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
Waiting for the next case
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.
Could it be for selfish reasons perhaps?
The straightest path to happiness is devoting ourselves to the happiness of others.
If you give yourself to the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then your light will rise in darkness and your gloom will become like midday. And the LORD will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire in scorched places, and give strength to your bones; and you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail. ISAIAH 58: 10-11, NASB
Alcorn, Randy. Happiness (p. 291). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
We get questions sometimes about how to send support for our work in Kenya, so I thought I should lay it out clearly. We are thankful for our supporters. You are in our hearts and minds more than you may realize.
If you are interested in contributing to our work at Kijabe Mission Hospital and Rift Valley Academy you can donate in two ways. The first is through a written check to:
Christian Health Service Corps
P.O. Box 132
Fruitvale, TX 75127
Designate account # 103 on the “memo” line
Go to the following link to donate online
We want to see you! And to that purpose we are going to have a few reunions in the coming months. Look at the following dates, and please feel free to attend any of them. They will all be come and go as you please. We just want to see you! We can talk about what has been going on in Peru, and we can explain what we will be doing in Kenya. Here are the dates and information.
Date: April 30 from 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Location: The home of Ruth Caire, 1224 Cloverdale Drive, Richardson, TX 75080
Date: May 6
Location: Boerne, TX (we still have some details to work out on this one)
Date: May 21 from 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Location: The home of David and Carol Smith, 5914 Bent Trail, Dallas, TX 75248
We hope to see you at one of these events!