Saturday, December 11

Trips to Kenya to reach the unreached

We are planning our trips for next year. You may want to consider joining us or you may know others who have a passion to go where others don't go. This next year our trips will be in partnership with the PLO Lumumba Foundation and will be to the far Northeast, Northwest and Southern most part of Kenya. Our focus will be:

1. Medical camps
2. Sports
3. Evangelism
4. Civic education (to assist Dr. Lumumba in his fight against corruption)
5. Promotion of health as an asset
6. what if? Campaign fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS

We will equip and support the kenya team of musicians, preachers and doctors as they reach 9 unreached tribes. Trip dates include:

February - Marsabit
June - Turkana
August - Mombasa
October - village outreach not determined yet

As you consider if you are called to go with us you might want to read what Pat, a nurse who went to Marsabit with us in August said about her trip:

"The model of coming along side ministries and supporting them is so effective.  Those that are in the trenches day in and day out need various forms of support, encouragement and counsel.  Each of the ministries we worked with were strong spiritually as reflected by their fruit. Partners for Care is not just about doing good things for struggling people.  PFC is about seeing God transform lives through us, His hands and feet.  The ministry believes not just in the concrete ways we can serve, but also the very big God we serve who still does miracles today!"

Come with us and meet the people and ministries PFC equips to serve God in the slums and in the deserts of Kenya. See the miracles for yourself.

Blessings,

Connie
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Thursday, December 9

Partners for Care - just where we need to be

I have returned from Kenya. I want to use this update to share with you

the status of the Partners for Care organization in Kenya.

It has been said every man has a turning point...I believe every
organization also has a turning point and PFC Kenya ends this year having
made a turning point. Our mission is to equip, engage, encourage and
empower young Christian leaders in the fight to save lives for the
kingdom. It hasn't always been easy to do this. We have struggled with
many attacks from the enemy but God has been faithful.

We are working with the highest moral authority of the Nation - Dr. PLO
Lumumba who is championing the move to eradicate all corruption from
Kenya. It is an honor and a blessing to work with him and the people who
run his foundation. One man in particular, Vincent Omondi, doesn't speak
of serving his people - he serves them! Through medical camps and his own
personal work in the slums of Kenya, he shows the hurting, the lost and
homeless Christ's love and brings them to Christ. We are blessed to serve
with him.

The PFC staff in Kenya are leading the way - we in the US are supporting
their efforts. They work in the slums, using music, sports and medical
outreaches to transform lives - to win souls for Christ. Sammy Wanjau
leads the team with good direction and dedication. He is well respected by
the PFC staff and pastors and community leaders. Sam Wachira leads the
what if? Life Changing Centre, working closely with Sammy as they create a
sustainable business that helps the small village and slum of Mururi.
Just yesterday a TV station interviewed the team to learn of their work.
The news show about Kenya Partners for Care will air 6 times on TV next
week.

We used to struggle when working with some Kenyan doctors at our medical
camps because of their lack of passion for their people - no more! We now
work with Helping Hands led by Dr. Martin Okello who serves the poor with
passion, kindness and respect. We will hold medical camps together all
over Kenya next year.

Pastor David Karanja of the Christ Harvesters International Ministry
(based in Marietta, Ga.) has agreed to preach the gospel where ever we go
for medical camps. We could not have asked for a better man of God to
spread the gospel! Our opportunities in Kenya continue to expand. We are
now working through PCEA churches to spread the message of HIV/AIDS.

And for me personally I have been blessed by those who have gone - seen
the work and now call this "our ministry". What a blessing to have
passionate
people engaged to help equip the Kenyan team to do God's work.

This next year will be the best year for Partners for Care in Kenya. Thank
you for reading these updates, for sending encouraging messages and
especially for the prayers and financial support. It takes many people to
help the children, the hurting, the homeless and lost. I look forward with
great anticipation to what God has planned for these young leaders in
Kenya as they work everyday to save lives for the kingdom.

Blessings,


Connie

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Dearest Connie,

Thank you for the continuing updates of your ministries in Kenya. I am so
proud of you and what you have wrought in that little corner of the world.
I look back at some of your first attempts to satisfy God's calling on
your life by organizing teams to provide medical clinics in the slums of
Nairobi.

I remember sitting at the dinner table at H.E.A.R.T. in the outskirts of
Nairobi and the feeling of despair of you and the team members when your
attempts were thwarted by the arrogance of a Kenyan doctor hired by you to
provide the medical services. I understood his usurpation of the team's
effort for his own self aggrandizement, of his barely concealed contempt
for your female leadership, and our discussions of how that model compared
to my own somewhat limited knowledge of fielding medical teams. You asked
for my input from a few of my experiences of leading medical teams to
various parts of the world to address the matter at hand. I shared what I
could, but the model I followed was more of servant leadership. My main
advice was for you to take charge, quit beating yourself up over the past
decisions, put the doctor in his place and pray for direction from God. I
imagined that the following day would be confrontational with perhaps a
parting of the ways with the hired Kenyan medical staff.

You speak in the current e-mail update of recognizing a turning point in a
person's or organization's life. What I saw the next day was the
beginning of a metamorphosis of Connie Cheren. Instead of the
confrontation that I had imagined, (and probably would have precipitated
myself had I been leading) you exhibited an act of servant leadership that
will always be with me. Rather than calling the team out and explaining
how it was to be henceforth, you and your little US team held a foot
washing service for the Kenyan team! That act of humility and servant
attitude was something that none of them (nor had I) ever witnessed in
such a situation. God used you in a way I would never have dreamt, but
the result was that Kingdom work was done from that point.

I understand the trials and tribulations you have faced over the past
years in the pursuit of providing for those you serve. I have seen the
efforts temporarily sidetracked by relying on those whose heart and
service was not for those needing food, shelter and medicines, but using
your good efforts to attempt to take credit for your work to advance their
own ill-advised cause. You have held the faith during these times,
forgiven the instigators of these travesties, moved on and continued the
fight for the right. You have recruited where possible from those that
you went to serve; you have empowered those with the vision and calling
among the poorest of the poor, and have pledged your own health, service
and treasure to that Kingdom calling.

I have traveled the world with some of the best and brightest Followers of
Christ. I have served with Wes and Joy Griffin of I L I in training
leaders worldwide; I have led local medical and construction teams to
several continents; and from my Board seat on The Mission Society, I see
the cutting edge of Mission work worldwide and those missionaries who are
leading those efforts. My hat is off to you and those who have been
inspired by you - the leaders you have supported in P F C - The Kenyan
nationals who share your dream and survive on your support - and the US
supporters that you have opened a door for to share in the Great
Commission. I know where the real talent and drive emanates, and that is
with an Atlanta nurse who could not resist His call for her service!

Long ago I listened to a college professor who shared a Life Lesson with
me that I shall never forget. He said, "In this world, there are only two
types of people - winners and losers. The winners give, and the losers
take."

Connie, you are a winner.

Blessings,

Jim Davis

Monday, December 6

When God shows you a need He wants you to act...not plan

Last Wednesday God showed me a need. And, He expected me to act with compassion. Instead, I went home to plan what to do. But, if I am honest with myself God told me what to do...right then not later. Nick and Charles had told me for two days they had a new client. Charles - a young man of 29. Charles was bedridden from the disease of AIDS but he had something else wrong with him. Nick would describe he was bleeding from his leg..I asked medical assessment questions but couldn't figure out what was wrong with him. Nick said people in Mathare slum were "afraid" of Charles because of the "bleeding" and were running away from him.

