Friday, November 6, 2020

A Different Kind Of Mission This Year

 I've been out and about visiting schools, but not going out as far due to COVID.  It is here and actually on the increase and I believe many Kenyans are tired of the mask wearing and distancing because we rarely see it.  Anyone coming into the hospital needs to wear a mask but not everyone is compliant!  Tenwek Hospital is very busy and full at the moment and the COVID ward is full as well.

The below information is from a weekly update from the acting CEO of Tenwek Hospital on COVID-19:

The Republic of Kenya has seen its highest daily numbers of COVID-19 positive test results. The COVID-19 pandemic is still very significant, and this has been very evident also for us here at Tenwek Hospital. Since the end of September our total number of COVID-19 cases diagnosed has more than doubled and our number of staff diagnosed with COVID19 has increased from 1 person to 17 people. This brings our current totals to: 
88 Total diagnosed 
14 Deceased 
36 Discharged for home care 
21 Still receiving care in CHACU (COVID Unit) and Lower Holding Area (14 awaiting test results) 
17 Staff members (also on home-based isolation) 

We do feel safe here and we are some of the first short-term missionaries back at Tenwek in 7 months.  I find that this trip, for me, Jimmy, has been one of listening, learning and fellowship.  Listening to my Kenyan friends and how they have suffered during this pandemic.  I hear and see their anguish having little food, their children out of school and so many businesses closed.  It takes a toll on this country and its people.  Suddenly, we have much in common because of this pandemic and we share ideas and come together in prayer for each other and our families.

Learning that a day's wage is between $4.50 - $6.00 per day or @ $136.00/month!  When school was out because of the COVID, the teachers did not receive any pay.  There have been more robberies and break-ins to homes in this area than ever before.

Being asked to sit and have chai and to be asked to pray over the time together means so much more to me now than ever before.  I'll sit with the Kenyan staff from the guesthouse and we will have some serious conversations and we will also laugh and have some fun.  It's been a different trip for me, a bit slower but still giving out and setting up the water filters and also spending a little more time talking and getting to know the people.

I still get a kick out of some of the ingenious ways to transport things:

Large water filter project for next week at the Bomet Annex Medical Center

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers,
Jimmy and Chase