Kenya mission trip

lumc.jpgAlso see Kenya – travel & fun and Kenya – safari

A team of 16 from Lakewood United Methodist Church went on a mission trip to Kenya from September 20 – October 6 to share the love and truth of Christ.  We had the opportunity to do many things, such as helping build three homes for AIDS orphans, doing some maintenance at the hospital (mainly painting), visiting with the local church, sewing, dentistry (we had a dentist on the team), teaching some workshops, visiting remote clinics, worshiping and much more.  I shared some details below, but team members are welcome to add comments with their own thoughts and experiences.

I also had a chance to visit with Dennis, one of our World Vision sponsor children since 1999.  It was an absolute delight to spend a couple hours visiting with him on all sorts of topics.  He is an amazing young man.

God is so good and we were blessed throughout the trip.

View all the pictures here.  You can view pictures individually, see a larger slideshow or download them.  Here’s a sample:

AIDS orphans homes

The main project we do is to help construct homes for AIDS orphans and their caregivers (often their grandparents, but sometimes just someone in the community).  These homes give the kids a safe place to live, help them stay off the streets and out of drugs and prostitution, and help them attend school and having a place to study.

In addition to all the great things it does for the children and their caregives, the program makes a great witness to the community.  It helps the church evangelize and spread the Good News of Jesus when the community comes out to see the houses being built and dedicated.  The local leaders challenge the people to share with each other and encourage one another. 

The purpose of the AIDS Orphans’ Project is to provide food, schooling, medical care and improved housing for AIDS orphans and to train their guardians in caring for these children. This project was established in response to the needs of the increasing numbers of AIDS orphans within the region that the hospital serves. Maua Methodist Hospital serves a district of 600,000 people as their only full service hospital. The AIDS orphan children are in desperate circumstances. The hospital is reaching out to them to share the Love of Jesus Christ by helping to care for their basic needs, and by giving hope for a better life.

Food distribution

We got to witness a monthly food distribution for those in the AIDS orphan program.  These ladies are incredible.  They sing and dance with such joy over receiving a 30-40 lb. bag of grain, then they put it on their backs to carry it several miles back to their homes.  What incredible gratitude!

Hospital work

Helping the hospital with repairs, maintenance and construction – financially and with our labor – helps them serve people who can’t afford any services at all.  Here’s an example of who this helps written by Jeri Savuto, a missionary at the hospital:

On Thurs. 20 Sept. 2007 Linnet W., a 24 year old mother of two, was brought into the hospital by neighbors. She had been found lying in the bush near her home. The night before her husband had come to their home, dragged her out and using a panga had cut her 25 times. He cut off both hands and her right foot was dangling. He cut off one ear and cut her back, legs, chest, face, and head. He had left her for dead.

When the neighbors brought her into the hospital she was in shock, which had caused the wounds to stop bleeding, and was covered with insects, dirt, debris, and dried blood.

To everyone’s amazement, Linnet was alive, able to talk, and move all limbs. She was cleaned, given blood, and immediately went to surgery. The day of her admission, the Senior Nurses met and were all asked to pray for Linnet. Each of us have visited her to pray and comfort her. Many of the staff bring her food and take part of their lunch time to feed her and spend time praying for her. In my visits with Linnet, I am amazed at her strength, her will to live, her hope and faith in God.

She has a five year old and one year old child. Her husband turned himself into the police the next day thinking she was dead. He is being held in prison.

Linnet will spend months in our hospital. She will need more surgeries and much care. She has no money to pay for her care but she will be taken care of because Maua Methodist Hospital is committed to care for the least of these. At present her hospital bill is already 30,000 Ksh ($448). Maua Methodist Hospital can take care of Linnet and many others without money because of our Advance Special #09613A – Maua Hospital Service Fund, Kenya”. Bill and I are so grateful to each of you who have given to the Service Fund. Usually $150 saves a life in Maua. Today I ask you to join our staff in praying for Linnet. As you pray please remember that a gift of $15 – $20 a month to the Service Fund makes a huge difference in the lives of many. It brings healing, hope, and love.

linnet.jpg

Money goes a long way in Kenya. 

  • For $15 per month, you can feed, clothe and educate a young AIDS orphan.
  • For about $100 per year an AIDS orphan can be fed three nutritious meals per day. For about $80 per year, she could be in primary school.
  • For $2000 you can build a home for a guardian and several AIDS orphans.
  • $1 pays for a malaria test for an outpatient
  • $2 pays for a doctor to diagnose an illness
  • $3 buys medicine to cure a child with malaria
  • $10 buys antibiotics to cure a patient with typhoid
  • $100 cures a baby with pneumonia and malaria as an inpatient for seven days in the hospital
  • $26 provides antiretroviral drugs for one month in the Palliative Care program to keep a mother with AIDS alive to raise her children
  • $5 pays for immunizations for all childhood diseases for the first year of an infant’s life
  • $10 pays for medication to prevent transfer of AIDS from a pregnant mother to her baby

Should you wish to participate, please send your donation directly to the following address.