On Wednesday I was able to go to Mathare to see this young man. We were blessed to be taking with us Michael Agwanda from Life for Children Ministry and his wife Lola who is a doctor. We found Charles bedridden, in pain and unable to move. He had a large growth on his left knee. Searching for any information about his health condition we found a folded up piece of paper. It was a referral for follow-up for the cancer tumor on his left knee. He was to have radiation and chemotherapy. The referral was written in August. Obviously, Charles could not afford that kind of treatment. So, now he lay dying. Laying in a shack in a slum, on fifty sheets barely able to open his eyes. We prayed for him and went to plan what to do. We knew he would need a chest x-ray to see if the cancer had spread. Then we would know if treatment was still an option or if he needed palliative care. He had developed a bedsore on his hip. The CT volunteers were visiting him changing the dressing on the bedsore and offering what support they could.

I wanted to get him clean sheets, pain medicine that relieve his pain and arrange with someone to stay with him while he made his passage to heaven. I am a nurse. I know what the dying need. But, I didn't act...and on Friday we received word that God relieved the suffering of this young man and called him home.

I made a pledge that the next time God allows me the opportunity to meet the needs of a dying person I will act with haste...and not plan. All Nick and Charles and their volunteers need is the medicines, the clean sheets, the food...they do the work. We can help them. I could have helped them this time but didn't. Next time I will...

Connie
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Saturday, December 4

Playing barefoot

The Kenya Partners for Care staff use many different ways to reach the youth with the message of living for Christ and HIV prevention. Their latest efforts is soccer. The staff have started two what if? soccer teams in Muruiri slum - under 16 and over 16. These boys practice everyday - without a soccer field, without shoes or uniforms. The community comes out to watch them practice. As I stood watching them play in a grassy field barefoot I imagined them in uniforms and soccer shoes. George works with them teaching them about how to live as good examples to others in this small village/slum area. Just another way Partners for Care is helping transform the next generation - one boy at a time.

Connie
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Tuesday, November 23

Many people served - the devil is shamed

It is hard to believe but in 7 days time we went 12 hours north to Marsabit and 12 hours west to Cherengany - all on the "roads" of Kenya. I use the word roads even though at times there were no roads.
The medical camps in Cherengany met so many challenges that at times we could only laugh at the disappointments. But, the leaders from the PLO Foundation who we partner with to do medical camps said it best "the devil was shamed". None of the challenges stopped us from serving the people. The day before we left for the camps everything seemed "to fall apart". Drugs weren't ready, bed nets weren't available, transportation was a problem. I put out a specific prayer requests for people to pray for God to intervene if He felt us worthy. Early Friday morning we secured both the drugs and the bednets.
We arrived in Cherengany very late Friday night only to have the bus breakdown as we were delivering people to their hotels. The staff from Lumumba Foundation stayed up all night solving that problem. Somehow though we managed to get everyone to their camp site - we did four locations. People were already waiting to see a doctor. At the end of the day:
1536 were seen by doctors and received medications
700 children received polio immunization as we launched the Kenya polio program
900 mosquito nets were distributed
306 were tested for HIV/AIDS with 12 referred for follow-up
Many received community health and family planning
Tom from our team analyzed the water situation and developed a plan for them for safe drinking water
352 bibles were donated for the people
All were prayed for



Tom praying with the sick


The Nandi women singing to the guests at one of the sites

Transportation back to Nairobi was well let's say interesting as we didn't have the bus we traveled there anymore....but we all arrived safely.

The best part of all it was meeting a team of Kenyan doctors who are passionate for their people. The doctor who headed one of the sites told me when I called to see if he was ready to be picked up..."We can't stop now, we have 20 people waiting in line to be seen". He is a real servant to the people.
The final report written by the Lumumba Foundation is titled, What if there was passion for servant leadership?
Tonight we meet with the Lumumba team to debrief, analyze this camp and plan for the next one - Marsabit in February. I am looking for passionate people who want to come with me to serve along with the Lumumba team in Marsabit. Doing medical camps in Marsabit is as Ryan used to say...a task that is daunting and seems sometimes impossible but with God all things are possible.
Blessed to serve with those who care for the people here in Kenya,
Connie
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Friday, November 19

Little Elizabeth laid to rest

Early yesterday morning George took Nick to the morgue at Kenyetta Hospital where Nick dressed Little Elizabeth in her burial clothes, placed her in the small coffin he had made for her and placed on top of one of vans for the trip to bury her. The van was full as George drove Nick, Charles and 8 CT members to Elizabeth's home village. A small car with 5 more people followed behind.

When I sent the message that Little Elizabeth had died, Robert (a team member from the August trip) wrote:

In Kenya, you never know when you hug a child, when that beautiful creature may ascend to Heaven.  You never know if it will be in a year, a month, next week or even tomorrow.  You never know, when you look into their eyes whether the next time you visit Kenya, they will be looking and smiling at you or Jesus.  You never know who that treasure will be holding our her arms to for a hug.  You never know, only He does.

Nick has accepted Elizabeth's death telling me that he read in Isaiah 55 where it says God calls home some early to protect them from the pain and suffering they would endure here on earth. He also told me he never saw anyone fight for their life as Elizabeth did. He said she would ask Nick to pray for her. Nick brought me her hospital reports - she died from kidney failure.

When CT sent out the announcement they closed by saying:

"When we lose someone we love, our bitterest tears are called forth by the memories of hours when we loved not enough". I can tell you Nick will not cry bitter tears as he loved Elizabeth and cared for her with the love of Jesus.

On the list of help Nick needed this week was "white dress for burial". When I received that request I was traveling back from Marsabit on Wednesday late afternoon - they were to leave the next day to bury her. The Water Team and I stopped at a small village and went into a grocery store. Upstairs we saw a beautiful white dress with pink satin flowers and pink velvet sash. There was only one and it was Elizabeth's size. The team remembered she would need shoes. They had one little pair of white shoes perfect size and a pair of white tights with pink ribbons. Amazing...all perfect for Elizabeth. When we gave to Nick late that night he said Elizabeth would look like the angel she was.

Thank you for your prayers for Nick and all those who loved Elizabeth and will miss her. She was the story teller at the children's home always telling the other children when they returned from school the events that had happened while they were away. We are helping Nick organize a memorial for Elizabeth that all the children can attend.

Grateful for those who read these updates and care,

Connie
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Wednesday, November 17

The Water Team

The team that is traveling with me this trip all have an interest in water - both access to water and clean water. Tom is with FirstWater, Inc.. He partnered with us in August cost-sharing for a water filter that we took to Marsabit. Belinda is the Director of the Joe Beasley Foundation. Mr. Beasley has faithfully followed the work of Partners for Care for several years. We have wanted to work together and have come together on this water project. Deb has been to Kenya many times and is here to help us connect with other programs and to "see" the Partners for Care programs.

This team has done what some would call crazy. We flew in Sunday night and within four hours we were on our way to Marsabit. Only those who have gone to Marsabit know what it is like. We travel 10-12 hours north from Nairobi - six hours which is off-road through the desert. Off-roading looks fun on the TV commercials but soon gets very tiresome.

But, they endured and we arrived in Masabit at noon on Monday. We were anxious to go see the Gabra tribe. (For more on the Gabra tribe read the blog on www.partnersforcare.org for the August mission trip).


Our vehicle stuck in sand in Marsabit

The children's feet that we treated in August for jiggers were still healed and Jane who we taught how to treat the jiggers had helped more children with the supplies we left her. We saw and held the baby that was born the day we did the medical camp. She is 3 months old and looked good. The next day we went to see the Rendile tribe. We arrived in time to see 65 little children sitting on the floor in a one room small building reciting their lessons. Their teacher is paid $10.00 a month. They were precious all reciting their lessons as one of the little three year olds led them using his stick baton to point out the phonetic sounds on the chalk board.

