Tuesday, June 28

Baby Chello

Partners for Care is trying to understand how to "help and not harm" in a developing nation. We have read the books "When Helping Hurts", "When Charity Destroys Dignity", heard the lectures and the stories of how when we help we can actually not be helping in the long run.

We are beginning to understand and can even see for ourselves the dependency that helping can create. We also see the changes in people when they can help themselves or help others in their community. The story of Anastasia that I have written about is a good example of the community coming together to help. And, like the story of one of the motor bike drivers in Maruri. Recently, one of them was seriously injured in a motor bike accident having to have an amputation of his leg. The motor bike drivers organized a fund raiser to help with his medical expenses and to set him up in a business. PFC staff loaned them their sound equipment. There is a great feeling of success that the motor bike drivers came to help one of their own. And, there is such an appreciation between the motor bike drivers and PFC staff. "Poor" people can and do want to help themselves and their neighbors.

We understand and respect that. But, then there is Baby Chello. Baby Chelo's mom walked over 6 miles carrying her to our medical camp last week. This three year old child who looked more like a one year old has a large tumor on her kidney. She was having difficulty breathing and Dr. Vincent knew she needed immediate attention. Bridgett went with the mom and baby to Kenyatta Hospital....a more than interesting experience for a designer on a Saturday night. The hospital was full with patients even filling the hallways. They managed to have an initial scan for Baby Chello that night.

Now Baby Chello is in Kenyatta Hospital waiting for surgery. Her surgery must be paid for before they will operate. There isn't Medicaid here in Kenya to help. There is a waiver program but we are told it could take two months to receive one.

The family is poor and doesn't have a support network....no one to organize a fund raiser for Baby Chello. Are there times when "not helping hurts"? For now, we have paid for her tests and have asked the family to try to raise the funds for her surgery.

We would be grateful for anyone to advise us....help or wait? We have turned Baby Chello over to God....and we ask ourselves what would God have us do?

Trying to make tough decisions for Baby Chello....

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Thursday, June 23

RE: Mission fulfilled

Loise Ngugi Sauer
Chief Executive Officer,

Mission fulfilled

The Jr. Partners for Care team is preparing to leave for the airport. Their mission was to come help the Kenyan Partners for Care staff serve their communities through sports tournaments and medical camps. The statistics are impressive:

1,114 people were seen by a doctor and given needed medication

195 people were tested for HIV/AIDS

650 people signed a commitment card to wait until marriage, be faithful to one partner and to test to know their status

5,400 people heard the message of HIV/AIDS prevention, AND

73 people said yes to Jesus

But, there is more to the story and that is what the Jr. Partners for Care have learned. Here are some of their comments:

"Before I came I thought most help came from 'outside'....now I have learned that they are helping themselves and most help is from the people who live here."

"The real test will be what we do when we return."

I was impressed with their insights. They have indeed come, learned and now they will return and respond.

Pray for them as they return,


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Loise Ngugi Sauer
Chief Executive Officer

Monday, June 20

Changing a Nation One Soccer Ball At A Time

This was written by Bridgette who is on the team this trip. I share her sentiments as I have seen the power of a ball myself.....Connie

I'm not sure I would have believed it unless I saw it with my own eyes. Since here last year, the Partners For Care (PFC) Kenyan team has established a number of "what if?" soccer and volleyball teams in several of the slum areas and surrounding villages. To us Americans, this would seem easy to do as our children change their sport of choice with each new season. I recall spending over $400 to outfit my son for ice hockey so he could "try it out" between baseball and soccer seasons. I think he lasted 3 weeks before deciding it wasn't for him.
In Maruri slum, the young men and women play soccer on a rocky, muddy, cleared area with no shoes, no uniforms and a tethered ball made of garbage bags and rags. The PFC team here quickly realized that if you took these idle young men and women off the streets and equipped them with the necessary equipment both physically and spiritually, you could begin to bring real life changes. These guys started their first soccer team with 1 real ball and several sets of shoes that they would "share" for games. They were required to sign conduct cards which held them accountable for their actions on and off the field. If they chose to drink alcohol, take drugs, sniff glue to get high, fight or have sexual relations before marriage...their cards could be pulled at any time and they were not allowed to play. It has been amazing to watch as these young athletes have made decisions to follow Christ, follow the rules set out for them and begin living with pride, dignity and discipline. As depicted in the movie Invictus, even Nelson Mandela realized that sports could unify a nation like nothing else could.
With your donations and support, we have been able to set up and equip a number of "what if?" teams with partial uniforms, some shoes, balls...and these young people are so incredibly grateful. I have seen idle street kids transformed into superstars. It has brought about so much transformation in the slum that a local Nairobi news station came several weeks ago and filmed their story! You can see several of the soccer players stories and the news coverage at www.partnersforcare.blogspot.com. They now have purpose as they hold their heads high, giving back to their own individual villages and becoming role models for their peers. Thank you for helping to change the future generations in Kenya, one soccer ball at a time.

