Sunday, April 20, 2008

Safe Return

We have all returned safely home. The medical team arrived on Sunday, April 13, while Revs. Birchfield and Dolan and Dr. Cozean arrived on Wednesday, April 17. On Saturday, we trained 45 health care professionals from 3 hospitals, 4 dispensaries, and 20 healthcare workers. The all-day course covered topics requested by the Limuru Presbytery Healthcare Committee. Course reviews were excellent with many more requested.

On Sunday, Colette and Rev. Jim, preached at churches in Limuru and Nyeri. Colette then spent the day playing with the orphanage children with bubbles, soccer, volleyball, reading books and teaching them new English songs. A few Presbytery meetings were also held.

Monday was spent at Olkenyei. Again after a difficult drive inland (near Mt. Kilimanjaro), we met with the dispensary board, town elders and women, Milimani Presbytery officials and officials from the group that built the dispensary. Everyone agreed that the partnership of Limuru and Los Ranchos would sponsor the dispensary, while Milimani Presbytery agreed to sponsor the formation of a church in the area. The community will provide funds for the nurse, lab tech and pharmacist. The community requested that we establish the dispensary before the rainy season (May 15th) so that they would not lose so many members to malaria. They also requested that we start a church so they could learn about Jesus, since we are acting in His name.

We spent the night at Amboseli National Park at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro. In the morning we awoke to beautiful views of the mountain as the sun came up. The day was spent in driving back to Nairobi and meeting with Partnership and Presbytery officials.

In summary, the medical team had a very successful trip accomplishing five goals:
• Establishing two dispensaries
• Training new dispensary staff
• Training a training team of three persons to continue this work when we are not “in country”
• Training 45 healthcare workers and medical professionals
• Establishing an inventory system for pharmaceuticals
We were also able to confirm the performance and recordkeeping of two established dispensaries.

The Girl’s Home is doing very well. The children are happy and they are receiving good food, clothing, education, and most importantly, love. It was great to hear their laughter and see their healthy bodies. The hugs were wonderful too.

Jim Birchfield was able to plan for his trip of college students from St. Andrew's in July. They plan to spend time working with Limuru Presbytery in Olkenyei and at the Boy’s and Girl’s Homes.

Thank you for your prayers during our travels.