Thursday, February 23

Bridgette Boylan Interview

Our own Bridgette Boylan was interviewed yesterday by the Gwinnett Daily Post about her passion for Kenya!  The article is in today's edition below.  Check it out!

Tuesday, February 14

Connected by passion for the children of Parkishon

Surely it is an unlikely connection. Cris Willis and her family live 10,000 miles from Parkishon, a small village in Kenya. The Willis' live in Cumming, Georgia. They run a high-end gift store - Parson's a family business Pastor Hirbo is a humble pastor who owns no property, had no vehicles and relies on God for provisions to meet the basic needs of his family. Very different people from two different worlds and cultures. But, they are connected by their passion to help the children of Parkishon.

In August 2011 Cris and her 18 year-old daughter Kacey traveled to Kenya and then went another 12 hours of which 6 hours was on a public bus through the desert to Marsabit in northern Kenya. There they met Pastor Hirbo and the children of Parkishon. During this mission God entrusted them with a small child - Yewlanda who was desperately sick. Cris and Kacey were able to work with the Partners for Care staff to rescue Yewlanda. (See 2011).

Cris reaching out to the children of Parkishon

But, the story didn't end there. Returning to the US, Cris met with her family and they prayed asking God what He was calling them to do to help the children of Parkishon. As a family they made a decision to help Pastor Hirbo through Partners for Care so he could help the children of Parkishon.

The children of Parkishon have many needs. One of the most urgent needs is to treat their hands and feet for jiggers infestation. Many of the children spend their days in the manyattas (hut-like houses) because they cannot walk because of jiggers infestation. Jiggers treatment consists of soaking the feet and hands in a strong soap and covering them with vaseline. The jiggers are white fleas that become parasites living in the hands and feet of the children. They lay eggs multiplying. They rob the child of necessary nutrients and keep them awake at night as their itch and are painful. Children even lose fingers and toes if the jiggers are not killed. After the jiggers are killed vaseline is used daily to help restore the fingers and toes. But without shoes the jiggers will return.

Starting in September Pastor Hirbo has traveled the 15 kilometers to Parkishon every week from his home in Marsabit to treat the children for jiggers. Often he spends the night in the village. He has gone from manyatta to manyatta searching for the children with jiggers. To date he has treated 315 children... and they are still jigger free. With Cris' help Pastor Hirbo has put shoes on their feet to prevent the jiggers from returning. He has taught the moms to spread cow dung on the floor of the manyattas, which helps keep the jiggers out.

Pastor Hirbo walking up to Parkishon

Treating a girl for jiggers

Fitting the children with new shoes

The children displaying their new shoes
And, Pastor Hirbo is reaching this unreached Rendille tribe as he tells them of the Great Physician. Sitting on the floor of the manyattas he tells them of the love of God. He has brought 39 to Christ.
Cris knew that sometimes Pastor Hirbo walks the 15 kilometers to and from Parkishon. For Christmas Cris told her husband that all she wanted for Christmas was a motor bike for Pastor Hirbo. And, that is what he gave her. This trip I was blessed to help Pastor Hirbo purchase a motor bike, helmet and insurance. Pastor Hirbo said "nothing can stop me now!". He will see that Parkishon is jigger-free. And, he will the move to the next village.

Pastor Hirbo on his new motorbike

Our work at Partners for Care is to find people like Pastor Hirbo and then find people like Cris and her family who can equip them carry out their passion. It is truly a blessing.

Witnessing God working in Kenya,

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Saturday, February 11

Unpacking hope...

Yesterday we unpacked the container from MedShare. Wow...seeing the items listed on a packing list is nothing like seeing them in person. I really wish all of you could have been here to see the excitement of the PFC staff. All the staff were overwhelmed with how wonderful the supplies are. Everything traveled well - nothing was broken. Every ministry in PFC found something that they could use to help people. Ice packs for the sports ministry, a cabinet for the 2nd Chance School, a step down for the music team, even supplies for Moses for the PFC house.

The container arriving at the PFC house

Unpacking the stuff
There was one item that surprised all of us - personal transportation carts! I saw them on the packing list but didn't know what they were. The team quickly assembled one of them. They are carts that someone sits in and it has hand pedals. Immediately the staff identified seven people with disabilities to give them to. One is a young boy in Marurui slum who scoots on his belly. Two will go to Marsabit. Pastor Hirbo wants to give them to two people there who are handicapped and help them use the carts to sell small items so they can support themselves and their families. Another will go to a man who lives nearby who all his life has scooted as he can't walk. These carts alone were worth the wait in Mombasa :).

