Flying over the Volcanic Crater of Mount Kilimanjaro has to be one of the most awe inspiring moments of my life. The Boeing aircraft circled around for 13 minutes giving everyone a perfect view of this great mountains icey slopes. All this thanks to a lady called elsie who the co-pilot wanted to impress. I knew then that my own brief love affair with kenya was going to produce something really special.
With me was a government clinic head frm South Africa. Jenny has worked with victims of HIV since 1984 and I know noone else with the practical caring disposition of this special lady. When I first arrived in Kenya in January with david Lister and Jacob prasch and observed the challenges that these people battle against with great dignity, Jenny wa the lady who came to mind and our decision to send her proved correct.
Our itinerary was simple, three days of teaching. Three seminars a day. The subjects, HIV, its causes, preventation, nutrician, profolactic treatments and all this underpinned by a full gospel message. Along with this I was to meet with Rev Jackson Mwaura MA Theo, who was to head our new missions college.
The immediate difference to our last trip was the greeness of Kenya. We were at the latter end of the wet season and the countryside was glorious. On our journey to Naivasha Ps John brought us up to speed with changes and challenges they had encountered during the last six months one of which is the purchase of land by the church to establish a primary care clinic that hopefully will be manned by volunteer nurses.
After a good nights sleep we took the road to the town of Engineer (named after a Scotsman who worked in the area) The normal route had to be avoided because the bridge over a nearby river was out. This meant an excursion of 16Km, or aout 40 minutes on these roads that are best suited to 4×4′s. On entering Engineer the poverty was quite shocking. Couple with this prostitution is rife and so is HIV. Ps Johns Church has an outreach program to the prostitutes; not only preaching the gospel but also trying to fee the ladies and their children to deter the need for them to go onto the muddy streets. Unfortunately, where there is poverty, there you will find sick depraved people willing to pray on the needy.
When we arrived at the church we were shocked. We had been told to expect 500 church leaders and students over the two days. Infact we had +- 500 per day, atotal of around 1500 people. This led to shortages in notes, pens and paper that were provided by Moriel Missions. We were also able to feed this vast number as well. Many of them had travelled kilometers by foot just to be there, using the muddy highways. I was impressed at the commitment by these people. In the west we have become so apathetic and for many, the slight threat of a shower means a day at home. Yet these faithful brethren will walk hours in pouring rain to glean what they can from Gods word.
The seminars held by Jenny were first class. The comments by those attending were numerous and with her help, plus the little knowledge I now have of microbiology (is it really 13 years since I last used a microscope?) we believe we may have saved hundreds of lives. We also had the privelidge to council people wh came to us declaring their HIV status. The Kenyan government still does not preach the truth regarding HIV, in fact it looks as though the may follow the model of South Africa and preach safe sex and condoms instead of jesus and faithfulness. The message from South Africa still cntinues to send many down a slippery slope to hell. Lets pray that our message of Gods answer to aids will get through and that the people of Kenya will listen to Gos and not their government.
The third day was a straight gospel message for both services. The worship and sheer joy of these people was overwhelming. But praise God we saw people come to salvation including the brother of Pastor John. As you can imagine the relief and the tears as this young man came to Jesus were evident from family members.
Our final leg of the trip was another visit to Neema Childrens Home. The last visit saw 80 children living in terrible conditions. Now there are 97. Each child we examined had atypical signs of malnutrician. Tinitus Capitus, other fungal infections, lip blisters. The kids looked dirty and their clothes were little better than rags. At the moment we are trting to purchase for them a generator so the home can have regular electricity. And it needs to be a large generator too. I mistakenly believed a small er one priced at $600 would do, but we are looking for one in the region of $3000. Then we need to look at updating the antiquated wiring plus installing wiring in school rooms and dormatries.
Neema is a place that can melt your heart. I asked one young lad how long he had lived there? he replied four years. Then he said “can I come home wit you?” I tell you what, I was tempted. Its hard to see Neema and its children struggle like this with no government help at all.
Anyway tha was our trip. We saw lives saved, people helped and children fed. In a way this was your mission trip. For its our faithful Moriel supporters who by their generosity have made a difference to the lives of many children. So from the Moriel Board and every administrator; Thank You for your help. May the Lord Bless you and lead you to keep supporting the children of Sub Saharan Africa.
Pastor Dave Royle
Moriel Ministries SA Missions