We had brought supplies to treat the jiggers but the children needed more than treated for jiggers. They seemed sicker than when we were there in August. We triaged the children assessing what medicines they needed. We were not there to do a medical camp so we did not have medicines. 26 children had fungus infections on their heads, two with ear infections so bad you didn't need an otoscope to diagnose and 3 possible cases of malaria.

Without medicine we couldn't help. We drove to the closest place where the Rendile have medical care - 5 miles away. There were two nurses working there and we asked one to come with us with the medicine needed to treat the children. It was a blessing to see the children get treated.

The Water Team came to assess the water situation for these tribes. Everywhere they saw women and children either going to fetch water, waiting in line for water or returning from fetching water - walking with the familiar yellow jugs on their backs. We were able to meet with the Kenya government officials - water management, enviorment impact and the Public Health Officer for Marsabit. All of them were very helpful sharing what has happened to both secure water and clean what and what is planned. We learned there is 80% illiteracy in Marsabit with a population of 200,000. The top three illnesses are upper respiratory, malaria and diarrhea. The diarrhea is related to the poor quality of water. We saw most of the water sources in Marsabit. We also saw a program in progress for harvesting the mist to use as water.

We asked what they believe are the things to do to help improve the water situation. Their answer:

1. harvest water with rain guards and tanks all public buildings - schools, churches, etc

2. trucks with water tanks to distribute water

3. education of the people on safe water

We saw the progress on the PFC Hope Farm. This farm is growing food to feed the many orphans in this area. The ground has been tilled and some plantings are in. We have purchased a water tank that will help with watering the plants.

There was a lot accomplished in two days. The team worked from early morning until late at night...with no complaining. We are now on our way back to Nairobi.

Deb with a child in Marsabit

A child drinking water directly off a water tap


At Dr. Lumumba's office


Left for this team - medical camps with PLO Lumumba's Foundation and work with Nick and Charles and other programs the team members need to connect with.

Praying to help the people of Marsabit,

Connie
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Comments:

Dear Connie:
Thank you so much for including the Foundation. Although we don't have money at this moment just to have a presence in the person of Belinda is a blessing. As always your report is very touching. May God continue to bless Partners for Care as you serve G
od's people. Give me a call when you can. Give Belinda and other team members my love.
Joe Beasley

Monday, November 15

2nd annual Run for Rebecca a success

The weather was perfect for a run. All the volunteers showed up early to set-up and register the runners. Thousand Hills Coffee was there with coffee - such a blessing early in the morning! David Gruber had made a new video showing the work of Partners for Care. Seven board members came to help as well as seven Jr. Partners for Care representatives. Alpharetta police blocked off the road and city works employees set out the cones. Months of preparations and many hours of volunteer time paid off. Runners really seemed to appreciate the "African" prizes. We were especially pleased to have representatives there from the Christian Runners group. We will meet with them in December to plan next year's run. Thanks to all who helped this year we had 20 sponsors! Some repeats from last year Star Travel, InComm and new ones Parson's, Miller Realty etc. We took notes on ways we could improve next year's race. All the funds raised this year will help with the mission in Kenya of saving lives for the kingdom. Grateful for a successful run, Connie
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Sunday, November 14

Little Elizabeth

Our plane has taken an emergency landing in Rome to remove a passenger who has had a stroke. I turned on my phone to receive the following message from Nick:

ELIZA IS DEAD

I feel so overwhelmingly sad for Nick. I wish this plane would get there so I can be with him. This is now the 78th person Nick and Charles have helped who has died from AIDS - the 23rd child. Little Elizabeth was so special, so little and so frail with a disease she was born with.

I will let you know more as I arrive and see Nick.

Pray for God to comfort Nick and all those who knew and loved Little Elizabeth,

Connie
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Tuesday, November 9

Partners for Care is very pleased to announce the newly formed Jr. Partners for Care. Led by Laura Espisto there are 8 high school students representing 8 high schools. They are passionate about their faith and their call to serve God. Read about them in their profiles. We are very blessed to work with such dedicated young people. Come meet them at the Run for Rebecca this Saturday. They will all be there! Connie

Monday, November 8

Little Elizabeth needs prayers

She is three years old...born with AIDS. She Nick's niece - one of the 34 orphans Nick cares for. She has just been hospitalized with vomiting and diarrhea. Nick texted me and asked for prayers for her. Pray God will heal her.

Praying for Little Elizabeth,

Connie


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-----Original Message-----
From: Connie Cheren <ccheren@aol.com>
Date: Mon, 8 Nov 2010 10:00:45
To: Connie Cheren<ccheren@aol.com>
Subject:

Ashamed

Most of you know Nick. Some of you have been to Kenya and met him and walked with him through Mathare Slum as he showed you the work of Community Transformers. Others know Nick through the reading of the updates I send you.

I believe God uses Nick to speak to me in ways that break my heart. It isn't that Nick knows that or even that he tries to do that but it does happen. This morning I called Nick. He had not communicated recently and I wanted to check on him and the children he cares for. I told him the good news that Jane Lumumba (Dr. Lumumba's daughter who is interning for us this year) has agreed to help Nick develop a plan to secure funding. While Nick's ministry, Community Transformers, is long on passion and care for the homeless, hurting and those infected with HIV/AIDS, it is short on business plans, budgets, and even a brochure showing their work. Nick responded by saying how welcome she is and how glad he is for the help. Then he said, "I am always so ashamed to have to ask for food for the children".

Nick is ashamed because he can't as a young man with only volunteers as staff care for 34 orphaned children? I am the one ashamed as I sit in the comfort of my home with plenty of food. Ashamed of the ways I have spent money in the past. Ashamed I haven't been able to help him and the children more.

Pray for Jane as she helps Nick. Pray for someone to come along side Nick and CT to as Jane said "help them to prepare themselves in a manner that allows them to ask for funding for their work".

Thanking God for sending Nick to remind me what it is important to God,

Connie
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Thursday, September 9

Want to go to Kenya?

I will be going to Kenya Nov. 14 - Dec. 3. This trip will include:

1. A trip to Marsabit to check on the water filter, take the shoe design and tools for the people to make shoes to prevent jiggers and to follow-up on the Hope Farm (a farming project to grow food to feed the many orphans in this area).

2. To hold a medical camp with the Lumumba Foundation. This one will be in the Western part of Kenya. We will also do a what if? campaign there and evangelism outreach.

3. To attend the Dec. 3 celebration of the pastor training school Beth Casey and Sally Gresham have opened.

If you want to go you can go for part or all of the trip. The airfares are about the lowest they are all year.

Let me know...

Connie
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Wednesday, September 8

Partners for Care partners with International Shoemaking Design (see PFC on their website www.saintbrave.com)

Sandra Bolton was touched when she read about the children in Marsabit needing shoes to prevent the jiggers from infesting in their feet. She was moved to do something about it. She searched the internet and found International Shoemaking Design and contacted them telling them about Marsabit. To her surprise someone from the company called her.

That was just three weeks ago. In this short time, the designers at International Shoemaking design have designed a special shoe for the children that can be made in Marsabit. They are donating the tools necessary to make the shoes. Pastor Hirbo will have the youth of the church make the shoes as a mission outreach to the unreached tribes.

International Shoemaking Design has a website for their non-profit part of their business www.saintbrave.com. Go to their website and see the story of Marsabit.

