API USA Blog

News from the field.

Service Project 2016

Saturday January 16, 2016

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Stan Skinner and I took off for Kenya on Wednesday, arriving in Nairobi Thursday night. Stan is going to be working with Pastor Moses of Matete to do some more training and expansion of the sign business he started there last year.  I will be visiting pastors and churches, working with our API School of Ministry Director in Kenya, Pastor Shadrack, helping two churches with the installation of floors, and traveling to Mt Elgon to the Ndorobo people with Pastor Leonard.  The Ndorobo are a forest-dwelling people who are largely illiterate.  Pastor Leonard has been working among them and we are bringing audio bibles and audio bible stories to help in that work.

Friday we spent the day gathering resources.

Of course we ate breakfast at our favorite coffee joint - the Java House. The manager noticed the hat I was wearing and gave us free coffee!

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Stan had made a few of these limited edition hats and gave me one.  They don't actually have any Java House hats in Kenya.  So we are fairly unique.  I hope to trade on this uniqueness at every Java House we come to.

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Stan visited sign shops to buy materials.

He also took some random pictures.

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Most of the afternoon was taken up with a visit to Global Recordings Network where all the different Kenyan languages are loaded on to a device called the Saber.  These are Bible stories that are used with oral cultures to tell the gospel, since they cannot read or write. We will be taking some of these to Mt Elgon with us.

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The director, Winston Omenya, spent a couple hours with us describing the mission of Global Recordings and teaching us how to use the Saber.

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Along with his assistant, Walter Okelo, the team at Global Recordings was helpful and very enthusiastic and thankful that more of their work would be reaching previously unreached people.

Late in the day, we met Aketch Aimba, the Executive Director for Pearls and Treasures, an organization in Nairobi that offers post-abortion recovery, crisis pregnancy help, and abortion and sexuality education in the slums and poorer neighborhoods. Ben Edwards, Development Director of CareNet of Puget Sound, had sent some fetal models to Aketch to help with their programs, so we met her for dinner to give those to her. 

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Today we are traveling to Eldoret, and then on to Matete.  Thanks for praying for us throughout this journey. Stay tuned for more.

 

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Fly Day

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It's Wednesday morning in Nairobi and we just had a great breakfast at Java house and we are packing up to fly home this evening.  Over the weekend we had the opportunity to visit the game park in Masaai Mara and saw some of God's incredible handiwork up close and personal. It is migration time for the animals and there were literally millions of them on the move.

Here are a few photos taken by the master photographer - Rob Hostager.

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Thank you all for your prayers and support all throughout this trip.  God has done more than we could have imagined or planned on our own and we are thankful for your participation in this ministry.

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Sanctity of Human Life in Nairobi

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Today I met with Aketch Aimba , the executive Director of Pearls and Treasures in Nairobi Kenya. This pro-life organization offers crisis pregnancy intervention, post abortion support and counseling.  Again, there is a great need for a center offering medical services. We were able to tour the facility and meet the great staff and volunteers. 

The Kenyan Christian Professionals Forum and Ann Kioko also made us feel welcome during our visit to the organization this afternoon.

The Kenya Christian Professionals Forum (KCPF) is a group of Christian professionals from various denominations sharing the common values on issues of family, life and religious freedom and social justice.

Please pray for both organizations.

We have been blessed this past three weeks with great teaching, new friends and great memories. I look forward to home, seeing my kids and playing with the grandkids. Thank you all again for your prayers and support!

God Bless,

Ben Edwards

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Reflections on Eldoret

I spoke with a few pastors that showed me the heart of the pastors at this second training conference in Eldoret.  One lives in Mombasa at the far eastern edge of Kenya on the Indian ocean.  Another is in the mountains on the western border with Uganda.  Other pastors are here from the far southern border with Tanzania and some from far up north near the border with Ethiopia.   Moses ( there are two Moses here which really kind of messes with your head ) from Mombasa traveled by car for 24 hours over 400 miles, through the night, to get here.  That is how hungry these guys are to hear and be trained in the Word.  The roads here are worth highlighting.  There are some roads built in the last year that are perfect and smooth, but once you get to outlying areas, 'road' has a completely different meaning.  

