Kisumu, a large city sitting on the edge of Lake Victoria that represents not only a geographical location, but a phase in our outreach life. Many things have happened since arriving in this city that is full of character and life. Meeting widows, orphans, and street people has been our main focus since arriving. There are so many stories to tell and share. Since it will take too long to share everything, I will begin with some things that have been the most impactful in these last two weeks.
The dump is set on a large piece of land that is two-thirds filled with trash, which is piled 10 feet high. There are always multiple fires burning throughout the heaps of trash. The smell that comes can be overwhelming to the senses, and only after being there for 30 minutes can one begin to breath without being overcome the smell. Here, lives were changed. It was from this place that we decided we would never be the same again.
Her name is Mercy. Her huge brown eyes and a joyful grin revealed little of the pain coming from the six-year-old’s infected hands. We were told she had fallen into a fire two weeks before, leaving her hands to infection, and her fingers to fuse together. If her hands weren’t dealt with, she would eventually need an amputation. Jenny couldn’t leave Mercy to such a fate. With the permission of family, Mercy was taken to the hospital and prepared to undergo surgery to remove the infection and get her hands healing properly. Jen stayed three days and two nights with Mercy. Due to language barriers, their form of communication was lots of smiles and numerous selfie-photos. God blessed us with the finances, equipment, and Garrett’s medical knowledge to continue on with Mercy’s recovery process after her release from the hospital. It has been a pleasure to see her around the apartments playing with the girls.
Daniel sits in a unique wheelchair that is similar to a bike. He pedals with his hands and transports himself all over Kisumu. We discovered Daniel’s infected half leg the same day we met Mercy. By God’s grace, he had survived this last year with a Staph. infection. We were able to get him treatment and he is continuing his daily care at the hospital. From the last report, he is doing well.
It happened our first day at the dump. The team was split into groups to minister to groups of dump workers. Felicia was on fire that day. Fritz had been sharing and believing God was going to continue to use us to heal the sick. So, walking in this belief, Felicia felt like God was leading her to pray a portion of scripture over her group of workers. One man there could barely hear, even with someone speaking loudly. In faith, Felicia and her team prayed for this man’s hearing. Three prayers were lifted up to God and after each prayer a little more of his hearing returned. By the end of the third prayer his hearing was completely restored.
Our Street Boys
The life of a street boy is a difficult one, fraught with danger and peril. Sniffing glue, to a street boy, is as important as water; an addiction that kills the desire to eat, sleep, and think clearly. It is an escape from pain and sorrows. Michael and Lawrence were two of over forty street boys that we met. At the ages of twelve and sixteen, they were some of the youngest of the group. Most of these boys hit the streets due to abuse, abandonment, or death in the home, to lead a life that shows them no love. Cindy was moved to brokenness, and with the help of Fritz and our Kenyan contact, George, removed him from the streets. Garrett was similarly affected when it came to Lawrence. Both boys were brought home, cleaned up, and arrangements were made for them to attend boarding school. They are both smiling, happy, and eagerly awaiting the start of their new lives.
A Hospital Treasure Hunt
This day we were asking for specifics. One day, before going out to visit the hospital, Fritz had each student prayerfully receive a word from God and write a letter for the person/people they would meet. We were asked to receive a word of knowledge and encouragement for whomever was met. Anthony wrote his letter and got the name “Rob”, writing Rob at the top of the page. Once at the hospital, the team divided to become acquainted with different patients. And guess who Anthony met? He met Robert. He was excited to meet this “Rob” God told him about. They ended up talking for a while. It was an encouragement for the entire team to see God speak, move, and prove Himself faithful in this way.
Other Ministry Opportunities
We have had a chance to visit Fritz’s mother’s friend. She has been supporting and communicating with Bishop Peter the last 30 years. It was a blessing to see his ministry and church with sweet loving women and older men. We were able to help provide finances for the roof on their kitchen building that will one day be used to serve meals to the congregation.
We have also had opportunities to speak and preform our dramas for local schools and groups of widows. The children love the skits. Garrett, Philip, Charley, Anthony, and Tristan do a good job at making the Wise Man skit very dramatic and funny. It has been the favorite at almost every school. The widows have been blessed, as well, by the messages a few of our team members brought. We had an opportunity to visit the “Solid Rock Widows Society” that meets once a month. Most of the ladies wear blue dresses and head scarves to the meeting. They are a joyful group of women who love to share and sing about the amazing love of Jesus. There was a blessing and spiritual peace about the group that you couldn’t help but relax and dig into the goodness of God.
Al’s adopted son, George, has been guiding us around Kisumu and his property. He is in the process of building a school and orphanage for his 15 orphans and future children. We have helped build a small trench for water pipes and moving piles of dirt to help restore the road. Al plans on staying another two months after we leave to help see the orphanage on its way.
Arrival of Al & Norma Gove
Al and Norma arrived on February 4 in Nairobi. George spent a few days away to pick them up, as well as gather some equipment for the orphanage. They all arrived in Kisumu on Thursday, February 5. It is a blessing to have Al and Norma back with the DTS. Al brings his passion and love for George and the construction site, while Norma brings her usual feisty flare to the team.
Other Blessings and Prayers
Last but not least, we are blessed to have Steve cook our suppers. He is a restaurant cook and does a fantastic job. Steve came recommended to us through his friendship with George. It has been our daily treasure and treat to have a creation by Steve.
God has blessed us so abundantly. We have had quite a few bumps and difficulties over the last few weeks, but have always seen God’s faithfulness, love, and conviction move. As of today we are thankful for our loving Savior whose mercy and grace never ceases to amaze us. Please keep us in prayer, that we will stay strong physically and spiritually. We want to finish off these last two weeks with courage, conviction, and love. With God’s help we will do all this and more! God bless! -Olivia