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.

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