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Main road out of Lodwar that connects them with the South

The main asphalt road is elevated, but it so filled with deep potholes that everyone drives on the dirt shoulders of the road.  So, the road marks the path, but everyone is driving on everything else BUT the road.  So, to come over 400 miles represents a huge sacrifice.

This trip uncovered for me the need and desire for biblical counseling and discipleship in Kenya.  I found only one bible school in all of Kenya ( this was in Nairobi, the capital ) that offered coursework in biblical counseling and it was only one class.  There were no resources either for either personal counsel or biblical counseling training in any of the other major cities in Kenya, much less the outlying rural areas.  The pastors responded enthusiastically to the hope and instruction that the scriptures offer us as shepherds for ministering to their bodies.  Some want immediate help to incorporate it into their bodies now, some want additional training as soon as they can get it, and some now want to pursue formal training programs including getting their masters degrees in counseling.  We are now looking at and praying about how we can address the desires of these men to develop this area of their ministry at all of these levels on an ongoing basis.  Please pray with us as well.  We are spoiled with a wealth of biblical training in the states in every aspect of our walk.  We have become accustomed to it and take it for granted.  These men do not.  It is very dear to them. I hope they get this desire of their heart in fullest measure.

Lord, please bless these pastors and the men of the API Kenya team.  It was a privilege to serve with them these last two weeks.  May you be blessed and glorified by the work of your servants and may this work be sustained and expanded by your grace and for your namesake.  Please give us safe travels home and thank you for our families and church bodies that we shall see very soon!

Jay McBee

 

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Monday in Nairobi

It has been a few days since we have had reliable internet so I'll try to catch you all up on what's been happening. 

We finished the conference in Eldoret Friday night with a great time of celebration of the Lord's table.  We had 46 pastors and church leaders attend the conference that started last Monday evening and it was a full week of teaching and learning.

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Everyday we held an hour session for questions and answers, with the pastors and students grilling the presenters.

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Friday, we took a group photo with the students and their t-shirts and books.  The t-shirts were made by Pastor Moses Biketi in his new sign shop Stan Skinner and Dave Johnson helped him set up last February.  The books were provided by P&R Publishing and the Gospel Coalition's Theological Famine program.

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Saturday morning we took off for our eventual destination of Narok, but we were sidelined after about two hours of driving when the trailer hitch assembly broke off our vehicle. Providentially it happened just as we came into a town called Kakamega and not while we were speeding down the highway.  As it happened, there were three welding shops within about 100 meters and after an hour's delay and 6 dollars worth of welding rod we were on our way.

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Ben and Tim enjoyed some Tangawezi and Coke Zero while I chilled on the grassy bank and Rob and Jay were nowhere to be seen while the hitch was re-welded.

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We stopped in a place called Majengo where Pastor Reuben Luvanga has planted a church. 

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We stopped off to visit and to give the church some money from the Brad Pederson Memorial Building Fund to help them put up a structure on this plot of land they recently purchased. Reuben and I are standing where he intends to put the pulpit.

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After some chai and chapati at the home of Reuben and his wife, we continued on our way to Narok.

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Sanctity of Human Life

Dear Friends and Family,

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Fish FM 97.1 Studio, Eldoret Kenya

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It has been a remarkable time, this past two weeks, serving and providing pastoral support in the Kenyan cities of Nairobi, Lodwar, and Eldoret and teach on the Sanctity of Human Life. We all have been moved deeply by the hearts of the people and by the many needs they have.  

I have been blessed to have been able to share the Sanctity of Human Life and the work of Care Net of Puget Sound with pastors and organizations in Lodwar and Eldoret. The presentations at the API Pastors Conferences have been well received.

