“Mom, it’s Africa! It’s okay to put the suitcase down in the dirt”.
One of our staff RN’s, Deanna Nelson, along with her daughter Paige, had the opportunity recently to be a part of a medical team that traveled to Kenya to hold free clinics for the underserved population there. Four church-sponsored clinics were held in different locations; one additional clinic was held at an orphanage. The team of 9 Americans were joined by local dentists, opticians, medical providers, and pharmacists.
(One of the new local docs is a long-time friend from Eagle River, who, along with his wife decided to relocate to this other side of the globe and “love out their faith.”)
Many of the folks who came for medical, optical, or dental services were Congolese refugees. At times two interpreters were needed as patient’s complaints were first translated from Congolese to Swahili and then to English. Most days 200-300 people were seen with nearly as many turned away at the conclusion of the day. Pastors of the sponsor churches had arranged for needed interpreters as well as making sure there was adequate work space and crowd control. And yes, aside from one church with pea-gravel flooring, the other churches, even in the city, had dirt floors. In one of them, a chicken was underfoot most of the day. Yet, what a joy it was to partner with these Kenyan pastors and leaders in serving their congregations and neighbors!