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.