First off I'd like to apologize for taking so long sending an update from Kenya. We began the clinic on Tuesday and had four full days of clinic. Our days have been very long beginning early in the morning and going until late at night. As such, it has been challenging to find time to send updates. I will give it update now but will probably send something more detailed in the next of the days when we arrive in Nairobi. The clinic days have been long but it's been an incredible experience this year.
Our mornings usually begin with breakfast at 6:30 AM. we have been very fortunate this year to stay at a place called Afrika Lodges, which is the place that we stayed at last year. All of our meals, including breakfast, have been good. Not quite roughing it but I'm not complaining. After breakfast, we have a short devotional by one of our team members and then we load up in the vans to travel to the clinic sites. One of the logistical issues this year has been that the sites are in small towns. We've been staying in Voi which is city on the Nairobi-Mombassa road mostly because the lodgings are better. And each day we've been driving out to Mwatate and Bura, which is about a 30 and 45 minute drive respectively. The drive is not bad because the road is good up to the town of Mwatate. But after Mwatate, the road is not paved, so it's quite a bumpy ride.
Construction on this road is being completed while we are here. Apparently, this road is very important for trucks and cargo that come from Tanzania traveling to Mombassa, the port city. This is important, because once the road is completed, it is expected that the cities of Bura and Mwatate will become bigger and more populous. This is part of the reason why the decision was made to plant two churches along this future corridor.
This week, we have usually arrived at our clinic in Bura around 9:00 AM. After a brief song and prayer, the clinic begins. The first clinic day on Tuesday was a bit slow but this is typical, as the locals are just starting to realize what we're doing. Patients line up in a queue and are called back to triage. They then wait a second time to see the "daktari" or doctor. I can only speak for my site at Bura, but overall the pace of the clinic was brisk, and I'm very proud of how everyone performed. It was one of the smoothest clinics I've ever participated in during these mission trips. After they see the doctor, they are then taken to the pharmacy van for their medications. As I have mentioned before, we've discovered it's much easier to take the seats out of one of our vans and just use the van for our pharmacy. That way, we are not loading medicines in and out every day. Once the patient receives their medicines, they are then taken to "counseling" where one of the Kenyan pastors has the opportunity to pray with each person and share the Gospel.
As i mentioned, the first clinic day was a bit slow and we saw only 100 patients. Sounds like a lot, but with five doctors at one site (and no EMR!), we can go pretty fast. On Wednesday, our pace picked up and we saw almost 200 patients. Thursday and Friday, we saw even more patients, approx another 500 for both days. So, all in all, we've been able to see about 800 patients through our clinic at Bura. That's not including our clinic at Mwatate, that has seen a similar number of patients. Dr. Hudgens told me last night that he estimated they've seen about 700 patients this week. And we still got one more clinic day today!
The crusades each night have gone very well. At Bura, we have been set up in the middle of the town on a dusty side street. The praise team from Agape usually begins the crusades with songs and worship. And then one of our team members comes up to share the Gospel. And once the crusade concludes, we head up to the church for an evening "revival" meeting.
Sorry for spilling out all of the details, but I did want to give you an idea of what it's been like for our days. As I mentioned, they have been very long days, particularly for those who stayed for the revival meetings. On those nights, I'm not getting back to the lodge until 8:30 PM and then it's time for dinner.
Today (Saturday) there are 12 of us who are traveling to Loitoktok to dedicate the opening of the orphanage. The rest of the team are staying to run a 1/2 day clinic at Mwatate. Tonight, we will be having a banquet to show our appreciation for our Kenyan team. Should be a full and wonderful day!
There is still so much to share and I hope to bring you some stories in the next couple of days. I still must tell you about Francis, Bernard, the two construction workers, some of the clinic patients, and the one man saved during one of our crusades. By the way, I don't know yet how many salvations there have been yet, but God has certainly been using this mission to draw people to Himself. One of the Kenyan pastors, Viktor, told me that we had about 65 salvations at the clinic... on Thursday... at Bura. That's only one day... and it doesn't include Mwatate. It is certainly not by our own power, strength, or words. God has used this offering of service to draw men, women and children to new life in Him. Praise God!