There were many boxes of large urine collection containers. Staff saw them and immediately called them water jugs. They will go to Marsabit for the people to carry water. The team was excited because the size of them will be easier for the children to carry water instead of the big yellow jugs.

Carrying the many boxes into the PFC Compound
All the stuff at the PFC House
We had 18 men helping so within 8 hours everything was off the truck and sorted. We separated what PFC can use and what will go to hospitals and other ministries. Our clinic in Marurui sees about 150 people in the clinic and another 75 through the mHealth program. And, we usually see 3-5,000 people in medical camps each year. We are able to use many of the supplies for the clinic, mHealth program and medical missions.

All of the equipment is either in our clinic or in our garage. The team did great getting the work completed. Part of the team was in the kitchen cooking most of the day as we fed everybody throughout the day.

There was one special box I saved opening until the end. Staff gathered around as I opened the box and read them the letter that was in the box. Inside the box were four beautiful paintings sent by The Foundation for Hospital Art They are a non-profit organization working to bring art to hospitals all over the world. All the paintings are beautiful. We plan to hang one in our clinic and then take the others others to hospitals that will hang them. Dr. Vincent's wife is a nurse and works at Gertude's Children's Hospital. It is a hospital for children with HIV/AIDS. We were going to see if they would hang one or two of the paintings.

One of the first recipients of the blessings, who received a walking stick

At the end of the day the staff were tired but excited about the wonderful medical supplies they had received. There were many heros in this story including:

  • Nell Diallo - Vice President of MedShare. Without her help, support, guidance and encouragement PFC would not have received this container. The PFC staff know her by name as we throughout the process of clearing the container we always talked about what Nell was telling us. The staff hope someday to meet her in person so they can thank you. PFC is grateful to Nell!
  • Dan - as most of you know Dan is the "man behind the scene". He managed all the funds ensuring we had what we needed "on the ground". Thanks Dan!
  • There were a couple main donors that helped us with the costs associated with getting the container. While MedShare paid for the majority of the costs there are costs associated with receiving a container. Without these donations we would not have been able to get the container.
  • Sharon and the PFC board members - they were there during the entire process with prayers, support, encouragement and funds to help. So glad for all of them!
  • And, of course Mark, Sammy and Franko. They never gave up! It was challenging for us to get the container due to the congestion at the Mombasa port. But, they worked the process and were successful.
Thankful for the opportunity to receive this container which provides hope for many people in Kenya.
Sent via Cingular Xpress Mail with Blackberry

Friday, February 10

Partners for Care receives a huge blessing

Ever since I learned of MedShare, I have been impressed with their great work. MedShare ships medical supplies and equipment all over the world. The supplies are shipped in 40 foot containers. While MedShare donates all the medical supplies, the shipping fees can be as high as $22,000. But, the container can have as much as $500,000 worth of medical equipment.

The costs to get a container seemed out of our reach. But, God says you have not because you ask not. He also says all things are possible for those who believe. So when we were contacted by MedShare to pick-up a container that was at the port in Mombasa we asked God to help us with all that needed to be done to clear the container and get it to Nairobi.

Sammy, Mark, Franko and I have spent 8 days in Mombasa working the process to clear this container. We have learned a lot about shipping! But, as the truck carrying our container declares on the back "God is great" and this 40 foot container is on its way to Nairobi with us traveling ahead of them!

All the Partners for Care staff will meet us at 6 am to help unload the medical supplies. There is equipment for our medical clinic and supplies we will take to Marsabit to help the government hospital there. There are supplies we will use for our medical camps. There is an electric dental chair. So much! Everything will be used as MedShare intends - to serve those in need in Kenya.

God is great...

Traveling from Mombasa to Nairobi with our container, Connie

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Partners for Care and PeacePassers

Partners for Care fans and supporters,

Check out these links to photos of PFC's sports ministries on PeacePassers FB page!  PeacePassers is one of our Partner Organizations, providing donated soccer gear and equipment to our what if? teams from donors all over the US!