Our week in Nairobi was incredible, but we are pressing on to Western Kenya for the second medical camp of our trip, and to honor our great friend Simeon Obayo on his 50th wedding anniversary and retirement from ministry. Our first stop was Kakamega PEFA church for Sunday morning worship. As Simeon retires, Simon and Grace will officially be given oversight of the church. They have been serving as senior pastors for a long time now, but this will be the final step in that process and we are excited for them and the future of this church! It is truly an exciting environment to be in, especially on Sunday morning. The worship time is like a blend between cross fit and jazzercise (not that I’ve ever participated in jazzercise). It’s a workout pleasing to the Lord.
Following our time at Kakamega church, we set our sites to Shinyalu for our second medical camp. It’s a remote village some 10 miles from Kakamega. We are out in the country here surrounded by trees, lush foliage, and beautiful tea fields. It’s an inspiring landscape. In sharp contrast to the life and health in the land all around us, the people here are very sick. We had to rush three people to the hospital immediately because of the severity of their condition. Two of them were suspected TB cases, the other had a horrible infection on his foot and gangrene had set in. WorldComp provides transportation to the hospital for these cases as well as payment for the initial treatments necessary. Beyond that, we have to be sensitive to each case as there is an unlimited need, but limited resources.
In other exciting news there is a circumcision tent here where live circumcisions are being performed on site. The screams issuing from that tent are enough to inspire fear in the camp for every male within earshot. Circumcision in the West is largely traditional and produces little to no health benefits. Here in Kenya, circumcision is recommended as it reduces the chance of infections and has been shown to lower the risks of contracting HIV by 60%. That being said, if I were fourteen and uncircumcised in Kenya, I’d rather take my chances. Ouch!
The prayer tent is hopping here in Shinyalu. I’ll focus in on one inspiring story from the big “mzungu” Scott Andrina. An elderly woman (I’d estimate 75-80 years old) came to us for prayer. Her need was simple; she needed eyeglasses as her eyesight had become very poor and her vision blurry. The problem was she was a widow without children. I can’t think of a situation more desperate than an aged widow in Kenya who has no children to care for her. She had no money for the glasses and no transportation to town in order to get the glasses. Now, all day long we are hearing stories like this one. It’s overwhelming. As a team we are trying to hear God’s voice telling us when and where we should help out because we can’t possibly meet every need here. Scott had been listening all day and he sensed God was telling him this was a lady he needed to help. He offered to buy her eyeglasses and pay for her transportation to town.
This is where it gets good. Scott explained to her this was not a gift from him, rather she should see it as a gift from Jesus. He asked her if she knew Jesus. She told him yes, but she was a Muslim and had been worshipping at the mosque all her life. At this, Scott was getting chills down his spine. Most everyone we prayed over, all of whom had serious needs, were Christians. God picked the one Muslim woman among them to be the one he helped out financially. With tears streaming down her face, this woman expressed to Scott that if Jesus would do this for her, she would leave her life as a Muslim and follow Jesus. Scott immediately prayed over her and introduced her to the local pastor of the church in Shinyalu hosting the camp. Everyone in the prayer tent was excited to see God working and we are anticipating more to come tomorrow.