Thursday, June 5, 2008

Safe Return

As of this report, everyone has safely returned to their homes from our trip to Kenya. The last two days went by in a blur. The medical team taught a great course for 65 health professionals. The healthcare team in Kenya met today and felt it was the best course yet. They have agreed to focus on good diagnostic exams and testing. Changes were made so that both Uplands and Murengetti will qualify as health centers and receive more government funding. In addition, 40 parish nurses have been selected. Each of the larger parishes will have three nurses while the smaller parishes will have two. Reports from each parish nurse after attending church services twice a month to provide free healthcare services will be sent to Joseph. Joseph is a newly hired pharmacist, who will serve to coordinate the purchase and stocking of pharmaceuticals, as well as serve as the assistant coordinator of health services under Nahashon.

We also went to the Girls Home to say goodbye to the girls and were surprised when the dormitory was named after Pat Day, "Day Dormitory." This was quite an honor. The next day we again went to several churches. Tom and Pryor Vestor, Pat Day and Jesse Cozean went to my home church, Karanga, where Pat Day participated in serving communion. Then Tom and Pryor went to another church to share testimony and greetings. Pat stayed and played hymns at Karanga, while both Jesse and Pat led in special music, the children's sermon and testimony. Colette went to a graduation ceremony for the T.E.E. (a lay ministry education that will graduate 20,000 lay persons in 3 years). She had the privilege of handing out diplomas, hoods and speaking to the graduates, before preaching to the congregation.

The afternoon ended with a final trip to the Girls Home and meetings with Presbytery after a lunch at the home of Nahashon Mbiu.

In summary, the trip was very successful. We were able to work with two dispensaries to help them qualify for the next level of services and complete training of the trainers. Jesse also trained a technician. We also worked with three of our newest nurses and lab techs to improve their skills. Our trip to Karero was a remarkable demonstration of teamwork as we treated 165 patients in a little over three hours and shared the gospel with the Maasai. We had five stations with two nurses or clinical officers each and a translator to treat patients. Pat Day took patients to each station and then to the dispensary. Jesse, Tom Bhavi and Joseph worked the dispensary with help at times from John and Esther (the lab techs). Julie (our marketing person), Grace (a nurse from the Women's Guild) and Stanley (the Presbytery treasurer) screened all the patients. What teamwork!

World Vision and World Relief have taken the first steps towards working with us in our healthcare programs and increasing our farming activities.

We signed a notable agreement with the Limuru Municipal Town Council that was approved by the Deputy Prime Minister for Local Government at the National level. This agreement states that they will provide social services workers to work with our orphanage and sponsorship programs, transportation assistance, and funding for food at the orphanage. The Provincial Minister of Health also agreed to provide drugs and to sponsor 60-80% of the personnel in our dispensaries. Both of these agreements show the strong support the government has for our programs and will help these programs attain sustainability earlier. It also affirms the significant achievements of our programs for orphans and healthcare in the last two years.

The Saturday health course was outstanding, covering many of the requested topics. The orphanage workers were trained in first aid. 20 new parish nurses were trained. The newest parish, Kahuho, sent eight people and expressed an interest in growing their health services with our assistance. Our team was very strong and ably augmented by the trained medical trainers, the Presbytery and Partnership officials and many others.

Please keep Limuru Presbytery in your prayers as they continue to expand these programs and reach the needy with Jesus' love and practical care.

Blessings, Colette

P.S. My sincere and heartfelt thanks for all of those of you who went on this trip and served so spectacularly. It was a privilege to work with you - I can't imagine a better TEAM. Also, thank you to Hoag Hospital who sent and supported three members of the team.