Thank you Sandra for not just be moved by what you learned about the children but doing something about it.

I will carry the tools, pattern, etc. with me when I travel to Marsabit in November. And, thank you International Shoemaking Design for caring to help the children in Marsabit.

Praying for the children in Marsabit,

Connie
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Sunday, August 29

Returning from Kenya

Today I am returning from Kenya...to my family and friends. I have missed my family and friends and feel blessed to have people I love to return to. This trip to work in the ministry of Partners for Care was very encouraging in many ways. Here are some of the ways:
1. The team from Michigan lead by Linda and joined by TJ from Atlanta was what every ministry hopes for. They came, dared to go to the unreached, served so humbly and most have expressed a desire to help the ministry. I am excited to work with them as they see where and how God wants them to help.
2. The work of the PFC team in Kenya has been recognized by people and organizations in Kenya that are leading the Nation in changes that will spread the gospel and help the hurting. We have been asked to work with the PLO Lumumba Foundation and this trip we did a medical camp with them. Dr. PLO Lumumba is one of the most respected Christian leaders in Kenya. He has just assumed the position as Director of the Anti-Corruption Commission in Kenya. Many are hopeful he will stop corruption which will help the poor and the sick. We are privileged to work with him. We are planning the next medical camp and will do one in each region of Kenya with them. They have asked us to organize the medical part of the mission, the HIV awareness and testing and spreading of the gospel. Everything we love doing!

The PFC team with some people from the Lumumba foundation



The PFC team at Dr. Lumumba's home in Kisumu

3. Kenya has enacted a new constitution. With a grand celebration attended by many East African presidents and a quarter million Kenyans the Nation became as they call it a Second Republic. Not since the country obtained its freedom in 1963 has there been such a celebration or such a time of hope. The constitution changes many things including that all children should be educated. It creates 8 regions and the plan is to develop each region starting with their assets so children can go school, people will have healthcare and there will be employment opportunities. It is a good time in the history of Kenya. Having seen the results of the post-election violence when I traveled the Nation on a peace bus, it was good to see the determination for kenya to become a great Nation for all its people.
Thank you for reading the updates, your encouraging emails and mostly for your prayers,

Connie
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Saturday, August 28

They came to serve

We were blessed this week to have a team come to serve with us. They are sent from a South African organization - Global Challenge Expeditions . As young people they travel the world trusting God will show them where they are to serve. They select ministries in different countries and stay with them serving in any capacity they are asked. Once they were asked just to pray for a ministry that was struggling and they prayed for three weeks.

There were five on the team - Madeleen, Maggie, Werner, Cornelius and Gerrie. Cornelius is actually from Zambia before he moved to South Africa. On the first night they sat with us and simply said "we came to serve - tell us how we can serve you and others in your ministry".

They have served all week. They planted a very large garden with the children at CT children's home moving them closer to becoming food secure; they enlarged our garden at the PFC house; they made learning material for the children's home in our area and visited the children there; they sorted, counted and organized all of our medical supplies for our next medical camp; they helped with marketing ideas for our what if? center and cyber; and did a prayer walk through our village. The last thing they did was buy and take sandals to all the children at the CT children's home.

Cornelius working on the PFC garden

The team working on the PFC garden



The South African team

The team was humble and served with passion. They rose early to begin work and worked until late at night. As Jesus instructed - they did everything with all their hearts. They exemplified the meaning of "team". It was truly a joy to be with them. We will not forget their love for Jesus, their prayers, their laughter, their South African accent (especially as Madeleen read the Word to us always having just the right passages that we needed to hear), their kindness to all they met, and their loving encouragement of our young ministry.

Thank you God for sending us these young people who served so well,

Connie
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Monday, August 23

Medical mission with Dr. PLO Lumumba

This last weekend Partners for Care was blessed to serve with Dr. PLO Lumumba and his wife in a medical mission outreach in Bonda (his home area). The team sang throughout the day mobilizing and then sang at Dr. Lumumba's event honoring his aunt who was killed in the US Embassy bombing in 1998. Dr. Lumumba has been our what if? spokesperson since the beginning of the program. He was recently appointed the Director of the Anti-Corruption Commission. He is a great Christian leader and many here in Kenya, in the US and throughout Africa pray he can stop the corruption that steals from the poor and prevents Kenya from becoming a developed nation. Our team served well - Nick, Njenga and Mike traveled with us from CT to help with HIV testing. We helped organize and deliver medical camps to over a thousand people.

Blessed to work with Christian leaders who remember the poor,

Connie
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Sunday, August 15

Little Jimmy

Jimmy is six, but looks three. He clings to you when you hold him. He is listless, weak and sad. Yet when all the children at a new children's home we have started working with were asked to sing, he took his place and sang the words.

Jimmy with Dr. Craig

Jimmy was rescued five months ago and brought to this children's home that is near our house. Yesterday, George took Dr. Craig, TJ and I with some of the PFC staff to visit the children in this home. Jimmy is a double orphan having lost both his parents. He had been abused before he was brought to the children's home. He had a fever and seemed very sick. Dr. Craig and I carried him to the nearby VCT for HIV/AIDS testing. Dr. Craig watched the counselor as she explained how testing is done. We prayed Jimmy was not infected. After a few minutes the counselor told us he was negative. We then carried him to a local doctor. The doctor couldn't believe he was six. He tested him for malaria. Jimmy was positive for malaria. The doctor gave him malaria medicine, vitamins and tylenol for his fever. We took him to a small restaurant and fed him as he hadn't eaten since early morning.

Jimmy probably has had malaria for a long time. Untreated malaria is the leading cause of death for children in Africa. This is why. They don't get diagnosed and then treated. Dr. Craig and the team probably saved the live of this little boy. And it wasn't hard...it just took going and finding him. I am reminded of Mother Teresa's words..."If you can't feed a 100 children...feed one. We can't save a 100 children,,,but we saved one.

The team has left now. We will miss them. They served so many...including us. They were kind, loving and compassionate. They worked late into the night and early in the mornings preparing the medicine, supplies, etc. For the next team. May God bless all of them as they travel home.

Grateful for this team of servants,

Connie
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Friday, August 13

The Rendille tribe - the sickest, the poorest - very much the least of these

Both the Americans and the Kenyans thought that the people we treated the last day of our medical mission in Marsabit were the sickest and the poorest people they had ever met. We traveled about an hour on the bus to hold our last medical camp. As the bus approached a small group of houses (manyattas) made from sticks and dung, children started running towards the bus. We got off the bus and the children put up their arms to be carried. We carried those we could and held the hands with the others as we walked to the area where we would set-up the medical camp.
We were given two small buildings to use so registration, prayer/sharing the gospel, community health and family planning would be outside. HIV testing and medical would be held inside. There waiting, were all the people we would be able to treat that day. We gathered for prayers for the people and for strength for the day and opened camp.
The doctors and nurses were saddened at how sick the children were - they had bacteria, fungus and virus infection. Most of the children had all three! And, the children were infected with jiggers! Badly infected. TJ, Linda and Robert set-up a jigger treatment station treating as many as they could.


Mare cutting the toe nails of a child infected with jiggers

T.J. and Linda treating the children infected with jiggers


I normally don't treat as I leave that more to the Kenyan doctors, nurses and American doctors, nurses we bring. But, I thought we should do something for the children we couldn't treat because of time. So we gathered them and Pastor Hirbo and Mare gave them deworming medicine. I was assisting. I realized there were at least 15 children with serious scalp fungus. So we set-up a station just for the children infected with fungus. As I held each one and showed Mom how to apply the medicine I saw they also had eye infections, ear infections and of course running noses. We treated as many as we could with as much medicine as we had.