Yesterday I was blessed to be able to meet with the leadership of Youth for Christ here in Eldoret. In our meeting I met two young ladies that have had a vision of opening a center to support women in crises. I shared with them the programs and services of Care Net of Puget Sound and they were encouraged by the information I was able to give them. Through this meeting an invitation was given to me to speak on the local Christian radio station, which I was able to do this morning. What an opportunity to share the Sanctity of Human Life, the work of Care Net of Puget Sound and what Christ has done in my life. 

Eldoret is ground zero for abortions in Kenya. More abortions are performed here than any other city in Kenya. Sadly, there are no pregnancy centers. Pray that a center will be built to come along women and families in need. Pray for the unborn.  

Thank you for your love and continued prayers as we travel.

In His service.

Ben

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Wednesday in Eldoret

 

It is Wednesday night in Eldoret and we just finished the second day of the pastor's conference here at EABC (East Africa Bible College).  We arrived in Eldoret last Saturday and had a wonderful dinner at the local Chinese restaurant.

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Sunday morning, Ben and Rob and Frank and I visited the church in Mwamba, and Jay and Tim visited Pastor Shadrack's church in downtown Eldoret.

 

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Monday was prep day for most of us as the pastors arrived and we held the first session Monday night. Jay and Ben were handing out the books and getting to know the pastors.

 

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We have 46 pastors and leaders, mostly from western Kenya, but one is from Mombasa on the east coast, and two are from Lodwar who were unable to make the Lodwar conference.

 

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As you might be able to tell from the pictures here, the climate in Eldoret is decidedly colder than Lodwar. Tuesday and Wednesday were full days, teaching from 8:30 in the morning till 9 at night with a few short breaks for lunch and dinner.

 

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Rob is videoing all the sessions and he has quite the impressive array of equipment.

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He also stays up late to shoot the stars. However he has been a little bit hindered by the extremely bright moon these last few nights.

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Tuesday Ben was able to connect with the local Crisis Pregnancy Center in Eldoret and apparently he will be on a local radio show on Thursday.  The staff told him that they had been praying for this kind of connection for some time and they were extremely overjoyed at his visit.

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We have two more days of this conference and then we are off to Narok and Masaai Mara.  On our way we will stop and visit with Pastor Reuben Luvanga in Majengo.  His church has purchased some land and is anxious to begin building a structure.  We will be bringing them some help from the Brad Pederson Memorial Building Fund. 

Thank you all for your continued prayers and support for this ministry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Last Day in Lodwar

 

It is Sunday night in Eldoret. We finished the conference in Lodwar with a group picture and a moving communion service Friday night.

 

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Ben and Pastor William Emase

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Ben and Michael react to one of Rob's jokes.

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After the service, Rob and Shadrack, Jay and I went stargazing.

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Saturday we spent visiting the church in Nataaba and Juluk. We had been able to help the church in Nataaba to finish the walls of the church and we went to take pictures.

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Ben and Pastor Leonard inspecting one of the homes nearby

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When we got back to Lodwar we visited the church in Juluk, a short drive from town. The church in Juluk is pastored by Beatrice Natoo and has grown so much they need to expand the facility.

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We finished up in the Lodwar open market, California, and we drew a crowd.

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Ben, trying to get away from the vendors

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Sharpening a panga

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After returning to our rooms to pack, we went to the airport for the flight to Lodwar

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We landed in Eldoret around 6:30 and went to dinner at a really good chinese restaurant. We needed a break from ugali and tsukumuweke.

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Lodwar Conference Reflections

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We have just completed the first conference in Lodwar.    It is about the harshest area in Kenya.  Hot, dirt roads, homes surrounded by dirt, slums of 5' x 5' lean to's in the dirt.  Heat and dust characterize life here.  Wikipedia says that Lodwar has one of the highest average temperatures in the world.  Jan thru Dec, the average high never comes below 90 degrees.  There is no respite from the heat.  Most days after teaching or bouncing around in a 4x4 on a rutted dirt road to visit a remote church in the bush, I would be exhausted. Fortunately, we had air-conditioned rooms ( if the A/C did not break or power go out ) so we could pull the heat out of our bones.  Shower water was never heated and you never wanted it to be.

