Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Kathy preaching at Mt. Olives UMC outside of Kampala Uganda.

Friday, April 25, 2008

From Ahero and Maua, Kenya to Kampala, Uganda!

We successfully closed up the Mama Pilista Memorial Heath Center in Ahero. We treated over 600 people in 11 clinic days. Danny even snuck in some time for teaching at the Aga Khan Hospital in Kisumu. Our time in Ahero, outside of Kisumu was a great stop. We made great friends there with young and old. We made a quick trip to Nairobi where Kathy checked in our youth ministry at Martha and Al Fleming's church and then off to Maua, Kenya

We finally made a connection with a Methodist Hospital! We traveled from Nairobi to Maua, Kenya to the Methodist Hospital there. A huge facility, the complete opposite of Mvumi Anglican Hospital. This is a hospital with functional medicine going on, over 200 beds, beautiful facility, and well taken care of. There is an American couple from Texas working with the General Board of Global Ministries who are a nurse and computer specialist. Bill is also in charge of the UMVIM teams that come from the states and Europe to work at the facility. I spent the day with the two chaplains doing ward rounds and praying with patients as a group. The chaplain/evangelist greets the patient's visitors before they come in for a song and prayer. After lunch I went to the wards with Pastor James to pray with patients individually by name. I was a bit out of my comfort zone with culture, language, and real illnesses. I am certain that I prayed for and with a number of AIDS patients. I know that I prayed for a few women who were dying, I prayed for God's mercy and compassion to come and heal this person and take them home.

After a bus and plane ride, we are now in Kampala, Uganda where we met with Rev. John a UMC District Superintendent. Together we traveled to Mukono to visit the Humble School. What a great experience! We met over 200 well cared for students many of whom are orphans and displaced. There are over 100 boarding students, 78 boys sleeping in one room! The bunk beds are stacked 3 high, it was amazingly clean, and it smelt better than any YSP boys room! The kids are taking bucket baths. And they were not expecting us! The need is enormous here for these children. By the end of the visit, Rev. John had invited Kathy to preach at one of his churches this Sunday.

Rev. Les Piene from Massillon First UMC in the East Ohio Conference also connected us with a school in Kampala that is being support by Rotary and Walsh University. The next day we traveled with James Kyeyune to this school that his father started while he was battling AIDS. He died in 2002 and his son, James has continued his dream and mission. James honored his father by naming the school after him, the Mbabaali Memorial Nursery and Primary School. This school is located in abject poverty. Most of these orphans have been fostered into the community. All of the teachers have taken in more than one child on top of their own because this school cannot afford yet to build a housing/dormitory space for the orphans. The teachers have not been paid in three months because they cannot make payroll. This school sees 4-6 children die a year. Last week a 4 year old died of AIDS. Many children are on treatment with ARV's. Some of the children are in a choir who sang for us. The songs they sang were written by their music teacher about their life. They sang about education, being future leaders, about Uganda, violence, about living with AIDS and the effects AIDS has had on their life. It was a very moving day for us.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Dental School and IT Training

It was a busy Monday at the Mama Pilista Memorial Health Center. We saw over 50 patients, Danny the only doctor and Kathy the only nurse most of the day. Kathy also did a dental class with over 100 students with only 36 toothbrushes! We headed to the market for more toothpaste and more toothbrushes to share for the week. Thanks to the generosity of the Jarrell Family in Mentor, Ohio for financing the supplies. There is not a tradition of dental care in the village and Danny has seen many patients complaining of sore teeth. We hope that teaching a few of the children will help to change the next generation.
In the midst of the busy day, Kathy also found time to introduce the computer to a few of the girls in the village. They were writing letter to people in the states who are sponsoring their schooling. With my lap top, we included their photo and a bit of a typing assignment. Here is the photo from their time on the computer!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Some sights from the market in Ahero

Working in Ahero

Danny seeing patients.
Kathy as acting nurse taking vital signs.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Onto Kisumu

We just had a great visit withe Martha and Al Fleming in Nairobi! What great hosts they were! Laundry, real washer and dryers! Hot showers, great food and conversation in an amazing setting, and powerful worship in a small congregation. Nairobi was a great stop for us thanks to them. We have traveled onto Kisumu where Danny's friend has a clinic. It was a long bumpy bus ride to Kisumu! On the way here, we witnessed much of the burnt out stores, houses, and churches from the uprising after the election. It was quite sobering to see. We also observed communities of IDP's, internally displaced people who are living under plastic sheeting supplied by the UN. Not enough shelter for this chillier rainy season that Kisumu is now experiencing. Once arriving in the city center of Kisumu it was exciting to see crowds of people selling and buying in the market, out and about with their businesses and operating normally again after so much strife. The news is filled with the struggles of a coalition government trying to pick a cabinet and make this new constitution work. People here just want peace and for their politicians to work this out in a timely manner so that peace is possible. The clinic that Danny's friend, Dr. Bonyo in Akron built with the help of Ohio University is located 6 km off the main road in the middle of the village where Bonyo was raised. The clinic is named in memory of his mom, Mama Pilista Bonyo Memorial Health Center. It is a structure just waiting for furniture and supplies. We hope to be working at the clinic for the next couple of weeks.
The organization we are currently with is called Care-Kenya. Check out the link below and see what it is all about. www.care-kenya.org

Church in Nairobi, Kenya

We went to church with the Flemings. They are a part of a small church that is held in a ten year old kindergarten mission center that is run by a Japanese mission couple who are also the pastors of this church. It is an interesting combination. They have partnered with a Kenyan pastor and the congregation is made up of about 100 people, Kenyan children (their main goal for reaching), Kenyan adults from a variety of economic classes, ex pats from America and Ireland, and Japanese families, quite diverse! It was great. The music was great with an overhead projector and piano. We were in a small room. All spoken in English. One of the announcements and prayer requests was that a group of teenage boys requested that the church start a youth ministry and that there would be a meeting after church to discuss this idea! After church we participated in fellowship with tea and bread and then I went to the youth ministry meeting! It was great. There were about 20 kids in attendance and another group of about 7 young adults who were also interested in forming a group. I shared ideas and asked the youth questions about what they wanted in this youth ministry. It was GREAT to be talking youth ministry again. I thought I was done with that call on my life, but I am not. It still gets me excited to talk to the teens here who are not very different from teens in the states. When they went around and introduced themselves some where shy and awkward, others were outgoing and smiley, just like Mentor youth They need your prayers in helping to get a youth ministry started in their community. These kids need a group to belong to, many live in the slums with many temptations for living a different life other than Christianity surrounding them. The five boys who grew up in this church, live in the slums and walk to church without their parents and want to know more about Jesus and how to make good choices.