Every day of the week all year long we go to see our patients who are admitted to the hospital for whatever reason. While I am on the obstetric service, I am visiting with women who are going to have their baby, who have had their baby, or are in the process of having a baby. Sometimes you are dealing with someone who has had a problem with their pregnancy and is in the process of a miscarriage or other sad outcome. And while being on labor and delivery means most of our outcomes are happy, there are times when we rely on the expertise of our pediatric colleagues to make those outcomes turn out right. Below in the picture one of our pediatric missionary consultants talks to a patients family about some treatments that are necessary for their new child. I am so grateful for all the doctors I work with here. Their service and sacrifice are a great testimony to their motivation that is rooted in their faith. And faith is what carries us through it all. I find myself praying frequently as I am waiting to do a cesarean section or while I am caring for a complicated patient on the wards, trusting God to guide my hands and guide my decision making as I try and show these wonderful patients how God loves them.


Dr. Ariana Shirk counseling patients

Christmas Carols

Christmas can be a hard time in the hospital. I don’t like working Christmas because I miss being with my family. But I like working Christmas, because it is often such a sweet time with patients. It is a really sweet time to be with them and somehow show them that God loves them by our own actions toward them. We went caroling as a missionary community in the hospital on Christmas Eve. Our family went to the maternity ward. The maternity ward is great because most everyone is happy there. Everybody has a new Christmas baby, and all mothers like to share their new babies with the world. My daughters were quite smitten by all the “cuuuute!” day old babies. Joy to the world during this Christmas season! For unto us a child is born!

Help the Maternity Ward

Will you consider donating to the Kijabe Hospital Maternity Project? We are long overdue to purchase much-needed equipment for high-risk moms and to beautify the labor and delivery areas. Please visit: Make a donation at

Ginger Bread House Competition

Our family had never made a Ginger Bread House from scratch. We have done houses before, but always from prepackaged kits easily purchased at the local grocery store. However, this year with the Ginger Bread House night at Rift Valley Academy approaching we realized our approach had to change. We could choose to just attend and see what everyone else created. That would be fun, because there are so many creative people at the school. But it is so much more fun to participate! So Allison and the girls with the help of the internet taught themselves how to make ginger bread house walls and roofs. Then the boys joined in to help with the decoration. We proudly carried our house up the hill to the display and joined other adventurous house makers in displaying our work. What do you think of our first attempt from scratch!


Pinewood Derby

I should have written this post a month ago. Pinewood Derbies have changed since I was a cub scout. RVA has a school wide pinewood derby divided into grades for the competition. And even better, the adults get their own category. After 4th grade, adults are not allowed to help, so our kids made all of their cars on their own. Peter was convinced he was going to win. He researched the internet to find the best design and weight distribution. I counseled that he should do the best he could, but that there were people here who had been doing it for years. I wanted to prepare him for a possible loss despite his confidence. Well he was right! He won every race he competed in. The girls went for originality with Annie making a derby car with her friend in the shape of a roller skate, and Sarah made a car in the shape of a swimming pool with someone in an inner tube in the middle of it. (I know that is a little hard to imagine.)

Here is a video of one of Peter’s winning races. His is the black streak of speed!

Merry Christmas

From our family to yours, we wish you the best Christmas Day. As we have focused during the Advent season on our sinfulness, desperation, and need for a savior, this Christmas seems especially sweet. God is very good, and a great light and hope are revealed by the birth of his son Jesus Christ whom we celebrate today. So Merry Christmas to all, and a Happy New Year to come!

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God bless the rains down in Africa

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