Tuesday, November 22

God answers prayers for Marsabit

When you search information about Marsabit a town in the far northeastern part of Kenya, you find the precipitation for the year is 0. This lack of rain causes severe hardship for the people of Marsabit. But, God has answered the many prayers for Marsabit. Yesterday Pastor Hirbo sent the following text:

God is so great and wonderful,the face of Marsabit changed from dust to green, from dry to wet. God has remembered Marsabit. The Marsabit Dam is full. (Pastor Hirbo reminded me that is where I slipped and fell once when I visited this dam). I was in Parkishon on the 16th.

Marsabit dam before
The new face of Marsabit dam now
I tell you the situation is improving, but the need of food is very high. I have also been introduced to a new jigger medicine by a pastor from Malindi. I used it and it is so wonderful and powerful. It worked well. After one night the feet are clean and it is locally made.

-- Pastor Hirbo.

Imagine a pastor who is so excited for rain and a new treatment to treat the children's jiggers. Truly this man pleases God each time he kneels and washes and treat the feet of the little children.

Praising God this Sunday morning for Pastor Hirbo and for remembering Marsabit,

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Saturday, November 12

Meeting an extraordinary man

I am at the Medical Missions Conference in Louisville, Ky.- one the largest in the country. It is a little overwhelming with 150 vendors and thousands of participates. Partners for Care is sharing a vendor space with MedShare. We shared a vendor space at the Emory Conference, also. It is always a blessing to be with MedShare as we support what they do in the world to help improve healthcare in developing nations. MedShare bridges surplus medical equipment with need by sending hundreds of containers worth millions of dollars to equip medical clinics and hospital in developing countries.

One of the speakers at the conference is Steve Saint, the son of Nate Saint one of the five missionaries murdered by the Waodani. The story is told in the movie End of the Spear. The story is one of incredible forgiveness and healing.

I have been blessed to meet and spend time with Steve. We share a belief in the way missions can be done in the world that respects and honors those we go to serve. I had given Steve one of our what if? bracelets when we were talking. To my surprise when he spoke the next day he told the audience about his bracelet...and he asked them. what if? we served as God served?

Connie in interview with Steve Saint

And, I would add what if? we could all live in a spirit of humble service and forgiveness like Steve Saint, Elizabeth Elliot and Steve's Aunt Rachael? what if?

Blessed to meet a true servant of God,

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Wednesday, November 9

Dadaab Report

This summer I along with my son David and members of the Partners for Care staff in Kenya visited the Dadaab Refugee Camp. We were saddened at the desperate conditions of the Somalia refugees as they walked thru the desert seeking help. We were heartened by the response of the world to help them. Below is our report.
Some of the photos of the children are graphic. We can tell you that the stories on the news of the desperation of these children when they arrive in the refugee camps are not exaggerated. But, we can also tell you that the doctors and nurses there are performing miracles as most of the children are recovering but not all of the children survive.

Click here to download a PDF version of the Dadaab Refugee Camp report.

Continuing prayers for peace in Somalia,

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Tuesday, November 8

Run for a life

We ran...they ran. Together we ran to save the life of a child. Together we asked the question what if? 472 children didn't die every day in Kenya from diseases that can be prevented...

On November 5, 2011 Partners for Care held its third annual run. Charity runs in the US are common...but this run was different. While runners were running in Brook Run Park in Dunwoody at 8:00 in the morning, Kenyan runners were running through Marurui Village on dirt roads at 3.00 in the afternoon. All the funds raised go to support the work of the Partners for Care staff in Kenya. Just like us here, the Kenyan team had worked for months to organize their race. Many in Kenya were doubtful PFC could really organize a run.

Some of the runners before the race

Here runners ran for beautiful Kenya handmade soapstone bowls...in Kenya the children ran for pencils and notebook paper for school. Here runners ran through a beautiful archway as the finish line, there they ran over a rope laid on the ground. Here every runner had shoes - nice shoes like Nike. There some of the youth ran without shoes - not by choice but because they don't have running shoes. We ran 5K, they ran 8K.

A girl running without shoes
But, though there were differences the joy and excitement of the runners and those who organized the runs were the same. The pictures from the US run are posted on www.partnersforcare.org. Below you can see the story of the Kenyan run through their photos and here is Sam's report about the run...I hope it touches you heart like it did mine.

From Sam

We had 60 runners register with 47 actually running in the race - 5 women, 8 children and 34 men. The oldest was 30 years old, the youngest 6 years old. The overall winner was 24 years old.

Victor Njogu, our youngest runner (6 years old)
We had spent months planning the run. It was difficult to get sponsors and people to support the run as people weren't sure we could actually organize a run in the slum area of Marurui. It was the first run ever in Marurui and Kasarani region, and many critics said it was the most successful event after the tournaments we held earlier this year. They said we've opened the door for more runs and marathons to come, as no one saw the run succeeding until they saw it happen. It was also good awareness for our programs as the runners ran by the United States International University (USIU) where so many students had come out to see the runners pass by.

Next time we expect many more runners, people are already asking when the next run will be. Many were afraid to register as they weren't sure if it would succeed, but now they're more willing to participate. Individuals are also coming forward asking how they can participate in the next run, through sponsorships and other aspects.

Here are some highlights:

  • Agnes, Anastasia's daughter (remember Anastasia is the woman who has been blinded by a brain tumor) came in 2nd in the women's category, running without shoes. She's in our volleyball program, computer class and 2nd Chance.
  • Esther, another one of our volleyball player. She came in 3rd in the women's category, and her mom was there to congratulate her and receive the prize on her behalf. Her and her mom were in tears when they were called to receive the prize. Her mom said she'd never been that proud of her daughter. Esther and Agnes had vowed to do the volleyball and what if? program as a whole proud, which they did.
Esther (center) being awarded in the presence of her mother
  • Stella, another one of our volleyball player came in 1st in the children's category, and when she received the top prize she refused to open it until she got home so that they could open it together with her mom. She had promised her mom to do her proud. She ran the whole 8kms or so and finished first. Justus hugged her as she crossed the finish line. She was in tears also when she finished, she couldn't believe she came in first. It was the biggest day of her life then when she ran towards the finishing line and everyone was clapping and shouting, motorbikes hooting and applauding her all the way from the matatu stage. (I also teared up when I saw her cross the finish line).
Stella running towards the finish line
Justus proudly hugging Stella when she won the race
John awarding Stella the 1st Position award
It was an amazing run, the team did a commendable job and I've never been more proud of every team member for their participation in the planning and implementation processes.

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Add 22....

Before the team completed their weekend event at the boys high school 22 more said yes to Christ...a total of 166.

More for the kingdom,
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Sunday, November 6

Spreading the good news

This weekend the Partners for Care staff are at a boys high school spreading the good news of Christ and the prevention message of HIV/AIDS. Sammy just sent me the attached photo - 144 young men have accepted Christ. This is the heart of the ministry...equipping those on the ground to do God's work. 

Students giving their lives to Christ

Thank you for all those who donate to their work, help with our annual run and pray for the Partners for Care staff in Kenya.

Praising God this morning for the good news,

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Wow, great picture!  Very inspiring to see the heart of the ministry in action!  Lifting Sammy and team up in prayer.

Sharon Dicks
Director of Development
Partners for Care