It is Wednesday late day; we are nine hours ahead of Texas. It is very windy and looks as though it is about to rain. This is the first moment I have had to sit all day and I have found that writing you is very therapeutic for my soul. We see, hear and feel so much in a day that it is nice to process it all by putting the emotions and experiences into words.
Last night Enoch, Rachael and Elijah’s son (Mosop Orphanage), came to visit Dr. Chuck and Amy. He brought a gourd full of a special drink in Kenya called Morsic made from warm milk which curdles mixed with burned bark of the Wattle tree. Yummy! His parents sent it to thank us for coming to play with the children at the orphanage awhile back. Amy called me and said we should go up to the nursery (which is overflowing right now) and share it with the moms. So the two of us went up at the 6:00 nursing time and took small disposable cups. The women were so grateful and loved it- apparently this is a real treat for them, a delicacy.
Because I consider myself adventurous, I went with every intention of partaking in the morsic…………….however, after serving this charcoal/buttermilk type drink to about 25 moms nursing their newborn babies in a very warm, small space…………. I changed my mind. Thankfully it was not perceived as an insult since the women did not originally give it to us. Whew!
I took the opportunity to take some nursery pictures. All the incubators have been handmade and as you can see the room is wall to wall with them along with infant beds.
Today the girls made cookies again but this was a not-for-profit project =). This time we took them to administration and thanked everyone there for all their hard work. They are a little short-handed and one of the missionaries mentioned it might be good to encourage the people in that department.
Afterward we took stickers and coloring sheets to the pediatric ward. Jackson loved this! He and his friend Luke blew bubbles and we all sang a few songs. Jackson entertained the children with his outgoing personality and the Kenyan moms were giggling at his choreography to our singing.
The bottom has fallen out of the sky and the rain has poured down for about an hour. It has dropped quite a few degrees and is very chilly, but a new wonderful, after the rain smell fills the air. The girls just dashed across the field from playing football and are completely soaked.
It has been a busy and fulfilling day. I am thankful for even the small opportunities we have been afforded to share His love.
Last week was a really long week full of ups and downs. If I could describe the feeling of the situation here it would be unpredictability, the feeling that you do not know what tomorrow will bring. Things are still safe here on the compound but the violence inched its way closer with fighting and violence within every city within 10 miles of here.
We thank God that he surrounds us like a fortress and we remain safe in His care.
This week one of the long-term physicians decided to return to the states with his family. His wife is close to the end of her pregnancy and they feel, for their safety and peace of mind, they should leave now while the window is open and travel is allowed. The staff also lost one of their beloved staff members and leaders in the church when he and his family received death threats and had to leave town this weekend. These losses are huge to what is a small, loving, tight knit family here at the hospital. Please continue to pray for unity at the hospital and peace as each family makes decisions and goes through change related to the situation here.
For Jackson this weekend was boy heaven. Mr. John, from hospital administration, took a group of kids to explore the bat caves by the river. Jackson has counted the days until this adventure. On Saturday afternoon a group of men and children went spelunking! Paul said that Jackson and his friend Luke were the first ones in the cave with the bats flying inches over their heads and were not deterred!
Church was standing room only this Sunday. Dr. Russ preached a message based on Hebrews 11:13-16. He reminded us that we are foreigners, pilgrims and strangers here and that our citizenship is in another country- a heavenly one. This was a timely reminder for all of us that as the body of Christ we should see no skin color, no tribal affiliation or nationality.
Even in Kenya Super Bowl Sunday is a huge event, it takes a little more effort but die hard football fans can make it happen! Last night at 2:00 a.m. the alarm went off, Paul and the girls woke up and walked up the hill to Dr. Russ’ house to join other missionary families to watch the Super Bowl. They ‘rented’ a satellite from town and then rigged a projector to watch the game on the wall. They made popcorn and sweets and completely forgot it was the middle of the night. What a memory!
There is a bridge over the river that many villagers have to cross to come to the hospital and over to this part of the mountain. Everyone here calls it the “Rickety Bridge”. We walked this Sunday afternoon to see it for the first time. It basically is a bunch of stick nailed together and put over the top of the river to make a bridge. I was very nervous watching my family cross it yet hundreds of children have to cross this bridge to get to school everyday. While we were there many women crossed over with goods on their heads and children on their back.
One of the long term missionary physicians, Dr. Ben, has a work team from his home church planning to come in March who is volunteering to replace the bridge with a sturdy, metal one over beams that are anchored and cemented below the water. Dr. Ben’s dad will be heading up this work team and we pray that they will still be able to come and do something so simple but impactful that will make things easier and safer for the people in this area.
Hope you are enjoying the photos and can piece them together with our blog entries. Continue to pray for peace in Kenya.
You may have read that there has been a lot of tribal conflict here in Kenya. Apparently long standing animosity between several of the different tribes has been ignited since the election here a month ago.Last night some of that conflict spilled over into the hospital where we are working. Some hospital employees from one particular tribe were threatened by an anonymous phone call. So today, these precious people and their families were loaded into two trucks and driven out by two Americans to an airstrip about 45 minutes away and flown to safety.
The missionary wives met to pray and I (Jenn) was honored they invited me to join. Not only did we pray for their safe arrival to the airstrip but just for the livelihood of these families, who may never be able to return to their homes.
Please pray for these people who have had to flee their homes, for the friends left behind, the missionaries and the hospital. Pray for an end to the conflict and fighting. Pray for peace to once more return to Kenya.
We are safe and do not feel threatened at this point. We do not plan on traveling outside the compound and have cancelled a trip we had planned to another city, so be assured we are taking precautions and using wisdom. We covet your prayers and will keep you posted to the situation.
~Paul and Jenn
“Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry. The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to blot out their name form the earth. The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.” Psalm 34:14-17
“Keep me safe My God for in You I take refuge.” Psalm 16:1
Thank you all for posting comments on our last blog update!
Daddy has done so many surgeries with other doctors; it is very exciting seeing him so happy with the work he gets to do. The other day we had the opportunity to go to an orphanage. There were so many kids that had different needs and personalities but all had the same happiness (from Jesus) which was the one thing that made US happy.
I and some other girls at the hospital compound, including Sophie, have started the Charity Club where we collect money from making different things such as ironed beads, cookies, lemonade ect.
We are selling them to all the missionaries and visitors and then taking donations. We are hoping to be able to give the money to a fund that helps the poor with hospital fees or the orphanage we visited. We would love for everyone to give us ideas for this project. So far we have KSH 645 (around $10 in American money- which is A LOT to the Kenyans), which is a great amount for working for only half a day!
Liv & Soph