In this inhospitable area, I met pastors with a burning, heartfelt desire to serve God and His people.   Some of the most inviting men in the most uninviting surroundings.  What a juxtaposition.  It was a privilege and an honor to meet these men and to teach and encourage them from the scriptures.  I met with some of the pastors and for many, the support that our team offered in instruction and personal counsel was something that was of of great joy and comfort to them. They sat for 12 hours in an un-air-conditioned room trying to get as much as they could.  Not only were they taking in the teachings of Mike, Tim, Ben and myself, for their ministry and congregations they were taking home some well-needed personal encouragement. A pastor I met said that his congregation had been in despair and depression.  He has women in their 20s with HIV facing death - very common in Africa. Part of his congregation were attacked in a cross-border attack from the northern border and mothers and fathers were speared to death and children left homeless (which the church took in until the government could take care of them).  He said being there and seeing the blood everywhere greatly affected him.  Hearing him talk, I realized these guys were on the front-lines with the gospel and saw things that I, Lord willing, would never see or experience.  That I could have a small part in encouraging them was one of the most humbling things that I have been involved with.  Lord willing, I will have the chance to see these men again.

God bless these pastors.

 
Jay McBee
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Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday in Lodwar

Today is Friday and we haven't posted since Monday due in part to the work load and in part to the sketchy internet here in Lodwar.  We've been very busy from 8 in the morning till 9 at night with teaching and interacting with the pastors here. We have around 85 pastors from Lodwar and all over the Turkana region, including at least two from outside the country.  One is a missionary from Sudan and one pastor is a former Muslim from Somalia.

The pastors are continually saying over and over how much they appreciate and love what we are doing for them in teaching them from the word of God. They also realize that we have lots of people behind us (like you all reading the blog) that have given sacrificially to send us to them.  We've been told that they consider us a real blessing from God.  As I was speaking with the chairman of the Lodwar Pastor's Fellowship, Pastor Boniface Rimati, he told me that when he was called to this area as a pastor, he felt like he had three things he wanted to accomplish. One of those three things was somehow to introduce some pastoral training for the pastors of this region.  He said that the API School of Ministry was the answer to his prayer.

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Here are some pictures to enjoy of our stay here.

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These ladies are amazing - they carry everything on their heads.

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These are roadside shops.

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Can't leave your car doors or windows open with these guys around.

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Kids always have a front row seat.

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View from the back of Lodwar High School.

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So...what we have here are the latrines. The one on the right is for the women.  The one on the left is for the men.  No, no, not the white building, (which I thought).  The men's latrine is the half-wall on the left.  Nothing like fresh, open air where you can see who's coming to join you in the latrine. Or you can simply have conversations with passers-by.

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Here is where the cooks prepare the food.  This picture was taken at about 12 pm and the fire was going.  It's only around 95 today.

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Monday in Lodwar

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It is Monday in Lodwar, and we spent most of the day finishing our preparation for the conference that began tonight at the Lodwar High School complex. We did some shopping to get some power strips, and ink and paper and water. 

Pastor Tim Bourgeois and I are teaching through Acts 20:17-39 on the theme of Shepherding the Church of God. Jay McBee and Ben are teaching a Biblical Counseling series focused on discipleship.

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The first order of business was to get the pastors registered for the conference. However, this being Kenya, we will probably still be registering new attendees on Thursday.

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Through Together for the Gospel and their Theological Famine program and the generosity of P&R Publishing, we were able to offer free books to these pastors to help them in their ministry.

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We also schedule about an hour each day for question and answer which is very helpful, both for us and for the pastors.