Connie with a sick child




Connie deworming a child

We gave out nets to the pregnant women and the children under five. In the book "When Helping Hurts" it says don't start with a needs assessment but first start with an asset assessment. Then give the resources to build on the assets. I was reminded of that when the children told Rob "we have a soccer field, but we don't have a ball". Rob had the ball - he then played soccer with the children all the time we did the medical camp! Praise God for Rob's endurance...
I also wanted to tell you Pastor Hirbo and I sat with the chief asking about the life of these Rendille people. They walk 6 hours for water and 6 hours back! Twelve hours a day to get water.

Charles testing the area chief for HIV/Aids

The good news for the day was 60 people gave their life to Christ that day. Pastor Hirbo had asked for a sleeping bag so he can travel to these people and stay with them for days at a time to disciple them. We brought him two sleeping bags and a tent for his ministry outreach to the unreached.
At the end of three days in Marsabit 773 people were treated, 323 tested for HIV/AIDS, 1,403 people signed commitment cards, 250 nets distributed and many people heard the gospel.
We left at 4:30 am Wednesday morning for the long road home to Nairobi. We were blessed to serve God's people and to help the humble servants Pastor Hirbo, Mare and the other pastors and people who serve as they reach out to the unreached people groups,
Connie
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Thursday, August 12

Seeing the fruits of our labor

The team was blessed to see the fruits of their labor on the face of a small boy. On Sunday we worshiped at Pastor's Hirbo's church. The only thing that I can tell you about that experience is that you haven't seen worship until you see the Boran people worship. Some of you may have read the book about the different styles of worship. Well, the Boran only have one style - jumping and shouting to the Lord. Even our worship team who are wonderful worshipers were moved by the experience. Sammy (lead of the Temples of Worship) told the congregation that when they come to the Marsabit church they just want to sit and watch.
In the afternoon we held the what if? event in the park. Many came and many tested for HIV/AIDS. And, the other part of our mission team - the sports ministry took place with hundreds of kids. Rob (son of Dr. Craig and Pat who are on our team), TJ and several of the Kenyan team have been playing football (soccer) every where we go. All Rob has to do is take one of the soccer balls he had bought for the mission off the bus and hundreds of kids follow him to the field! And, he played for hours!!
But, while we were enjoying the day our hearts and thoughts were with the little boy from the day before with the jiggers who was so sad...and all the children we had met with jiggers. I had decided I would ride with Pastor Hirbo on his motorbike to see how Jane was doing with treating the children's jiggers. At dinner that night I asked if anyone wanted to go with me. So many wanted to go we decided to take the bus. We would leave at 5:30 am as we had a whole day of medical missions ahead of us.
When we arrived at the camp many of the children were already awake. We found Jane who called the children. Pastor Hirbo knew right away when he saw the two children we had treated on Saturday walking! Then we saw their faces - big smiles!

A before and after picture of a child who was treated for jiggers

The jiggers were dead. The children said the pain and the itching was gone and they could sleep at night. Their toes still need treatment with the vaseline which will help restore the skin and prevent more jiggers. We left money for Jane to buy water. We checked on the newborn baby and mom - both were fine.
We left encouraged to go to a school to set-up the day's medical camp,
Connie
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Tuesday, August 10

Joy and sorrow in an IDP camp

Think of primitive camping you might have done once in your life. Living in an Internally Displaced People (IDP) camp is like primitive camping that never ends. This is where the Gabra tribe is living - in an IDP camp about a 30 minute drive from Marsabit. They live in very harsh conditions - hot, dirty and with no nearby water source. There are 250 men, women and children who lived in this IDP camp for five years.

The IDP camp

They were pushed away from their land due to tribal clashes in 2005. This is one of the people groups Pastor Hirbo is trying to reach. The only transport he and his church members have to get there to serve these people is by Pastor Hirbo's motorbike or by walking in the dust for hours. This is the place where Pastor Hirbo told us the people were infected with jiggers.
On Saturday I and David (my son) went early with Pastor Hirbo on a taxi-motorbike and Pastor's motorbike to set-up in this IDP. our first medical camp. (Not complaining but Pastor's motorbike has no shocks and could use some other basic repairs such as brakes. The rest of the team would come on the bus after picking up the Kenyan doctor and nurses. Pastor Hirbo, David and I set up medical camp using the signs Amy from our previous team made for us. Registration would be under a tree, prayer in one of the tents of the people, community health under a tree, family planning and VCT outside and the doctors and nurses would be in the "school" made of sticks with a dirt floor. The team soon arrived on the bus. After praying together for God to use us to serve these people we opened the medical camp. At first the people were leary of these white people in blue medical scrubs. But, one by one they came. They registered and the two pastors from Pastor Simon's ministry who had joined our team prayed for them and shared the gospel with them. They heard how to prevent the illnesses they were suffering from and they tested for HIV/AIDS. Then they saw the doctor - some saw our doctor and some the Kenyan doctor. It was very sad to see the children with Jiggers! The end of their toes were infected by the jiggers. The jiggers kept them awake at night and it was painful for them to walk. We were determined to help these children.
We had learned from searching the internet that the feet and hands that were infected should be soaked for two weeks in a mixture of dettol and water. We had also heard vaseline would smother this parasite and they would die. We found an angel living among these people - Jane. Jane is 21, beautiful and the teacher in the school we were using for the medical camp. She was teaching 28 children who sat crowded in their little school in the dirt - where the jiggers lived! Jane volunteered to take the responsibility of treating the children for the jiggers. We treated two children showing Jane how to wear gloves to protect herself, how to mix the solution and apply the vaseline.

Jane treating a child for jiggers

Linda prayed for the children - for the jiggers to die and for the little toes and fingers to heal. The children were so sad. No smiles like we are used to from the Kenyan children.
For me I think I was the most humbled I have ever been as I washed the feet of the first little boy. He sat on a yellow plastic old, dirty oil jug and let me take his swollen feet and wash off the layers of dirt. His feet were hard and calloused. I couldn't tell what was jiggers and what was dirt. I put his feet and hands in the basin of dettol and water. We had used our water bottles for water as there was no water in the IDP camp. I dried his feet and put Vaseline all over the ends of his toes. I cringed as he placed his feet back in his broken, open toed sandals. I prayed the Vaseline would stop more jiggers from invading his feet.
Jesus said there would be joy in the morning - and there was joy in this camp. A woman came to tell us that a woman had just given birth! We were led to her tent. We ducked down to go through the small opening in the tent. There sitting on a piece of cardboard in the dirt was a woman holding a newborn baby! She handed me the baby all wrapped in a small blanket. She had cleaned the baby but the small infant still had blood on her little hands. One of our team members, Linda, is trained in obstetrics.

Linda with the new born baby
The new born baby

She came to the tent to speak with the mom. The mom delivered the baby alone cutting the cord with a razor blade. Other team members came to see the baby and pray for this new life to know Jesus. The mom is a Muslim but she allowed us to pray for her and the baby.
At the end of the day we had treated 201 people and gave 125 nets to protect the children and pregnant women from malaria . We packed up preparing to leave. Many teams members had come to know the people. The people came to the bus as the Temples of Worship sang Remember Me. The women then sang and danced for us. A joyful ending to the day.

Dr. Craig attending to a patient

Pat treating a child



Rob taking blood pressures

TJ helping with the drugs

Praying for a miracle for the children infected by the jiggers and for the newborn born in a tent in an IDP camp in Marsabit,
Connie
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Comments:

A cup of water... or jar of vaseline... in His name. wow.
way to go, Connie.

