Thank you all for your prayers while we were in Kenya during August. We had an amazing time and learnt a lot about the situation for orphans in Kenya and more particularly about the exemplary work being done by Open Arms International in their village in Eldoret. We also had the privilege of seeing 3,400 people over four days in the medical clinic; including giving out several hundred pairs of glasses and Dr Steve Brown performing a minor op – all of this in an environment without running water or electricity.
During this time we also saw performances from Brightline (one of The Message bands); a football tournament – it was a good job we had medics on hand (ask Matt Wells for more information); and children’s work. Many people chose to make a commitment to Christ – pray for follow up and long term commitments.
In the second week, most of the team were involved in children’s activities so that the house parents could all attend a Marriage Course run by Dave and Jo Clark. We ran sports events; dance, drama and singing and various painting and craft activities. And for the younger children we had sand and bubbles and shaving foam – all messy experiences with 32 toddlers!
The final few days included attending the outreach festival where Brightline were one of the preforming bands alongside some Kenyan acts which were well renowned in their culture. David Gallagher preached each day and again we had the privilege of seeing hundreds of people going forward – in the pouring rain – to give their lives to Christ. Ian Ashworth has a lovely story to tell about this.
Please continue to pray for the work of Open Arms and also for the ongoing effect of the trip in the lives of all those who went – it is a life changing experience.
For more information, make a donation or to sponsor a child visit the Open Arms website at www.openarms.org.uk or speak to any member of the Wells family or Ian Ashworth.
Alice writes: We ran a teenage girls evening in the village where we made friendship bracelets and just had a giggle and danced. It was good to focus on the older girls rather than the children as they seem to spend their whole time playing mum to their ’10+’ younger siblings. I managed to paint lots of their nails during the week which they loved (neon pink being the
colour of choice), and even painted some of the mothers nails! In return I got my hair braided African style – which I’m not convinced was the best look on me.
Trish writes: When we talk about the medical camp, don’t imagine our antiseptic doctors’ surgeries: we had no running water, no electricity, latrines you don’t want to know about (and that does not begin to convey the smell) and cows and sheep wandering about the place.
I worked in the pharmacy and we were always the last to finish so had to decipher doctors’ hand writing in the dark, by the light of battery powered lanterns and head torches – they used these in triage as well
Phil writes: The eye clinic was run in a classroom in the school in Mosoriot. We had created a sort of “consultation room” by hanging a tarpaulin in one end of the room for Ian (the eye doctor or “Daktari”) and we had put some very old looking school desks around the room where we could carry out basic eye tests and try out glasses on our patients from the selection we had brought from England. Down one side of the classroom Zoe, Rosie and Isabel (all suitably qualified) carried out eye treatment and cleaning with ointments.
Quite early on in my first morning a gentleman in his 40s came to see me, as he had been referred for a pair of “readers”. So I took him through the basic tests. This was to read a text (in Swahili of course) in reducing sizes until he could no longer read it. This led me to try on a pair of glasses that matched – and he put them on and he could read again! . This brought a lovely smile to his face! We had brought a selection of Christianity Explored Mark’s Gospels and I offered him one as a present (not something we could do with the NHS…) and he took it, opened it and started to read it out to me. He turned the pages on and pointed out a heading – Jesus Lord of the Resurrection. He was so pleased and could have stayed sitting their reading all day, I am sure! This was followed by many others who came through whose eyes were opened (Is 35:5) and who we were able to put a smile on their face. I can’t remember his name, it was one brief encounter amongst many that day (we collectively saw 900 in the eye clinic over four days) but it just stuck in my mind and was a privilege to witness.