Kenya Day 9: Weary, But Thankful

This morning we had our last devotion with our partners here at Beacon of Hope. We worshipped together with songs and dance, scripture, and prayer. We also expressed mutual appreciation for our beautiful partnership in service. As we prepared to head out in teams to visit the homes of the sick and hurting in the nearby community of Dagoretti, we received an apt word from one of our Beacon partners. She reminded us that in the midst of a place with such great need, we need only to start with the goal of ministering to one single soul. This was helpful to remember as we walked through the streets with the community health volunteers (CHV’s) later in the morning.

Each group included a social worker, a physician and nurse, and several other team members to offer prayer and support. We followed our CHV through meandering dirt and gravel roads and paths to the homes of highest need. We spent time hearing each family’s story, providing what medical advice we could, along with bags of groceries, before spending time in prayer with them. My team visited an elderly woman who was homebound after complications from diabetes required the amputation of her leg. Though bedridden, she helps with the care of her 7 year old granddaughter who is unable to attend school due to a serious heart condition that requires an expensive and as-of-yet unattainable surgery. This is just one example of the type of hardship that is present in these communities.

Our visits and service felt like a meager offering, but the families expressed so much gratitude for our concerns and our prayers. We pray that our visits were a source of encouragement and a reminder and picture of Christ’s love for them. 

Afterward, we spent time debriefing with the social workers, and discussing some of the health issues that we encountered. This is another part of the purpose of these visits, as Beacon attempts to determine the best way to assist the CHV’s with the needs of this community long term. 

The ride home was quiet in our van. Laura has said that at a certain point the emotional processing of all that we’ve seen and done will breed a weariness of body. I think many of us are at that point. But at the same time we are so grateful for the work we have been able to accomplish with our partners here.

Tonight we are heading to Jane Wathome’s home, as she hosts our team for dinner. In the morning, we leave Beacon to spend 48 hours at an eco camp to rest and debrief as a team. We will be off the grid during this time, so this is likely my last formal journal, though I will post when we begin our travels home from Nairobi on Saturday afternoon. 

Thank you for all of the prayers and support you have offered this team. We have felt them, and we are grateful.