This is to catch you all up real quickly. Wednesday we were at Kijabe Hospital all day visiting people with the chaplains. It was a time of singing and speaking to mama’s in the maternity ward, infants in incubators and more. Did I mention that Kibaje Hospital is a non-profit institution? The staff is amazing. They are dedicated to caring for people and also to bringing the good news of God’s great salvation to them through faith in Jesus.
We had an amazing day today at Bethany Home for children where we met Mercy. First thing, Mercy took McKenna and in into a tent where surprisingly we sat and waited, not for children but for the staff. “This is where the staff meets in the morning. You will sing and then make a presentation.” GULP!
McKenna and I looked at each other each wondering what we would do for doctors and nurses. We ended up singing some Swahili songs and then I spoke on how important it is for us to remember what Jesus suffered on the cross not only at Communion times, but at all times. We must never forget the greatest tragedy and act of love of all time.
Afterwards, Mercy led us into ward after ward of women and their children. The mothers stay with their children in the child’s bed. The mothers all dress in pink gowns except the Muslim women who also have their head veils on. In each ward Mercy would have us first greet each mother with a handshake and, “Habari mama.” Then she would have me open the Bible up and read to the women and speak to encourage them. Then McKenna and I would sing to them in Swahili which amazed and delighted them.
In the hydro-encephalitis ward we greeted each mama and laid a hand on her baby’s swollen head to ask the Lord to heal him/her. As we sang a Swahili song, “Walk With Jesus,” Mercy must have asked the women in Swahili to get up and walk over to greet each other, because all the mama’s rose up and began to do that! Then they began to do a gentle dance. A Masai mama danced the amazing Masai way and another joined her. They were greatly encouraged. Then Mercy said, “McKenna you will pray for baby Abraham and baby such-and-such who are in ICU right now.” So this is the way that it went. It was amazing to touch each mother and child and be able to encourage them throughout the day.
Do you remember the report of people who had run into a church in Kenya during the war last January who were burned to death? Well I met five survivors who’ve been in Kijabe Hospital since January. They were each terribly disfigured, some having only stubs on their fingers or their fingers so badly burned that they can’t move them. One girl is 16, a boy is 6. What do you say to such people to encourage them?
I spoke to them about how Jesus had suffered so very terribly on the cross and that He truly knows what it is to suffer. I encouraged them that He loves them and that He has preserved their lives for some special purpose. “When you leave this place, tell people about how wonderful He is to have died and risen for you.” I was so happy to notice that the little boy with his face so badly disfigured was singing a song to Jesus with us.
Before lunch time an amazing things happened. As Mercy, McKenna and I were about to walk down the hall to the cafeteria, a Somalia woman carrying a child walked up to Mercy smiling, grabbed her hand, kissed it and hugged her neck. “I haven’t seen you in a while,” Mercy said.
Then the woman grabbed my hand, kissed it and hugged me and then McKenna too. This was amazing because the M*slm women are not warm like this. In the wards they talk loudly when we sing and make no move in friendliness at all, though if you grab their hand to shake it they will smile a little in polite response. So I was very curious about this lady.
It turns out that her name is Diamond. She has become a follower of Jesus and her relatives are trying to kill her. She showed me a scar on her hand and said, “They have beaten me very badly.” As she spoke she teared up in telling us that a couple that had taken her in have “rejected me,” and now she has no place to go. Mercy called in a man who is trying to contact the UN. I wonder where Diamond is now. I am trusting God will care for her and her little one.
I was delighted to meet William, a boy of about 11 who sat in a wheelchair with a cast on both legs with a bar between them. What a beautiful smile on this child’s face! Mercy said, “He became a Christian 2 weeks ago.” At that, William smiled and nodded his head. We got to pray with Frances a 12 year old boy and two others who want to follow Jesus.
By the way, we’ve discovered that McKenna’s name is Kikuru and means something like “continually joyful.” When people see her not smiling they ask her, “Are you sick?” Actually she’s been bravely battling a cough and so she has had to truly make an heroic effort to keep a smile on her face. She’s been doing so great and I’m blessed to have her as my partner.
So this ended our amazing day at Bethany Home. We got to touch a lot of people and got to meet Mercy, an amazing woman who truly loves people and desires them to know the joy of God’s great salvation through faith in Jesus His risen Son.