There are times when Tenwek feels separated from the rest of the world and the goings on we see on facebook. This is not one of those times. We are all going through so much of the same things right now....strange, strange things.
Since the international flights have stopped, a number of missionary families have left on embassy chartered flights back to the US. On our compound alone we have prayed with and waved off six families so far. It keeps reminding me of the story of Gideon who kept looking at the decreasing numbers of warriors that were getting ready for battle. Not to be too dramatic...but corona can feel like a battle, am I right?
Just this past week, COVID has finally reached our hospital. We are glad that we have had months to prepare and a few false alarms that helped to work out the kinks. As our CEO, Shem Tangus, wrote this past week, "The temptation to be afraid is certainly there. In our human strength, we will surely fail. However, we trust that God is bigger than our fears. God is more powerful than a virus. In our weakness, He is made strong. We trust that we will continue to treat and it is Jesus who heals. This is our chance to show others how we trust in a God who loves us and loves them. Let us rise to that occasion." We are praying that this would be a time when many turn to Jesus. And those who know Him would dig down deep and be made more like Him in this process.
On a different note, do you remember when we did some COVID training with our Tabitha leaders where they learned about making soap was using tippy taps to be able to wash hands without running water? Peris and I have gone to four different leaders' homes in the past couple of weeks to follow up with them, see their faces and find out how they are being affected during the pandemic. We heard stories of grief and loss, stories of hope and victory and above all stories of God's faithfulness. As we talked we learned that they have passed on what they learned and 28 women are now making hand soap and selling it for income!!! It was so encouraging to see that we all serve The God Who Sees us, each one, and knows us by name. What a gift it is to see the Lord working wonderfully in very hard circumstances.
Mike (pediatric surgeon) and Julie (nurse/mother to two) living in Kenya, East Africa