Our first team of 2016 left Portland, OR on Saturday, January 16th. They arrived to Eldoret and began working right away!
After settling into the Village, they began preparing for a huge medical clinic in the Kambi Teso slum. Open Arms has not been able to host a medical clinic in the slum for many years, and we anticipate that it will be heavily attended by thousands of patients who would otherwise go without medical care!
We've collected a few stories from our team members and hope you will keep the team and the patients they see in your prayers as they continue to minister to people who are devastated by poverty.
"This morning I was awoken very early by the Kenyan birds, on my one day to sleep in (today we get a day of rest and exploring). As I lie here in bed under my twisted mosquito net, reviewing all my photos from our medical clinic yesterday I find myself smiling.
I love sitting down with each patient, sitting across from them at their level, grabbing their hands, making eye contact with them and saying "Hello, my name is Brooke; what is your name?" Then they state their name shyly. I continue to look in their eyes, the window to their soul, and say "I am a nurse, I am here to take good care of you, to try and make you feel better. I am happy to do that for you." Then they smile, and their shoulders relax. I read parts of their registration/triage/diagnosis paper aloud to them and then say "I see you have a fever and fatigue, I would like to draw a small sample of blood to test for Malaria, is that okay?" Then they nod and their eyes light up. They're being heard. They're being valued. After the test I hug them, or gently rub their arm, squeeze their hand, and say "thank you for coming, thank you for letting me help."
Every day we cross paths with "strangers," often times just briefly. Maybe they're helping us at a grocery store or coffee stand, maybe we are helping them at our job, maybe we are just passing them on the sidewalk. Make eye contact, show them that you see them, that they're not alone on this crazy planet where we can often be made to feel like we are just next in line, or invisible among the crowd. I give you this challenge from Kenya.
You'll transform the person you see....
And you'll transform yourself."