What kind of patients will we see at the clinic today, how many children will be available for vacation Bible school, and of course how much construction will get done at the construction site? Only the unfolding of the day would reveal the answer to these questions… And the answers were a lot different than expected! Eldoret is the fifth largest city in all of Kenya, approximately 500,000, and by the roads it appears that it was definitely not constructed for such a mass of people.
The medical clinic at the church was supposed to start by eight or 9 a.m., and because of traffic we arrived around 9 a.m. To our initial surprise we found only Maggie our pharmacist and the cleaning men anywhere to be found. At times like these we remind ourselves TIA, this is Africa.
And also the greatest commandment of missions which is be flexible. Maggie graciously directed our driver up to prayer mountain at the site of the orphanage construction. Despite numerous visits to developing nations I am still surprised to see how bus drivers maneuver through small
corners, over dirt roads and around potholes and over bumps.
This is my third visit to prayer mountain in four years, and each time it amazes me the degree of progress that’s made from the time before. This year the roof was constructed, there were glass windows in the main sanctuary overlooking the valley; the outside was painted and there was landscaping as well as fences constructed throughout the property. But the highlight was a visit to the orphanage site.
How heartwarming it was to see the smiles and the looks on the faces of Ariel and Kelsi as they laid their first brick into the foundation of the orphanage. This was preceded by a tour of the facilities at the top of the mountain that concluded with an intense session of prayer in one of the prayer rooms where people often spend hours or days in prayer and fasting. Nevertheless, we had to laugh again when we found out that Mary the construction project manager, was not going to be there that day. Back in the van and return to the church. This actually gave everyone an opportunity to be able to work on site together in the medical area and with the prayer station.
After dividing the duties to decide who would work in pharmacy, who would assist in the clinic, in triage and who would work at the prayer station; we divided our duties and began to work. About 100 patients were seen, many patients fitted with eyeglasses, many patients prayed with, and several people experiencing deliverances from demonic oppression. Ariel and Kelsi spent most of the day in business meetings with Pastor Likavo and revisiting the construction site with one of the local inspectors. This “paved the way” for a full day of construction tomorrow. Meanwhile Judy and Hannah assisted me in the clinic as we enjoyed praying with the patients after tending to their medical needs. Molly and Sue became a tag team of prayers at the prayer station, and Ashley was a natural at fitting people for their eyeglasses and taking charge. The rest of the team either floated to different areas or helped count medication and vitamins in the pharmacy. A welcome hour and a half break gave us time to shower before supper as we knew that we would all be tired and in need of a good nights sleep. Because the dining room was set up for a meeting tomorrow it was nice to eat outside under a tent in the cool night. The reality of the orphanage is still sinking in as we think about how the dream of two college students is culminating in the creation of a home for eight children and a house mother.
Joseph Pecoraro, MD, FACS
Kenya Mission 2013