Kenya Day 6: Amongst Those Who Hurt

It is hard to put today’s camp experience into words. In all of the measurable ways, it was a success. We saw and treated, to the best of our ability, 440 patients in the community of Gataka. We treated the sick, examined teeth, gave out eyeglasses and drops until there were no more to give. We held babies for sick mommas and did crafts with hundreds of children. Our team worked together so well, and we finished the day dusty and tired but with full hearts.

I’m so grateful for the opportunity to minister and serve in the name of Christ, but there were also moments in the day when I felt helpless in the face of what seemed to be insurmountable hardship and suffering. There were the pregnant women in the midst of miscarriage, the scores of babies with dangerously high fevers, and so many sick children who walked to the clinic for help with no parent in sight. We talked about these things in our time of prayer and debriefing tonight. Sharing the joys and sorrows of our service today. And, I was comforted by remembering parts of a liturgy for medical providers that we read together on our first night.

For it is often not an easy place to be –
so near to suffering, to injury, to pain,
to emergency and fear and confusion,
and sometimes even to dying and death
and grief –
but I believe it is exactly the sort of place
you would be, O Lord, amongst those
who hurt. So let my practice of medicine be
centered in an understanding of your heart…
I would not just be a doctor or a nurse

or a medical provider, O God.
I would be a minister of your healing
and compassion at work in your world.
I would be a living witness of your love
expressed in a practical care of people.
I would be your disciple in this place, at this
time, among these people.

Douglas Kaine McKelvey , “Every Moment Holy”

While not every member of our team is a physician or a nurse, we are all here to be ministers of healing and compassion. And, we are grateful for the opportunity to do it in this place. 

Tomorrow we will enjoy a bit of down time after a busy week. We will be joining our brothers and sisters at Mavuno for worship service in the morning, before heading out to lunch and to a local Maasai market. We’ll post again on Monday after we’ve resumed our work here at Beacon and in the surrounding communities. Thank you for your continued prayers and support for our team.