When we worked at Diospi Suyana Hospital in Curahuasi, Peru we loved our short term volunteers. The first time they came it was nice to get to know them. But then the second or third time they came it was a great treat! We knew them already, and we could rejoin our friendship that was formed previously. And there was something about the sensation that we were not forgotten, and that they were in it with us. We have been fortunate to even visit some of these friends in the US when we have come home. And now we are making an entire new set of short term volunteer friends in Kijabe. I know we will be so glad to see them when they return again in the future. If you want to do short term missions, find your place, and then go. Then go again. You will be a blessing to those who receive you.
There are few things boys like doing better than trying to kill each other on Xbox!
One of the biggest recreational activities for the missionary community at the hospital and school is bike riding. Mountain bike riding. We are in almost the perfect setting for a long bike ride. There are some long, tough uphills, but they are always rewarded with an equally long and satisfying downhill. And man do I hate the uphills, but the downhills are so fun. I am thankful to God that all of the places we have lived over the past several have provided their own enjoyment. Being near family in Dallas, seeing the wonder of creation in Costa Rica, hiking the Incan ruins in the mountains of Peru, and mountain biking the Rift Valley around Kijabe. This is an incredible world in which we live!
Below are our esteemed Family Medicine residents. In my humble opinion, a family medicine physician is a great asset for a mission hospital. We are flexible, and we can work in almost any department. Our family medicine residents help in obstetrics, pediatrics, internal medicine, emergency medicine, and outpatient medicine. They rotate through the TB clinic and the HIV clinic, among many unnamed specialty services. Our family medicine missionary volunteers can work in all the same areas. I currently work as an outpatient physician (ER and clinic) and in the obstetric department. Maybe someday I will work in pediatrics or internal medicine depending on the needs of the hospital. For physicians of all specialties in the mission field, flexibility is a key quality for success. Nothing in the hospital is quite as it was in the United States (or Peru), and the challenges are best met by being willing to try your best at what you are presented with. I remember talking about our calling as a Christian when I attended Bible Study Fellowship when we lived in Dallas. I came to the conclusion that God’s calling was to do the good work that you saw in front of you to do. I remind myself of that as I am presented with many choices for good here in Kenya. I remember that I had those same choices in the United States as well. I can walk in the calling of God, or I can go my own way. I am glad to persist in trying to walk out choosing to do the good works God has prepared in advance for me to do. (Ephesians 2:10). I am also glad I am at a teaching institution, because in the practice of missionary medicine, I will always have a lot to learn.
Kijabe Mission Hospital is a teaching hospital. We have nurses, clinical officers, medical officers, and residents all participating in the care of our patients while we train them in their medical education. This is a good time for us to mentor them through Christian discipleship as well. It is a challenge and a motivation for me to try and demonstrate as well as I am able the fruits of the Holy Spirit being manifested in my life. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self control. Also the idea of Christian excellence and responsibility are part of the message. I am glad we are here. We were fortunate to have Dr. Carena Chai come and volunteer a few days with us at the hospital teaching about obstetric care. She knew her stuff, and she happily shared what she knew with our dedicated Labor and Delivery nurses. We were blessed to have her with us!
We went to a new friend’s house to have an 80s party. Basically we sit around, play a few games, while we try to be the first to name the song and the artist as it comes up on an 80s music playlist. Talk about living the the past . . . it is a nostalgia festival. The surprise is that when we arrived there was a new pet owl! Peter is a big bird fan, and the girls are not too far behind.