As I walked into the operating room to do a cesarean section on a young mother, I was surprised that she was already requesting a bilateral tubal ligation. In a culture where children are important, and many children are considered a blessing, it was surprising. And I wanted to try and understand why she wanted permanent sterilization. As I reviewed her chart I noted that she was HIV positive. This is common in Kenya. As one surgeon colleague has said, “Everyone has HIV!” That is an exaggeration, but sometimes
it feels very true. It made me sad to look at her and to know she carried this burden. She was fortunate, because with her anti-viral medication her disease is in a sort of remission. This means she is less likely to pass it to her child or her husband. Yet it is hard for a young woman to know that she has an incurable disease. There is compassion to give in these cases. A friendly touch, a word of encouragement to do our best to keep her and her baby safe, and a prayer before surgery may sometimes be all we can offer. I try and do my best to do for her as I would want her to do for me if our positions were reversed. I am thankful that I can be part of God’s work to care for the least of these in Kijabe Mission Hospital. God has been good to us, and we try our best to extend that good to others.
These ridges on the edges of this great valley have been occupied for thousands of years by small communities. We now live in one of them. It's name is Kijabe which means "Place of the Wind", or so we have been told. Can you imagine the great winds falling off these ridges and gaining speed as they tumble down the walls to push angrily across the valley floor? Almost every afternoon we are witnesses. There is another wind blowing through Africa, and we are part of its testimony. Pray for us in Kenya!
Our family arrived in Kenya nearly three months ago now. David started high school, Peter started junior high, Allison started full-time work, Will started a new language and work in a new hospital, Annie started playing soccer, and Sarah started ballet classes. We have a new house, new pets, new walks, new friends, new challenges, and new victories.
Will has entered hospital life. The administrators are happy to schedule him in the OB Departments, Family Medicine Clinic, and the ER Department; I know he is much needed and hopefully much appreciated.
Every day, we are grateful for those of you who are praying for us, who are standing with us in this new place. We have very much needed the prayers! Thank you for being part of our team. The Lord is doing many amazing things here and we are excited to be witnesses.
Here’s another part of the truth: it is more expensive in Kijabe than we anticipated. Food costs, schooling costs, and household expenses are higher than in Peru but we are receiving less money per month. We are doing a few things to our house, like installing curtain rods, making space for a dryer, buying a dryer, and buying a few pieces of furniture from leaving missionaries. We are hoping to buy a car when we have our work visas, although the cost of cars is surprisingly high.
This summer as we were preparing to leave, many of you asked us “How are you financially? Do you have what you need?” We knew our budget might have been a bit tight, but we thought we’d see how things looked once we got here. Three months in, it’s time to pass this prayer request along to you, our friends and supporters.
We are asking the Lord to provide one thousand dollars more per month. Would you pray with us? If you know someone who might like to join our team, would you pass this along to them? Mostly, would you ask the Father to work in us to will and to act according to His good pleasure? Thank you.