Day 7: Ministry of Availability!

After 2 years this past April, I transitioned out of my role in Resource Mobilization at the hospital.  There were many reasons for my decision to do so, including the fact that I had taken the role as far as I myself could.  I really enjoyed helping the hospital to rebrand their logo and build their website.  I especially loved communicating the story of this place and leveraging the support of individuals around the world to engage in this ministry.  You only have to take a short walk through the corridors of the hospital to know how special the work being done here is.  Its mission to serve the most vulnerable patients from across Kenya, East Africa, and beyond is both inspiring and a miraculous outpouring of the Holy Sprit.  Sick and often desperate individuals turn up on the doorstep of the hospital, with the hope that they will be treated despite their inability to pay.  Kijabe Hospital keeps its patient fees as low as possible in an attempt to serve as many people as possible.  No matter where we have traveled to throughout Kenya, everyone knows about Kijabe. Kenyans recognize this place for its excellence in healthcare, medical training, and compassion.  It truly is a city on a hill; a light in the darkness.

Towards the beginning of our time in Kijabe, the hospital invited Beth Fischer (videographer, producer and story teller, from Oregon and one of my best friends) to come and help communicate the heart of this place.  Every time I look at this video, my heart swells.  This piece was produced by Beth primarily for individuals who might be considering giving of their time or resources to help contribute to Kijabe Hospital.

Since April, being devoid of a tangible role, I have been practicing what my friend, Amanda Hansen calls, the “Ministry of Availability!”  This involves being available to invite and help settle our short-term volunteers, focusing more on the kids, and supporting Mike in his work.  This has been quite a challenge for me!  I do not do well without something to engage in outside the home, but I have felt God saying to wait…and wait I have, albeit climbing the walls at times and feeling without purpose. There are some potential opportunities for me to get involved with in Kijabe and once we get back after our summer break, I will pursue those.  For now, I continue to be available to…

Make oatmeal and raisin breakfast muffins (thanks Scott Myhre, for recipe!)

Make oatmeal and raisin breakfast muffins (thanks Scoot Myhre, for recipe!)

The local Post Office

The local Post Office

Posting a letter to Ireland

Posting a letter to Ireland

Helping Amanda make

Helping Amanda make “attractive” pecan pies!

Encouraging Amanda to put some LOVE into crimping a pie edge!

Amanda putting the LOVE into crimping a pie edge!

Finished Products!

Finished Products!

Enjoying this sign of beauty...as big as my hand!

Enjoying this sign of beauty…as big as my hand!

And chatting with Mama Gerry!  Mama Gerry works in our home, from 8am-12pm, Monday to Friday.  It is not uncommon for working Kenyans to have someone help them with housework, cooking, baking, cleaning etc.  Mama Gerry has been working for us for the past 2 years and we love her!  She is the most Godly woman I have ever met and is constantly in prayer for her family and ours.  She is pure light and joy and we are so grateful for her presence in our home.

Mama Gerry

Mama Gerry

I also helped remind my brother, Stephen, and his wife, Anna, of the infallible “swaddle method” of wrapping a baby, via What’s App!  Michael and Jane both loved to be swaddled and Mike was the king of swaddling…and so…this step by step guide ensued!

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And so ends my 7 day challenge to document daily life in Kijabe.  It’s been a particularly hard season, which Mike alluded to in some of his more recent posts.  I think we both feel a little depleted, and in my case, unproductive.  If you think of us, please do continue to pray for our time in Kenya – some specific requests include:

  • Endurance and energy for Mike in work.
  • An unfolding of God’s plans for our future.
  • Purpose and opportunities to engage in work outside the home, for Ann.
  • Continued protection over Michael’s health and good management of his diabetes.
  • Increasing confidence in Jane with her reading.
  • A refreshing and rejuvenating visit to Ireland this summer.

Thank you, thank you, for your words of encouragement to us – we love to read your comments on our blog, emails from home, and updates from each one of you.  God bless you all.

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Categories: Uncategorized | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Day 7: Ministry of Availability!

  1. Mark Finley

    I continue to pray for you and your family. I look forward to repaying some of the kindness you showed our family soon. We are on track to be there this summer. I have shared your blog with friends and family, and I thank you for you and Mike’s posts to help others get a glimpse into what life is like there. It has been a huge gift for me to allow others to have that glimpse. You both have portrayed the reality of it well. I do feel however that I may need to start censoring your blog, as I fear that Laney will want us to keep rabbits, hens, dogs, and who knows what else. 🙂
    Keep up the good work.

  2. Shannon Mara

    Thank you, Ann. We’re with you.

  3. Alexandra

    Thank you so much for your week of blogging. I have truly looked forward to each and every day’s post. My husband and I are planning on moving to Africa to pursue medical missions in a couple of years once he finishes residency, and it’s a joy to anticipate what daily life might be like- challenges and all- by reading your posts. I’ve especially enjoyed the “everyday life” aspects of what you’ve posted. What a blessing it has been! Praying for your family! Alexandra

  4. Hi Mike,

    I know this is a long shot, but I have been unsuccessful in trying to find another way of contacting you.

    My name is Celia Breuer, I am the director of a community-based organization in Nakuru, Kenya. I am from Germany but studying at UCSD in California and after spending a year in East Africa, this has become my permanent home when I am not at university.

    Our organization mostly focuses on assisting children so they can receive quality education and we are now launching a community development project that focuses on water. We have also been assisting a school and orphanage in rural Uganda for almost two years.

    I am contacting you because I have read about the work you are doing at Kijabe Hospital, especially the story you shared about Jonah and his treatment for spinal TB. I have a fifteen year old girl in Uganda who has been suffering from a major problem of her spine which a doctor there has assumed to be spinal TB. She was chased out of her village as the lump on her back is perceived as a sign of witchcraft in her community. She is not paralyzed but x-rays taken last year showed that two vertebraes have been severely affected causing her spine to be deformed. As resources are limited in the village she lives in, I am taking her to Kampala to get a better diagnosis but so far, everything points to spinal TB.

    A nurse friend of mine has suggested to take her to Kijabe as it is the major hospital for these surgeries and treatment and since we are also based in Kenya. I know this would involve a lot but we are very desperate and fear she might become paralyzed or worse if she receives no treatment.

    If possible, I would like to talk to you about her case and our options. My number in Kenya is 0729569260, our email is sikunjemakesho.cbo@gmail.com
    I could also come to Kijabe hospital to meet with you.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this. If there is nothing you can do, it would still be comforting to speak to someone with experience regarding the treatment of spinal TB.

    Celia

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