Lakewood United Methodist Church
11330 Louetta Road
Houston, TX 77070

Please make your donation payable to Lakewood United Methodist Church and add a note indicating this is to be used toward ‘Kenya Missions-Maua Methodist Hospital’ along with any other specific instructions you would like to provide.

Worship

Worshiping in a foreign country is a great experience.  The churches we visited sang many of the same songs, but mixed some Swahili songs and messages into the services.  The people were passionate, joyful and evangelistic.

17 thoughts on “Kenya mission trip”

  1. What an awesome service to the Lord! Reading the story about Linnet was heartbreaking! I’m sitting here wondering why on earth her husband would do that to her??? And to see her sitting there smiling like that in that picture! Amazing!

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  2. Neil, are you a member of this church or did you go as a guest. The “Our Beliefs” section at the church Web page seems a lot more “liberal” — as I expected it would, as a UMC — that you do. Frankly, if you’re UMC, I’m floored. I mean it takes all kinds, but wow. If you’re a UMC, you are the most biblically rigid and conservative UMC I’ve ever known.

    I’m reacting mainly to the “Our Belief” remarks about not always taking the Bible literally, and the table at Communion being open to all who are present — which doesn’t sound like you at all, based on your writings.

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  3. MLBH – thanks!

    ER, I’m a member. Believe it or not, I’m giving the laity Sunday sermon tomorrow. Wish you could be there.

    I think you’ve spent a little too much time in stereotype-land and haven’t really read what I’ve written very closely – or at least you’ve read your preconceptions into it. I don’t know how many more ways to say I don’t take the Bible literally (by your definition), so I’m not going to.

    There are many UMC’s I wouldn’t send my dogs to. They have denied the word of God, the atonement, etc. But many parts of the UMC are good and hold to sound doctrine. I’m encouraged by the African churches. Yeah, we’re liberal for my tastes with the Lord’s supper but I’m not leaving over that one.

    If the church ever conducts “same-sex marriages” then I’m gone. Or if our current Bible-believing pastors were replaced by one of the apostates / false teachers in the system then I’d be gone as well. But I actually think the UMC is making an unlikely recovery and shifting back to the truth.

    I agree whole-heartedly with the beliefs page you referenced:

    “We believe in the Bible as the Word of God by which our lives are to be both informed and measured. We affirm the biblical witness to itself found in 2 Timothy 3:16 that “all scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness,” so that we may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. While we do not take the Bible literally at all points (as it does not present itself in that fashion), we take it seriously at all times, and we believe, with the founder of Methodism, John Wesley, that we are indeed called to be “people of the one book.””

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  4. Yeah, I’ve always thought that the United Methodists were quite modern and progressive. Here in Seattle, there is a very large contingent of them that march in the Gay Pride Parade along with the UCC and Unitarians.

    Neil said: Yes, there are many Methodists – particularly in the West and East – that are Unitarians at heart and don’t hold Biblical worldviews.

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  5. This is really, really cool, Neil. Missions is something vastly underdone in churches today, and when I see one that is, it reminds me that God really can rescue a perverted nation through determined servants.

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  6. Neil,

    What an amazing trip and what great things you (and others) are doing for the world. (Makes me feel like a slacker.)

    Now, if you had brought back an elephant for me, I would be really, really excited….. 😉

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  7. Thanks, Bridget! If anyone else had made the elephant request I would have assumed she meant a wood carving. But I’m pretty sure you want the real thing!

    Keith – amen!

    Washed – thanks, and I agree. I’m glad that our church has gotten much more mission-minded the last few years. We do local, state/regional (still sending teams for Hurrican Rita relief) and various international trips (Mexico, Bolivia, Kenya, etc.).

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  8. (Shrugs) Yeah, well, I think that an elephant would be an impressive part of my right-wing arsenal. Vote Republican or be gored to death. 😉

    Have a carving – birthday present from my stepmom.

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  9. Neil, Great trip, thanks for your world wide committment to your values.

    Bridget………I like the pun “gored” to death. I have a set of elephants carved out of ebony (about 5) progressively getting larger from about 1/2 in to about 1-1/2 inches…….steve

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