Prayed for you.
Blessings,
Alan

Wednesday, August 4

The journey to Marsabit begins

Why Marsabit? Why go? Our prayer is that our team can equip the pastors in Marsabit to help their people with the enormous, crippling problem of jiggers. If you want to understand what the pastors in Marsabit struggle with go to goggle and search for jiggers. Look at the pictures, see the feet of the children infected so much with jiggers they can't walk. Our pastor contact in Marsabit tell us they know of 400 people infected with jiggers. I spoke with him on Sunday as he was leaving an IDP camp (where people are still living in tents after 2 1/2 years from the post-election violence) and ALL the people are infected with jiggers. I once read that HIV/AIDS was the greatest opportunity to spread the gospel. The dying need to be saved, the world watches the Christians to see how we help the orphans and widows caused from HIV/AIDS and following God's plan eliminates the disease. I believe jiggers give us the same opportunity. If I was a child infected with jiggers and I heard there were people who loved me as Christ loved them I would wonder where are they? We go only to bring the resources to the pastors on the ground to enable them to help their people. They need basins - lots of them and we will buy them in Marsabit for them. They need detrol or hydrogen peroxide as the feet need to be soaked for two weeks to kill the jiggers. We will give them what they need. And, the people need shoes. We will explore how shoes can be made in Marsabit for the children and adults. The shoes will help prevent the people from becoming infected with jiggers again. I read in When Helping Hurts that we have dominion over the animals - I think this includes the jiggers. We have a special gift for the people of Marsabit. When we were there last time we saw the dirty water people drink. And, we understood why much of the world's health problems are caused by dirty water. We are bringing a state-of-the art water filter! We have a partnership with FirstWater. We will explain later how the funds are being raised for this water filter. It would not be on this plane without the grace of many - the TSA who allowed me to bring it through security after checking it for bomb residue. The flight attendant who put it in the first class closet and Delta who let me bring it as carry on luggage! It weights 75 pounds! We are looking at leaving it with Christian doctors at the Marsabit hospital. We will send an update about how the water filter will be used in Marsabit. Traveling with me on this team is a doctor, nurse, their son and a photographer from Michigan. We will be joined in Kenya by another nurse from Michigan who traveled earlier and a young man from Atlanta. The Michigan group found us through the blog and has been following our work. They asked to join us on this long journey to Marsabit to serve the children God loves,

Connie
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Wednesday, July 21

PFC travels to Uganda to do a what if? event

Tomorrow the Partners for Care team will travel to Kapala, Uganda where they will do a what if? event with Pastor David Karanja, International Christ Harvester Church. Uganda has 1.1 million orphans from the HIV/AIDS pandemic that at one time was devastating the nation. While the infected rate dropped from a peak of 29% in the urban areas it has been on the increase in recent years. As you know there were recent bombings in Kapala killing 70 people.

The PFC staff would appreciate your prayers as they cross the border to their neighboring country to spread the message of salvation and HIV/AIDS prevention.

Praying for the safety of the team in Kenya,

Connie
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Tuesday, July 20

Help spread the word about buying bed nets for Marsabit

In two weeks we travel to Marsabit. A very desperate part of Kenya. We are taking a medical team and will be conducting four medical camps for several unreached people groups. We also want to distribute as many bed nets as we can. This is an area where people survive on relief food due to the drought. A friend, Robyn, has developed an easy way for people to help the children in Marsabit by purchasing a bed net for $2.00. These bed nets come from our partner in Kenya HEART and are made by women who are infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. The purchase of bed nets from them helps prevent a child from dying from malaria and supports these women. Robyn has developed a bed net campaign and a paypal account with a "widget" for easy donations. See the following link:

www.partnersforcare.blogspot.com

If you could post on your Facebook and any other social networking accounts you have I will be grateful and so will the children in Marsabit.

Thanks for partnering with us and helping equip the US and Kenya teams to saves lives in Marsabit.

Many blessings, Connie
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Tuesday, July 13

Bed net campaign against Malaria!



Bed net delivered by Partners for Care



Malaria is particularly devastating in Africa, where it is a leading killer of children. In fact, there are 10 new cases of malaria every second. Every 30 seconds, a child in Africa dies from a malaria infection.  In addition to the burden on local healthcare systems, malaria illness and death costs Africa approximately $12 billion per year in lost productivity.

Malaria is one of the deadliest diseases in Africa. And it’s hard to hear the statistics knowing that malaria is preventable and has been irradiated or brought under control on other continents. The solution is simple, gaining access to the solution is what is so difficult for those people who live in the bush or far from the larger cities in Africa. What is the solution you might ask? It’s as simple as spraying insecticides indoors or by sleeping under long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets. And simply put the best solution is the bed net because they are long lasting, inexpensive, and can last up to 5 years!

Bed nets are so simple and we are convinced not just by the statistics but our own experiences that bed nets do save lives. We have found a supplier who is willing to sell them to us for $2.00 each,  normally they are $10 each! Hands down it’s the best price we have ever seen and at this price we want to buy as many as we can!

We need your help we want to buy at least 1500 nets for our August trip to Kenya. We have done some research and $2.00 in this day and age will get you:

2 double cheeseburgers from McDonalds or Burger King
a pack of 24 sugar cookies from your local dollar store
4 bags of 50 cent chips
1 bottle of beer
hair clips
2 newspapers
2 liter coke
loaf bread
2 cups of coffee at a restaurant
2 packs of gum


Would you be willing to skip one of these items for one day or a week? Knowing that you could possibly save a life or protect someone for 5 years? Could you make your coffee at home? Another benefit of buying a bed net is that it is tax deductible. Are you looking for a way to make a difference, be part of something bigger than you? Partner with us buy a bed net, buy 10 bed nets….you can make a big difference  When you contribute would you let us know what you are skipping? It would be fun to keep a list and we are grateful for your sacrifice! What are you willing to skip?



-Robyn

Wednesday, June 23

7th Update - Prayers answered!

Many of you responded you were praying in my response to my request yesterday for prayers for Nick. Many reminded me God would care for the children. And He did. The team here Dr. Jim, Lyn, their two children Stephanie and Jake, Amy, David my son and Rebecca along with Nick and Charles made a plan to address the needs of the children. These needs included protection from malaria, clean water, lights, sanitation, food and transportation to school. One by one all these needs were met yesterday. Getting things accomplished isn't easy in a developing nation. It takes more than money. But, everything seemed to go smoothly yesterday as we planned, organized, shopped and went to the children's home. By evening, a van that had been loaned to transport the children was repaired, lanterns taken to the home for lights,, bed nets on the beds for all the children and aunties, temporary septic tank covered with plans to cover the larger holding tank, and 400 pounds of food purchased!  The children's rooms were so sweet as they have settled in. We had made name tags with ribbons for their beds and the children had hung them on their beds. And, the children had neatly made their beds before leaving for school. The children are now safe and for now have food. Praise God. And, Nick is smiling again as his children are taken care of.

