Thursday, August 23, 2007

Coming Home

The medical team and mission team arrived home safely after two full days of travel. Some even enjoyed a play in London on our stopover. We are also thankful that we all remained relatively healthy and were able to serve on most days.

Our last Sunday was made very special by our Kenyan brothers and sisters and members of the Limuru Presbytery. The day started with the team traveling to ten churches in five parishes. Tom Cramer, Helen Harwell, Jana Kidd, Brandon Kidd, Colette Cozean, Jesse Cozean, Pamela Jo Neale, Joanna Chen and Don Oliver all preached. We witnessed a wedding, an all parish meeting, a Harambee, Youth Brigade Sunday and many other events at each church. We were then fed at the parish we visited and met with those attending the services, who had medical needs. We continue to witness the strong need for health education as several women came to ask about hormonal changes with which they were not familiar. As Kenyans are living longer, they are encountering diseases and conditions of aging such as menopause and arthritis.

The Presbytery then held a farewell ceremony presenting everyone on all the teams with tea and plaques. Their heartfelt words of thanks were touching and warmly received. The Limuru Presbytery acknowledged that God had accomplished more than we asked or dreamed. They were also surprised at how hard Americans worked. (We are much better at stocking dispensaries than digging ditches.) They kept waiting for us to get tired, but we worked side-by-side all day. We also gave them gifts of Presbytery crosses and coins. Everyone had made Kenyan friends, who shared our sorrow at leaving and our joy at seeing the work the Lord has done through our partnership. The Limuru Presbytery also stated that our group was a good example of how tribes could work together. (We had many ethnic backgrounds in our group including African American, Hispanic, Taiwanese, Chinese, Fillipino, Cuban, Indian and others. We also had all ages represented.)

We gave God the glory for a safe and successful mission trip where we witnessed the dedication of the orphanage and met 40 young people chosen for the "girls home." As we left, the builder's were working hard to finish the remaining portions of the orphanage so that they could receive these young girls. We also set up three dispensaries and treated more than 1000 patients in Limuru and Masaiiland. With so many people to treat, it was hard to focus on our role of training the dispensary staff and parish nurses. But we were able to spend two days in classroom training and work side-by-side with the dispensary staff for 3½ days and for 2 days with the parish nurses. God is good.

Our brothers and sisters have committed to finish this work by returning to Masaiiland with a mobile clinic and seeing more patients in Lari parish, which we were unable to see.

Much remains to be done. On our trip over, Riders for Health committed 10 motorcycles to be delivered in October to facilitate the mobile clinics. The clinics and orphanage must become self-sustaining. But our God has His hands on these projects and will see them through to completion.

Thank you for your prayers. The teams are tired and VERY wet and cold. We are also hungry for Mexican, Chinese, Italian and good old American food. But we are blessed by having spent time with our brothers and sisters in Limuru. God has truly made us one family, serving him together.