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Sunday in Nataaba

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Sunday morning we took off for Nataaba, a small village around 40 km from Lodwar.  Through the Brad Pederson Memorial Building Fund we were able to help this congregation put a roof over their heads this year.  We also brought with us some staple foods - ugali flour and beans, cooking oil, salt and matches, to distribute to the congregation. We had a wonderful time of worship with the church there under the leadership of Pastor James.

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They were very happy to see these visitors from a far country and Ben got a lot of hugs.

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We will be returning later this week with iron sheets and galvanized screening for the sides.

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After the service we handed out the food we brought and everyone went home with something to eat.  Pastor Leonard later told me that Pastor James had said that there were many in the congregation who would not have had something to eat that day had we not brought the food. Turkana is going through a very hard time and there are people dying of hunger everyday, due in part to a government that has largely ignored their citizens there.

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Ben and Jay headed up the food line.

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It was a great joy to worship and fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Nataaba. 

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It was a happy ride back to St Teresa's

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Guest — Erin
God bless you all in this work that you are doing there. My heart is over-filled this morning to see these pictures and the smiles... Read More
Wednesday, 19 August 2015 06:44
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On the Road

Saturday August 15

Saturday was a long travel day for us. We loaded up and left Nairobi around 6:30 heading for Eldoret.

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Frank and Jay loading up

 

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We left before having breakfast so we stopped in Naivasha around 8 for some much needed nourishment and coffee. Fortunately we found a new Java House open for business.

 

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The trip was fairly uneventful until we hit Nakuru and the speed trap. We were pulled over by the police and Frank, our driver was informed that he was clocked at 97 km/hour by radar back near Naivasha, an hour earlier. We were surprised since most of the trip we had not been able to go over 60 km/hr due to the heavy truck traffic. Added to that was the fact that we had already been waved through 3 previous police check points who apparently hadn't gotten the alert for this speeding vehicle. Nevertheless, we were 'arrested' and had to go with one of the policewomen to the Nakuru station to sort it out. 10,000 schillings ($100) and an hour later, we were allowed to continue. From the conversations we had during that hour and the lack of any evidence, we concluded that we were simply being forced to contribute to the Nakuru Police Benevolent Fund.

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We finally arrived in Eldoret at the home of the Director of the East Africa Bible College where they had prepared a wonderful lunch for us. Our visit was brief since we had to be at the airport for a 4 pm flight to Lodwar, which of course didn't leave till after 5 pm, this being Kenya.

 

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We finally arrived in Lodwar after a 50 minute flight around 6:30 pm, and checked into St Teresa's, a Catholic retreat center, where we will be for the next seven days.

 

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Thank you all for your support and prayers during this time.

 

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A day in Nairobi

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We started the day with some early morning conference planning and time together in prayer.

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From there it was straight to the coffee house for breakfast and of course... coffee.

 

Then off to the Village Market to get the phones and internet sticks setup and topped off, money exchanged, followed by a quick trip (is that possible) through the Masai Market.

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Ben is looking for bugs.

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Checking out the baskets

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 Then a jet-lag induced nap back at the Hampton House followed by a mile walk for pizza and back to the Hampton House to carefully re-pack all of the gear since we drive to Eldoret starting at 6am and then fly to Lodwar after that.  Some gear is left in Eldoret for use when we return after the Lodwar Conference.

The Kenyan roads can be a dangerous place so please uplift the team in prayer as Frank drives us to Eldoret and also for the flight that follows to Lodwar. 

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We Arrived Safely!

We had a fairly uneventful trip from Amsterdam to Nairobi.  We had some delays (pilot initiated go-around on approach), the stairs did not match up with the airplane and had to be re-positioned and the luggage took forever to show up.  Frank was waiting for us and the process of loading all the luggage and getting it to the vehicle all went well. We can already see how the covering in prayer is felt as we go through the logistics of travel.  While we were loading the trailer, Jay laid down his laptop bag so that he could help load.  A car pulled out in a tight turn and "ran over the bag". No damage as the wheels somehow just missed the bag.  We are at the Hampton House now and looking forward to a good nights sleep.

