Written by Pastor Johnathan Merle
Team Members: Johnathan Merle, Dave Donley, Jessica Gillesse, Elizabeth Nordquist, Adam Olson, Jennifer Olson, Rich Penaloza, Peggy Smith, Nancy Wolfe, Lindsey Bodenhorn
After nearly a year of planning, training, prayer, and preparation, our medical missions team is on their way to Kenya, East Africa to work and minister to women and children affected by HIV/AIDS. We are working with a terrific ministry called HEART, www.africaheart.com while we are there. Stay tuned for pictures and updates on a regular basis of all that is happening. It’s going to be an awesome trip and we’ll look forward to sharing about it when we return. Thanks for your prayers and thoughts!
May 21 Here are some pictures from our first few days here in Kenya. We went to a slum, the 2nd largest in all of Africa called Kibera. I’ve been all around the world and seen a lot, but this was one of the roughest. Still, the women we worked with we’re happy, had hope, worked hard…it was awesome. The team is doing great. Tomorrow we’ll go to another community called Ngong.
KENYA UPDATE: Hi Everyone! We’ve been in the villages of Kenya (called “Up-Country”) and have had an amazing few days. The other day, we saw nearly 50 women in clinic, all who were HIV+, all without husbands for various reasons, and all lovely in so many ways. Our amazing team is doing TERRIFIC. We’re having the time of our lives seeing and experiencing the culture and people of this terrific nation. HEART (www.africaheart.com) is an incredible organization with some truly terrific initiatives to teach and reach the Kenyan people. Take a look at our photo album and enjoy!
Here’s a couple of pictures of me in clinic one day when we saw about 50 patients. It’s been YEARS since I did any clinical practice so it was fun to get back in it. The second picture is a cool story. Our group raised about $1400 to seed a micro finance project for this group of women. To receive this amount of money is a literal miracle for them as it is not feasible without help. Here’s the cool part though…The organization we’re working with has other groups of women that have received seed money like this and they’ve turned it into something amazing. One industrious women turned her 14,500 Kenyan Shillings into over a million Shillings. Another has hired 4 women in her enterprise. The goal is to instill business skills, values and training to empower them to not only survive, but to thrive. I challenged these women to make their seed into a tree and that we would be following up on their progress. It’s really neat to see. Thanks for following and praying for us
After a long journey back traveling on 3 continents, the 2013 Kenya Medical Missions team is safe and sound back at home in Colorado. During our journey, we met many amazing people as well as really bonded as a team. We were told that our team left it’s mark on the ministry and those we worked with. The truth is, Kenya and those we met have left their mark on us. We are so grateful for the opportunities with an EXCELLENT organization, HEART www.africaheart.com, the American and Kenyan staff, and Vickie Winkler. We are also grateful for the support of those that gave to help us go and for our wonderfully supportive church and Pastor at Jubilee Fellowship Church.