At the store where we purchased food for the kids

Loading up the food

Transporting food

The bed nets hung on the beds

Thank you for your faithfulness to read the updates and pray for children 10,000 miles away,

Connie
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Monday, June 21

Prayer request

I am sending prayer requests tonight for Nick and for the children we have moved from the slum. Our hearts are heavy as Nick struggles with so many issues - transportation back to Mathare for school, no lights, mosquitoes biting the children and needing to haul water to the site. Dr. Jim and Lyn and other team members went there today and came back overwhelmed with some of the needs of the children. Dr. Jim has starting examining them and he is taking several of them to the hospital for further testing. I know some of this always happens even when we move in the US - lights, phone and electricity not hooked up as quickly as we wanted them to be. But, in a developing nation and when you are caring for 34 orphans it is a 100 times more difficult. I know all over the world there are hurting children who are living in the dark and dying from malaria. But, we know these 34 children. We have held them and loved them. For me I feel ashamed that I am here in comfort while they are in the situation they are in. And, I wonder why I didn't plan better - at least flashlights and mosquito nets should have been on our shopping list. As little children they should be able to count on us to take care of them. I am anxious for the night to pass so we can hang nets, buy flashlights and help with the transportation issue. Thanks for your prayers, Connie
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6th update - The children have been moved from Mathare Slum

On Saturday the children said goodbye to Mathare slum. We went early in the morning and took 18 of the children with us in our van and hired a matatu for the rest of the children. Taking these children from those three crowed, chaotic, dark rooms where their backyard was a slum, garbage and a polluted river was a joy hard to explain. It was like God had picked these children to be lifted from the slums to a new beginning. I could hear Pastor Karanja saying "God is doing a new thing". The children sang songs on the ride to their new home - obviously happy to be leaving Mathare slums. Part of the team had gone to the new home to prepare the rest of the beds and to cook for the children. Curtains were hung - bright red with matching pillowcases. Their new rooms with windows were a sharp contrast to the previous rooms in the slum without windows! John made a enormous pot of soup for the children in their new kitchen. They played and waited as more beds were put together. Then at the appointed time they all went to their OWN beds. We were blessed to watch these special children chosen and loved by God as they saw they each had a blanket, a towel and their own bed. Nick and Charles have done a wonderful job under extraordinary conditions. As young men building a children's home in a developing nation hasn't been easy. But, raising 34 children isn't easy either. Thank you to all who have prayed for Nick and Charles and the children and donated money to lift these children up to new beginnings. Jesus said, love the little children and you have. There is still much to do to help Nick and Charle become sustainable so they don't have to worry how to feed the children. This week we plan to put in a garden. And, Dr. Jim will examine and treat the children and aunties. We will complete the children's home ie. kitchen, place for the children to eat, security fence, etc. as we raise more funds to help them. But, for now they are in their new home. Praise God!

From Kenya,

Connie
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Wednesday, June 16

5th update - " My mom doesn't have a net"

"My mom doesn't have a net" this sweet little girl told me. She had managed to capture my attention and my heart in the midst of the chaos. And, it seemed this little girl's mom wasn't the only one in the village of Watamu without a net to protect their children from malaria. I have held medical camps before but never in conjunction with the distribution of bed nets. Distributing bed nets brought thousands of people to the medical camp. To say the "ground was mobilized" for this medical camp doesn't really describe the response. The first day we arrived what we thought was early to find at least two hundred people in line waiting for us. There were 500 people registered by 10:00. The second day we arrived there were already over a thousand people waiting from 6:00 am. Sadly, we couldn't possible see everyone. Dr. Jim from our team joined the local health practitioners seeing as many as they could. Ryan, Amy, Kristen, Stephanie, David, Logan, Rebecca and Nick ran the pharmacy ensuring the doctors and nurses had medicine, helped distribute bed nets and cheered for the final games of volleyball and football. Nick and Charles worked with the local VCT counselors to test people for HIV and Njenga (from CT) interpreted the medical symptoms of the people for Dr. Jim.

Charles testing people for HIV
 Dr. Jim with his daughter and Njenga examine a child
Only with a team of 8 security men were we able to distribute the bed nets. Justus shared the word of God and prayed for those who came as we organized the "flow" of people into groups of 10. He asked the people to pray for those who had brought bed nets and medicine to their village. The groups were moved through community health teaching as the local educators taught them how to prevent the diseases they were sick from - water borne diseases, poor nutrition, etc. Then the groups moved to family planning. George, as our outreach mission coordinator assisted by Franco and David, had spent two months and gone to the ground three times to organize the local committee. USAid joined us and had people there to help. Best we tried we could not serve everyone. The two days ended with the final football playoff. There had been 15 teams playing for the last 6 weeks. As the winning team lapped the field to the cheers of thousands it seemed like we were at the World Cup. Everyone came to the stage for the prizes and for the reason for the outreach.

The winners receiving their prizes

The Temples of Worship took the stage and Sammy told them of the need to stop HIV and create an HIV free generation. They sang their song what if? When Franko sang "we can stop our children from the street" the crowd cheered. Pastor Peter told the crowd about Jesus and when he made the call for Christ hundreds raised their hands. New believers were given bibles but everyone it seemed wanted a bible. Bed nets and bibles - both saving their lives but one saves them for eternally. We had worked with the pastor fellowship in Watamu. We pray that they can use this event to continue their reach for souls for Christ in Watamu and to bring those that accepted Christ the last night of the event into a relationship with Him. At the end of the two days:
1030 were treated and given medications
1450 bed nets were distributed
500 were tested for HIV/Aids
600 were taught community health
600 heard about family planning thousands heard about the Great Physician - the ultimate healer
And many accepted Christ
Even in the chaos of so many people with so many needs the whole team stood still and prayed for a little baby that was brought to Dr. Jim. The baby had been abandoned and a old woman brought her to the medical camp. The baby tested positive for HIV. She was sick with a large, infected lesion on her head. Dr. Jim removed the "pus" from the sore and gave the baby an injection and oral medication. The next day Dr. Jim stayed behind to find the child to check on her. While the rest of the team did as planned and went to see the beauty of Mombasa Dr. Jim and his wife Lyn and I walked the small village of Watamu with Justus and Franko. Dr. Jim and Lyn were tired, hot and weary from their 36 hour trip just days earlier but they wanted to do as Jesus would do - serve the people. We found the child who was doing better. She will be taken to Gede hospital for further testing and what could be a life time of medications to treat her disease of HIV. This child reminds us of why we do what we do. To stop babies from being born infected with HIV - stop their mamas from dying and leaving them orphans. We preach the gospel because we know He is the answer - the only answer. With Him all things are possible even stopping HIV/Aids.
Thank you to all of you who supported this mission. Next we move to Marsabit in August where it is more difficult to get to, the ground is harder and the people more desperate. Pray for the team who is preparing their hearts to go.
Praying this the Mombasa mission will impact the lives of the people of Watamu and spread the gospel to so many that need it.
Connie
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Tuesday, June 15

4the update - we are all safe

I will send an update later about our Mombasa mission but just wanted to let everyone know we are safe. You may be hearing on the news "five Christians were killed in Nairobi". On Saturday there was a demonstration in Nairobi concerning the proposed Kenyan constitution to be voted on in August. Five people were killed when violence broke out. We were in Mombasa and not even in Nairobi. We will not be going near any demonstrations. Please pray for those who lost their lives and their families and pray this nation can peacefully vote on the constitution.

God is keeping us safe, we give Him all the glory,

Connie
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Friday, June 11

"I get my own blanket" - 3rd update

The new children's home is almost complete, and yesterday we were able to deliver the new items purchased for the children. Blankets, towels, and a host of other supplies for the children made their way to the new home. But this stuff didn't come easy! First, all the money we used was donated by many of you and by members of this team. Our "move one" campaign raised funds to help. Due to "overruns" though in the building of the children's home we didn't have as much money as we needed....so we bargained hard to make the money stretch. We went to a shopping area where Americans don't go - River Road. It is where things are made so as they say in Kenya we got the "best price". John who plans, shops for and prepares all of our meals went with us. Imagine - one Kenyan and 8 white people! We bargained so well John declared us Kenyans. At times John longed to back in the kitchen! We were shopping for 34 children! At the end of hours of walking, bargaining and buying we had:

Pink sheets for the girls
Blue sheets for the boys
Green sheets for the aunties
2 outdoor cookers
2 bigger than large pots
Towels for every person
Spoons
Bowls
5 large thermos for chai
Wash basins
And, a nice blanket for every child
Pillows are being made

We were left to buy mattresses. Funds were low at that point so we priced three thicknesses of mattresses. We have enough for the foram pads for each child. Over time, we can replace them with better mattresses.