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Recent Comments
Guest — Sandy Bourgeois
Glad to hear all is well...and that Jay's lap top survived Thanks for the update and we will all continue to pray.... Read More
Thursday, 13 August 2015 15:45
Guest — Tracey dunn
Glad you all are safely there! Continuing in prayer!
Friday, 14 August 2015 17:14
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Enroute to Kenya

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Ben grabs an opportunity to send off a few emails

We just landed in Amsterdam after an uneventful flight from Seattle.  We connected up with Tim and Jay and have a short layover before continuing on to Kenya. Please continue to pray for our travel and our brief time in Nairobi before we head North to Eldoret and then Lodwar.

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April 2015 MMC: End of the Week

Saturday, April 18th, 2015

After a long day of driving, we have arrived at our hotel in Narok, a town Southeast of Kitale.  We had to say goodbye to some of our Kenyan team members this morning.  When you spend 24/7 with people, relationships are formed and it’s always hard to say goodbye.  Thankful to know these incredible people and be able to work with them during each medical camp.

Along the way to Narok, we stopped by Pastor Moses’ house in Matete to greet him and his family.  We had a nice time enjoying tea and mandazi and good conversation.   Pastor Moses is one of the API pastors and his church was built as a result of the API Brad Pederson Memorial Building Fund.  In August 2013, API did a medical camp at his church as well.

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Yesterday, our last day of Medical Ministry Camp was another success.  The people continued to come, which is always hard because we have to tell them we won’t have time to see everyone.  Even though by the end of the week the team is exhausted, sending people away is one of the hardest things we have to do and makes us want to stay longer.  The problem is, we could stay for a whole month and people would probably still come seeking treatment.  The need is great and there is simply just not enough time or resources.    

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Over the week, we saw a variety of diagnosis.  As usual, we saw a lot of people with malaria, upper respiratory infections, and worms.  Many kids had high fevers and were pretty out of it.  We made some referrals for surgery and for other problems that we couldn’t deal with at medical camp, but overall, we didn’t have any life-threatening emergencies.  Praise God!

One of the most challenging things we dealt with this week was a mother who came in with her three children.  All four of them had jiggers on their feet and hands.  The mother said she had them for ten years!  Jiggers are small fleas that burrow into the skin.  They lay eggs and create pea-sized egg sacks that must be removed in order to stop them from multiplying.  They are itchy and extremely painful.  Once the jigger and egg sack are removed, a huge hole is left behind, which can lead to infection.  Kenyans are known to be really tough and not show a lot of emotion even when in pain, but whenever I’ve experienced people being “de-jiggered”, there is a lot of screaming and crying.  It is heart breaking to listen to these kids scream in pain for hours. while the jiggers are removed.  The people with jiggers aren’t necessarily as physically sick as some others per se, but it is super important to get the jiggers out of their skin, and the process is excruciating. 

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At the end of the day, we packed up all of the medical equipment and loaded everything into the vehicles.  Before we left, the people from the church had a nice surprise for us.  We sang some songs and they gave each of us a little gift to remember them.  It was such a special ceremony.  Once again, these people live extremely minimal lives, yet are blessing us with gifts and are so appreciative of us coming.  Moments like that definitely make you think about how you care for others.

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We have an early morning tomorrow as we go to Masai Mara for the day.  The team is doing well and is excited for tomorrow!  Thank you for all of your prayers! God is so good, and we had a great week serving the people of Natwana!

Good night!

 

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April 2015 MMC: The morning of our last day of MMC

Friday, April 17th, 2015

The sun is peeking through the trees as it begins to rise on this beautiful, clear morning.  Today will be our last day of Medical Ministry Camp.  The team has worked so hard this week; we are tired and have been stretched in many ways.  We have been praying for today, that we would be able to see all the people that need medical care, that the sickest would be seen first and not have to wait in the hot sun, and that each person that comes through Medical Ministry Camp would feel the love of Jesus Christ and have the opportunity to make a decision for Him.

