If you’ve read our blog for any length of time, you may know my (Cindy’s) desire to do more to serve the folks in need here in our community. We had a family car for few weeks, during which time we went out together once, but otherwise it has been very difficult (and/or costly) to get us all out and about. I don’t go out much personally, either, as there are many household and homeschooling responsibilities demanding my consistent attention. I don’t mind it, as I do believe that a woman should be busy at home and committed to discipling her own children. However, I not only want to serve others, but want to give my children opportunities to do the same. It would seem sad, indeed, if we were here in Africa where there are so many needs and we did not do our best to meet them.
Another impediment to “doing more” here has been the language barrier. We continue our Swahili study but don’t practice enough and aren’t learning at a very great speed. Unfortunately, we’re surrounded by just enough English-speakers that they are gracious enough to speak it with us and so we aren’t forced to use the Swahili we do know. Equally unfortunately, most folks here don’t speak English. So even when I make an acquaintance, “want” to go further in a discipleship context, or want to implement projects of various kinds, there is this very real limitation. When Marc goes on missions, he brings along a very gifted translator; day-to-day here in the village, I of course don’t have that luxury.
I’ve made this a matter of continued prayer and have been very glad to see the Lord bring me many opportunities to give and help others in small ways. And last week, I was percolating a few larger-scale ideas that I’m excited about and might actually be able to execute. One is a series of medical clinics for the local children. Quite a few of my neighboring Mamas have visited over the months, asking for medical assistance for their children. The most common problems are intestinal worms or amoeba,and ringworm. These are easily treated but the unfortunate reality for most of these families is that they can treat these conditions or the family can eat supper. I’m able to help one-on-one, but doing anything bigger has seemed an impossibility (due to my home constraints and language inabilities, see above).
It occurred to me that I might collaborate with one of the woman in our local fellowship, who is a social worker. Her role has specifically been to facilitate medical clinics and help meet the needs of the disadvantaged in our community. When I approached her with the idea of doing a de-worming clinic, she was very excited and more than willing to help. Apparently, at one time these had been fairly common but have recently been less so, due to lack of funding. Only one such clinic has been offered recently, at a local school about a month ago.
I asked her if she could coordinate with the village elders and help me find a suitable location. She was ready to do weekly clinics at multiple locations and offer a range of treatments for all kinds of basic illnesses, but I had to slow her down and explain that right now I’m not sure what our funding can support, and I wanted to first do a “test” clinic, starting with just de-worming, to see what the response would be and how much more we could continue to do. She assured me she understood and would get to work on it right away.
Today, after our morning home fellowship, she told me she is organizing three “test clinics”–one right across the street at a local church, one in the village center, and one at a nearby market. I had to keep from reminding her that “test case” meant one clinic, as I’m not sure we can financially do more right now. I know the need is there, and I guess we’ll just have to step up to meet it.
In our very immediate neighborhood I can count at least 40 children who regularly come over to play. Many more mill around outside our gate. There are many children in our area, and this is a very basic medical service that would meet a very real need. We’re starting with the de-worming because it is also the cheapest to treat. 50 shillings per dose is all it takes–about 60 cents. We have to buy the medicine in advance of the clinic, and neither I nor Rose (who is coordinating for me) know how many children to expect; however, we both estimate at least 200 here. In town and at the larger market across the way, we’ll probably need more–300 to 400 doses. For a round number, let’s say 1,000 bottles of de-worming medicine will be sufficient for the need; that will cost $600. (Marc also wants to make copies of The Two Kingdoms tract available, which cost about 8 shillings each to print.) That’s a lot more than I expected when I talked to Rose about hosting a clinic to serve the kids in our neighborhood. Will you help? If assisting with this project interests you, please visit www.KingdomDrivenMinistries.org/donate to make a tax-deductible donation. Just earmark it at checkout for “Children’s Clinic.”
I’m not much of a fund-raiser, but if God is in this project, I trust that HE will provide. I have lots of great ideas for service projects I’d like to implement in the future and if this is a big disaster (knowing me) I’ll probably get discouraged…so more than anything I do appreciate your prayers! I’ll keep you posted with dates and other details as we get more organized. God bless you!