We met the children at the new children's home. To say they were excited to see their new home, new beds and all the new things is an understatement. Amy was showing them they have windows and she told them they will each have their own beds. One of the little girls said, "I get my own blanket?". These children have slept three to a bed and shared a blanket. God has blessed them not just with a bed and their own blanket but with Nick, Charles and their aunties who love them and with people in the US who gave to change the live of a child.

As the home is not quite complete we will move them permently when we return from Mombasa.

Blessed to partner with those who made a difference for these children,

Connie
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Wednesday, June 9

The way it works - 2nd update

This is the way it works. You learn 473 children under the age of five die EVERYDAY in Kenya. As a mom, a nurse, a Christian you want to help. You recruit your family to the cause. You recruit your friends to help. You decide the way to help is to equip, empower and engage young indigenous Christian leaders in the fight to save their children. Then you need money to do the work. You need money to pay the young Christian Kenyan leaders so they can support their parents and other family members back home in the villages. You need money to do the mission outreach like the one we are doing this weekend. You put together an American team and ask them to come join the Kenyan team to do the mission. They raise funds to come to Kenya and for the mission work and you pray they raise enough to support the mission. You are so grateful for the hundreds of people who support them with the funds to come and the funds to do the work. I hope everyone knows that whatever they gave large or small is making a difference. This weekend at the Mombasa mission we will see hundreds of people who are sick and give them medicine to make them well. Young men and women who have been playing in our soccer tournament for this last month will play the finals. Not the World Cup but to them it is as important - the winning team will receive soccer shoes and uniforms. Some of these kids play without shoes so to receive soccer shoes is a "big deal". Yesterday there over a 1000 people watching the quarter-finals! We have 1000 bed nets that we will distribute to children 5 and under and pregnant women. Sleeping under a bed net can prevent a child from dying from malaria. Hopefully, we will prevent one of the 473 children from dying. The Temples of Worship will sing all weekend from the stage and do a what if? event. Counselors will test people for HIV/Aids and people will sign commitment cards pledging to do their part to create an HIV-free generation. They will ask people to give their lives to Christ. None of this could be happening if this American team Ryan, Kristen, Amy, Rebecca, my son David, Logan, Nick, Stephanie, Jim, Lyn and Jake had not come and if so many people had not supported them. So that's how it works. Many people - American and Kenyan working together to save the children.

Blessed to be a part of the Mombasa mission team and grateful for all the $supporters,

Connie
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Monday, June 7

1st update - something is different

I have returned to Kenya. Returned to a country, a continent and to people I have grown to love. But this time it is different. I have felt for awhile now that I needed to be under spiritual cover. When you go to the unreached people groups, the enemy isn't happy. The last six months have brought many attacks to Partners for Care. To help us as an organization, Pastor David Karanja said he would send me. So last Sunday Pastor karanja, Christ Harvesters International Church, Marietta, Georgia, commisioned me in front of the congregation to serve under his spiritual authority. I am now sent by Christ Harvester's Church and have the prayer support of the Kenyans who worship at this church. I am also blessed to have the prayer support of Cumberland Community Church in Smyrna, Georgia. I met Pastor Allen and Pastor Rob and 15 of their members when we partnered with them for a what if? event last November when they came to Kenya. I really feel welcome in their church and am learning from Pastor Allen's sermons. One of their church members, Amy, is on this trip with me for three weeks. We are blessed to have her join us! So, things are different. I feel more protected from spiritual attacks. They will come but we will continue to focus on the mission - finding and equipping young Christian leaders as they lead people to Christ. These young Kenyan Partners for Care staff are saving lives for the kingdom.

Blessed to be sent,

Connie
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Friday, May 28

Oops

Thanks to my son David reading the last update I realize I forgot to tell you what Stephen said...he asked "will you feed me, I am hungry". Thanks David for helping your mom out!
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Stephen - he wants to be a Pastor when he grows up.

Sometimes you get a front row seat

Two and half years ago on the streets of Nairobi a little street boy looked up and said something to this day I remember. I remember how the words struck me. I remember how I felt. I remember the look on his face. That little boy was Stephen. It was during the height of the post-election violence in Kenya. I was downtown Nairobi having just completed a two-week tour of Kenya on the PEACE BUS delivering food and medical care to the Internally Displace People Camps. I fed Stephen that day along with his two friends - Jimmie and Brian. Stephen had lived on the streets for many years. He is an orphan. I asked them if they wanted to come with me. They said yes and for the last two and half years they have lived in the rescue center at Mathare Slum. Nick and Charles have cared for them along with the other 29 children. Many of you know the children. You know the condition of the slum. And, with so many of you financially helping Stephen, Jimmie and Brian and all the children will move OUT OF THE SLUM....to a new home in a village with grass for a backyard instead of a slum. And, they will each have their own bed. As the home is being completed these next two weeks I asked Nick if the children were getting excited about moving. He told me....they are already packed. On June 9 the Mombasa mission team will have a front row seat as we move the children to their new home. How good is God? What a blessing to do His work and help the orphans. Thanks to ALL you who have believed in Nick and Charles, who have loved the children and given financially and prayfully to make this happen!

Glad for a front row seat,

Connie
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Tuesday, May 18

Sometimes we know one of the 473 children who die everyday

Sometimes we know one of the 473 children who die everyday in Kenya - mostly from preventable diseases. The 7 year old niece of one of our Kenyan staff died yesterday of cholera. There is a cholera outbreak in Mombasa. She became one of the 473 children in Kenya to die everyday of preventable diseases. I feel sad that even though as a world we know how to prevent water borne diseases, for this child we didn't. This staff member just a couple months ago lost his sister-in-law to HIV/Aids.

Sad to hear of another child dying,

Connie
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Friday, May 14

Jiggers in Marsabit






Pastor Hirbo removing Jiggers from the feet of a girl.








Double Orphans

In August we are taking a team to Marsabit. Marsabit - a very desperate part of Kenya, starvation, lack of water, disease and many orphans. And, Marsabit is where there are jiggers. Jiggers are little white fleas that burrow in your feet, lay eggs and keep multiplying until your feet and legs swell up like an elphanant's leg. People die from jiggers because the fleas eat the nutrients intended for the person. The only way to address the jiggers is to dig them out. They call they that a "jigger campaign". The team is conducting medical camps, distributing bed nets, testing for HIV/Aids, holding what if? concerts and we had wanted to do sports evangelism. While organizing with the pastors on the ground they asked us to if we use the money we would have used for the sports tournament to help 18 double orphans who are infected with HIV/Aids. These are the 18 children the social worker we fund, Mare, has identified. Imagine knowing 18 children who have lost both parents and who are infected by the same disease that took their parents. The children need food, a place to live and uniforms to go to school. So, with the money we would have spent for soccer balls and trophies we will help these little children in Marsabit. He said He would not leave them orphans - He would go to them. (John 14:18) We will go for Him.

Praying for the many orphans in Marsabit,

Connie
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