Each day of Medical Ministry Camp has been going well.  We have stayed busy throughout the whole day, as the line of people never seems to dwindle.  Our team has worked extremely well together, and it has been such a joy to work alongside of these incredible people!

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the flow of medical camp, here is a breakdown of what each patient goes through as they walk through our doors:

Registration:  One of our team members gets some basic information about the person, such as name, gender, and date of birth.

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Intake:  This is where we get the person’s vitals, including heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature.  We ask a few questions regarding their medical history as well as if they have been tested for HIV/AIDS.

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Doctors:  This year, we have four doctors who are seeing these people and prescribing necessary medications.

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Pharmacy:  All of those pills that we have been packaging into the little bags?  All those bags are organized into slots in metal cases, and this is where those prescriptions are given to the patient.  The bags are alphabetized and separated between pills and syrups.  This system makes it pretty quick and easy to find exactly what is needed.  We also have implemented bar coding this year.  Before the patient receives his/her prescription, one of our team members scans the patient record form, the doctor that saw the patient, the diagnosis, and the medication label.  The information is transferred onto the computer or iPad.  Eventually, API plans to use this program as a complete medical record system for several medical clinics that API supports in Kenya.  Alex, one of the team members, has spent numerous hours creating this program.  API is extremely grateful for all of his hard work and dedication to what he has put into this program!  Thank you so much, Alex!

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Reading Glasses:  We have a two cases full of reading glasses.  We have sheets of paper with bible verses in different size lettering, so we can accurately determine what prescription the patient needs.  It is so fun to watch a patient try on different glasses until they find the one that helps them read the smallest print.  A huge smile spreads across their face, and they become so excited that they will be able to read again.

Lab:  George is the boss in the lab.  He is a lab technologist and has worked in many clinics.  He is incredible and has so much knowledge!  Usually, someone from our team is in the lab as well to help him.  They give injections, dress wounds, and have the equipment to run various lab tests from urine and blood.

 

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Dental:  Ezequiel has been very busy seeing dental patients.  He is able to pull teeth, fill cavities, provide basic cleaning, and educate patients about the importance of dental hygiene.  Unfortunately, there are way too many people for just one dentist to handle.  By Wednesday afternoon, we were telling the patients to come back on Friday to be seen because he already had so many people waiting for the rest of the afternoon on Wednesday and all of Thursday.  If you are a dentist and are interested in coming on a future trip, the need is great!

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After the patient has received his/her medication, someone is waiting to evangelize and pray with the patient as he/she leaves.  It is incredible to listen to the stories and the prayer requests of these people.  It is such a privilege to be able to pray with them and explain to them how much God loves them and cares for them.  Often times, you can see the stress and anxiety dissipate as you share the Good News.  These people are desperate for something bigger than themselves and are very receptive to the Gospel. 

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The team is ready, and it looks like it’s time to load up the vehicles!  Would you join us in prayer for our last day of Medical Ministry Camp?

Sending love back to all of our family and friends!  

 

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April 2015 MMC: Purpose

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Good morning from Kenya!  There are a few of us up early sipping on our tea, spending some time in the Word, and enjoying the stillness of the morning before the world awakes.  Breakfast will be served shortly, and then we will head out for Day Three of Medical Ministry Camp.

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All I could see was the long line of people as I looked out the window from my intake station inside the church, which has been transformed into a clinic for Medical Ministry Camp.  People outside waiting so patiently to be seen and treated, wondering when their turn would be next.   We were only a few hours into our second day of Medical Ministry Camp, but for a moment, I felt so overwhelmed by the need.  There were patients waiting for intake, waiting for the doctors, and waiting for their meds at the pharmacy station.  It was crowded inside, yet when I saw the line outside stretching out towards the main road, the people inside seemed so small.  I questioned if we would be able to see everyone.  As I listen to what is going on around me, I hear a baby coughing and someone explaining the importance of being tested for HIV.

