in the current e-mail update of recognizing a turning point in a person’s or organization’s life. What I saw the next day was the beginning of a metamorphosis of Connie Cheren. Instead of the confrontation that I had imagined, (and probably would have precipitated myself had I been leading) you exhibited an act of servant leadership that will always be with me. Rather than calling the team out and explaining how it was to be henceforth, you and your little US team held a foot washing service for the Kenyan team! That act of humility and servant attitude was something that none of them (nor had I) ever witnessed in such a situation. God used you in a way I would never have dreamt, but the result was that Kingdom work was done from that point.
I understand the trials and tribulations you have faced over the past years in the pursuit of providing for those you serve. I have seen the efforts temporarily sidetracked by relying on those whose heart and service was not for those needing food, shelter and medicines, but using your good efforts to attempt to take credit for your work to advance their own ill-advised cause. You have held the faith during these times, forgiven the instigators of these travesties, moved on and continued the fight for the right. You have recruited where possible from those that you went to serve; you have empowered those with the vision and calling among the poorest of the poor, and have pledged your own health, service and treasure to that Kingdom calling.
I have traveled the world with some of the best and brightest Followers of Christ. I have served with Wes and Joy Griffin of I L I in training leaders worldwide; I have led local medical and construction teams to several continents; and from my Board seat on The Mission Society, I see the cutting edge of Mission work worldwide and those missionaries who are leading those efforts. My hat is off to you and those who have been inspired by you – the leaders you have supported in P F C – The Kenyan nationals who share your dream and survive on your support – and the US supporters that you have opened a door for to share in the Great Commission. I know where the real talent and drive emanates, and that is with an Atlanta nurse who could not resist His call for her service!
Long ago I listened to a college professor who shared a Life Lesson with me that I shall never forget. He said, “In this world, there are only two types of people – winners and losers. The winners give, and the losers take.”
Connie, you are a winner.