Abby and I led our first team a few weeks ago. It was suppose to be a time for us to learn how to handle the logistics of having a group, but because of the Daniels’ emergency trip to the U.S. to take care of medical needs, we jumped in the water and learned to swim on our own. We could not have hand-picked a better team for our first experience!!!
It was a small group—3 from the USA, a pastor and his wife from the Ukraine, 2 Kenyan doctors, and a couple of the local guys. It is an amazing story how God brought everyone together.
Most of the ties can be traced back to the Ukraine. Dr. Joe, the lead American doctor, met Vitali and Nadia, the Ukrainians, in Ukraine doing medical missions. The two Kenyan Doctors, Steve and Mary, met Dr. Joe, Vitali, and Nadia in Ukraine while doing their medical schooling. After a few years of medical trips to the Ukraine, last year Dr. Joe decided to lead a team to Kenya. This was Dr. Joe’s second time in Kenya and he brought Donna, a nurse whose husband had gone to Ukraine, and his son, Sayle.
(The 3 doctors)
Abby and I even fit into the mix. We are the first missionaries supported by the American teams home church, although the trip was scheduled independent of the fact that they supported us (Dr. Joe didn’t even know the connection until right before they left).
On a side note, Grace Baptist is a wonderful church in Grenada, Mississippi that was founded out of a spirit led desire to be true to the word of God as a Bible based congregation that holds strongly to expository, verse-by-verse preaching. They also believe strongly in church planting. These are values that we hope to reflect in our ministry here in Kenya and we are privileged to be partnering with them.
Back to the trip, we visited 3 churches in three days and held medical clinics at each location. The first day we served at a long time established, rural church in DolDol. The second day we helped a new church in the small village of Matunda. The last day we worked at a recently relocated church and nursery school in Juakali (meaning “hot sun” and it was). Here are the results:
Day 1- 134 patients and 295 prescriptions
Day 2- 198 patients and 490 prescriptions
Day 3- 273 patients and 572 prescriptions
We praise God for the people helped that these numbers represent, but I have also learned a new perspective on medical missions from the two teams we have worked with recently.
A week long medical trip is like a drop of rain in the ocean. The physical results, although more than wonderful to the people being helped, are minimal in light of the need. The true, lasting value comes from the spiritual impact. Some of the people, although helped for a day, will eventually get sick again and be faced with the same problem of poor access to good medical facilities. But the temporary relief experienced at the medical clinic is just a glimpse of the eternal relief from death we have through dependence on the Great Physician, Jesus Christ.
Nadia and Vitali and some of the local pastors did one-on-one evangelism during the clinics. We had right around 30 salvations for the trip! (I forgot to get exact numbers from the pastors at the end of 2 of the days) Beyond that there were a number of people who repented from backsliding and committed to turning back to God. Three rural congregations were also helped and encouraged. Glory be to God!