Thursday, June 02, 2016

Medical Mercy Kenya Clinic day 4

(Part 2)

Unconditional love. And more. What would you say if God reached out to you, pointed the way to go, whispered in your ear and said, “Hear Me”? Would you go, would you go willingly even though you didn’t know where you were going and would you say “yes I hear You”? Today was a day that God pointed, spoke and we listened and went.


Several years ago, I met a wonderful man by the name of Julius who was a community health physician. He had polio and wore a leg brace on his right leg. As the story goes, after he toured me through his clinic, I began to walk back out to the car when I heard children laughing. I turned back and asked Julius where that was coming from. He took me to the back of the clinic and there was a safe haven for physically disabled children with their own makeshift wheelchairs and more. It has been there ever since and it has grown and that is where we took the little girl we saw yesterday. Julius and his physical therapist did a quick evaluation, and accepted her as a patient. A CT scan for $70, and two weeks full room and board for both grandmother and the child where there will be a full medical assessment, physical therapy plan implemented and more, for…wait for it…$35. This little girl who for whatever reason had a significant neurologic injury, was now embraced by those who will not only take care of her, but care about her and care for. Unconditionally.


We ended out first part of our medical mission today. We are off to go to Masai Mara for a safari, then 10 of us will be continuing to the most northern part of Kenya: Turkana.  A remote area, truly bush country. We will fly there on Mission Aviation Fellowship planes, two of them, one for our supplies and one for us. We’ll land on a dirt clearing after making a low pass to make sure there are no animals and then land. We start our clinic right after we land.


The team of 23 US and 6 Kenyan healthcare workers, 2 country directors, and 2 security guards worked tirelessly seeing hundreds and hundreds of children. We did what we came to do: serve and to be present when present.


I’ll be back on the blog in few days when we arrive in Turkana. More children to see. More to serve. Wait for it…


In all things give thanks,




(Photo credits: Brandon Cunningham)

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Medical Mercy Kenya clinic day 3

(Part one)

Unconditional love. How often have you felt it? Needed it? Wanted it? Had it? Our God offers it and gives it to us all the time, but we often put up a barrier and block it from entering our hearts simply because we are too self-centered, self-assured and self-absorbed that we don’t want it or need it. What a shame. And then there are times when we see the same unconditional love given by humans to other humans. What gives? It’s relatively simple: there are those who give of themselves with no want or need for anything in return. They are comfortable with who they are and with what their purpose is in life. They don’t have to seek it nor wonder if they have it. It’s just there. Just like the grandmother of this three year old girl who came to us for help.


The cries were loud, persistent, high pitched and unyielding. With each wail, her arms extended outward at an abnormal angle, fingers rigid, hands arched back almost touching her forearm. Her back arched, her head flopped back, and her legs limp. This grandmother and the child’s caretaker, held her, stroked her head and whispered in her ear. She quieted. The child’s mother was absent, having run away after a fight with her husband. She may return the grandmother said, but was not convincing. So what happened?


At the age of seven months this child fell out of bed and was never the same after that. Unable to walk without assistance, floppy legs were the reason, the child never progressed through her normal milestones. Her head was big and probably has hydrocephalus (“water on the brain”). The grandmother was clearly loving, engaged and committed to this little girl. Hospitals and doctors were not able to make a diagnosis or help. Here’s what may have happened. She fell out of bed, may have had brain damage from the fall itself and may have stopped breathing with a period without oxygen. All the same, this little girl is significantly disabled.


What struck me was how loving and caring this grandmother was. She was openly loving, giving of herself. We spent a great deal of time with them, asking questions in order to find reasons for why the child was like she was. We prayed with her and then I promised to help them see a local doctor that I know who may be willing to care for this child, find ways to make her life a little better and to ensure that she receives the care she deserves. I couldn’t do anything less. Unconditional love as strong as that grandmother’s, is something that deserves acknowledgement and thanks. Not unlike God’s unconditional love for us. We know its there and give thanks for it.  I’ll be back tomorrow evening with an update.


In all things give thanks,




(photos credit: Brandon Cunningham)