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Friday, June 17

Many served today

The Partners for Care team and the small American team did great today. This was one of our smoothest medical camps ever.....we are learning.

At the end of our first of a two day medical camp:

515 people were treated and given medication
53 tested for HIV/AIDS
515 were prayed for and heard the gospel....23 accepted Christ

And, we really did very well on diagnostic assessing - we were able to test for malaria, typhoid, etc. so the doctors could treat with appropriate medications. This isn't always easy at medical camps.

The most common problem the doctors saw today was severely malnourished children. So many in fact that on Tuesday Dr. Vincent is planning to bring the Moms and their babies together and the government will bring special nutritional supplements for the babies. These babies will be placed in the government nutrition program. Dr. Vincent was so concerned about one of the babies today that the team already took her to receive the supplements.

A good first day...

Thanks to so many of you that contributed to make this medical camp successful. Without your support it would not have happened. I think you and so does the Kenyan Partners for Care team.


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Tuesday, June 14

Go, Learn, Return and Respond

Those words are from the book "When Helping Hurts". We are a team of 6 this trip and we hope to Go, Learn, Return and Respond and to do no harm to the PFC team in Kenya. We go to serve them. We are trying to follow the wise advise of those who are studying the affects of "short-term mission teams" on the work in developing Nations. We know we want to create independency not dependency. We don't want to do what they can do themselves. We don't want to be the heros in the stories of transformation. We want to serve them in ways that encourages them in their fight to win people for Christ, to stop the pandemic of HIV/AIDS, and prevent children from dying from malaria. We want to listen more than we talk, to learn from them and to share our hearts and our love for the work they are doing.

We will help them serve hundreds at medical camps, hold two major what if? events as they host the finals for 18 sports team both in Mururi slum and Mai Mahui, help them complete the bed net project in Mururi slum and explore business opportunities for them to help them support their ministry.

And along the way we know we will be encouraged and blessed,

Almost to Kenya,

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Tuesday, June 7

Anastasia - recovering from surgery

Anastasia underwent 9 hours of surgery to remove the tumor. She is slowly recovering. While she hasn't regained her sight she is now able to feed herself and function some. Dr. Vincent is following her progress. She will be hospitalized 12 more days. I hope to see her when I go next week and tell her how many people here have prayed for her and ask about her. If she doesn't regain her sight I hope we can have her receive training on how to live without sight. But, we will see what God has planned for her.....

Thank you caring for a Mom far away,

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Thursday, June 2

Dr. PLO Lumumba's mother died

I was notified yesterday that Dr. PLO Lumumba's mother died. Some of you have met Dr. Lumumba. If you want to send your regards please send to me and I will comply them for him. I spoke with him yesterday through text. Sammy will go to the burial representing PFC. He will carry friends and staff of Dr. Lumumba to the burial. Dr. Lumumba is a great friend of PFC and of the people of Kenya...we remember him and his family in prayer, Connie
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Today Anastasia has her surgery

Today we pray for Anastasia and her surgeon and nurses as she under goes surgery to remove the brain tumor that has caused her to lose her sight. Anastasia has many struggles in her life....living in one room with her husband and children in a slum in kenya. Losing her sight made life even harder. The PFC staff and her church organized to raise all the funds necessary for her surgery. May God be glorified whatever the outcome....

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The mission begins...

June 12 I leave for Kenya with representatives from the Jr. Partners for Care volunteers and Bridgette Boylan. We go to support and serve the Partners for Care team on the ground in Kenya. The PFC team led by Sammy Wanjau have been preparing for the medical camp and sports tournaments we will help with. The team have been organizing partners including the Ministry of Health, the chief, local physicians and healthcare professionals. The Gates Foundation will also be partnering with us for the medical camp in Maururi. The team is buying the medications, soccer and volleyball balls, trophies, prizes, etc. They have organized to rent a stage for the what if? events - one in Maururi and one in Mai Mahui. The soccer tournament in Mai Maui started three weeks ago and the one in Maururi kicked off today with hundreds of people from the village watching.

Our team is going to help...to serve. By raising the money for this mission, the Kenyan team is able to reach thousands with the message of salvation. We will go to encourage the team as the battle is tough on the ground. And, we go to witness God working through these young Christian leaders in Kenya and then to tell others the story - to help change our hearts and others for those who serve and for those who are served.

Thank you to all who have donated to make this mission possible....


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