Through the noise and the chaos, I see a patient wiping her eyes as one of our team members envelops her frail 80-year old hands within hers.   That is why we are here.  We are here to take away headaches, treat infections, and help get rid of that nasty productive cough.  But our purpose is so much greater.  We are here to love.  We are here to encourage.  We are here to plant seeds.  As the 80-year old woman opens her eyes after praying, a huge smile spreads across her face.  Without any words, you could see the fear and the pain melt away.  Even if we cannot see every person in the village, we are here for a specific purpose.  God is using us.  God is moving. 

Over the past two days, medications have been prescribed, wounds have been cleaned and dressed, and injections given.  Our dentist, Ezequiel, has pulled many teeth, filled cavities, and chipped away thick plaque.  Once again, thank you so much for praying for the people of Kenya and for each of our team members.  God is good!

More pictures and stories to come! 

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April 2015 Medical Ministry Camp

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The sun is beginning to set after a beautiful day here in Kenya.  The team is finishing up packing the last of the medications to get us started for medical camp.  Day One starts tomorrow.  The team is excited to start seeing patients and finally implementing what we have been working so hard to accomplish over the last few days.

 

A little recap from our first days in Kenya:

On Tuesday and Wednesday, team members spent many hours traveling from the States over to Kenya.  Flights went smoothly and all of the luggage arrived on time.  Praise God! 

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On Friday, we spent the morning at Village Market.  We shopped at the Maasai market, where we walked through rows and rows of vendors with everything from jewelry to hand carved bowls to Kenyan artwork.  We also had the privilege of meeting Philip Njoroge, a world-class marathon runner.  The afternoon was spent filling prescription bags with the necessary pills and labeling each of the bags with the correct medication label and a Bible verse.

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The team was up bright and early on Saturday morning as we left the Hampton House, our hotel in Nairobi, around 6am to head west across Kenya.  After several stops for food and bathroom breaks, we made it to Eldoret nine hours later.  We enjoyed a delicious lunch at Dr. Douglas’ home, prepared by his wonderful wife.  What a treat!  Another hour in the car and we finally made it to Kitale, where we will be staying for the next week. 

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This morning (Sunday), we attended church service at the church where Medical Ministry Camp will be located.  The church is in a village called Natwana about 30 mins from Kitale.  We were blessed with chai and butter sandwiches as soon as we arrived.  It never ceases to amaze me how gracious the Kenyan people are; families living in mud huts who struggle to put food on their own table are happily welcoming us into their homes, serving us with huge smiles on their faces.  A humbling experience for us all and a perfect example of what it means to live like Jesus!

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We all enjoyed church this morning as well.  The choir was amazing!  Many of us were brought to tears by the beautiful Kenyan voices.  Towards the end of worship, a dove flew into the church and perched on one of the rafters.  Throughout the service, the dove quietly sat in the same spot overlooking the whole room.  Gary gave the message, and one woman committed her life to the Lord for the first time!  It wasn’t until the end of the service that the dove quietly flew out of the church.  As the dove represents the Holy Spirit, it was beautiful reminder that God is with us always.  

On the way home from church, we stopped at Agape Community Heath Centre, which is the clinic where Dr. Douglas practices.  Douglas was eager to show us the improvements at the clinic since API has chosen to sponsor the clinic. 

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This afternoon, we have been reorganizing all of the medical supplies and packing more medication.  It can be a tedious process, but so worth it.  There is nothing better than being able to provide free medical care to these people who desperately need it, yet have no way to get it. 

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Thank you for all of the prayers!  Please pray for tomorrow as we begin Medical Ministry Camp.  Pray that the sick would be able to come and get the necessary medication they need.  Even more importantly, please pray that God would work in their hearts and people would come to know Him and that they would feel His love through each of our team members.  Please pray for strength and energy for each of the team members. 

Bwana Asifiwe!

God Bless!

 

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