Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Sermon of a Missionary Mom

I was asked to speak a couple of times while we were in the States last year.  I am quite shy and get tongue tied quite easily- so I wrote it out.  This is a reflection of our first 2 years in Kenya and hopefully an encouragement to other mothers.

About the time I was 18 years old, the Lord opened my eyes to the world beyond my neighborhood, beyond my city and beyond my country.  Slowly my heart began to dream about being a part of Kingdom work in another part of the world.  My eyes were fixed and doors began to open.  I chose social work as my field of study and had a vision to help the orphans in some small corner of the world.  It was a dream that made my heart soar.  God brought Kyle into my life way back in the 10th grade.  He was this sweet, kind and cute Christian guy.  My first memory of him was when we were first practicing in the Broken Arrow High School marching band.  I was standing all alone on the 40 yard line completely confident I was exactly where I was supposed to be.  Who knew maybe I had been assigned some marching solo.  I remember him walking up to me in his low top Converse and kindly asking me if I needed help.  I politely said "no, I'm all right."  He looked at my coordinates and graciously told me that I should be on the other 40 yard line.  What?  There are two 40 yard lines?  I swiftly went on my way and he saved my major humiliation.  Our paths kept crossing, but it wasn't until he shared his dreams of being a doctor and working overseas and serving the needy that I fell in love.  And that was love at first sight for me.

Kapsowar, Kenya was our dream come true!  We traveled with 3 little boys to our new home-sight unseen.  Although our hearts were filled with anticipation and excitement, we also knew deep down this decison would come at a cost.  And for us the biggest cost was leaving our family and friends behind.  We grieved and felt a big hole in our lives.  Our kids would no longer attend the birthday parties of their cousins, no longer see Grammy and Papa every Sunday at church; they would not be able to attend school with other children that speak their language; not be able to eat Thanksgiving dinner surrounded by every aunt and uncle that loves them dearly; Christmas without seeing Nana's eyes sparkling as she watched them open their presents; no children's church with a craft time and comfy chair to sit in.  These were the big sacrifices for us.  The little ones were life without mac n' cheese and fruit snacks, bathing in dirty bath water before you enter the bath, power outages that last for days leaving them scared to tears in the middle of the night because it was so dark they couldn't see to get to the bathroom.  And the list could go on and on.  But the more important thing to dwell on is the blessing in the sacrifice.  The joy in the suffering.  I can honestly say that more days than not my spirit is content.  I am at peace and feel genuine joy.  There are days when I am tired of being watched, when I cry out for God to provide deep friendship for my family and I.  There are days when I feel intense loneliness and longing to return to my culture, my family, my friends.  these needs keep me on my knees, praying that God would be enough and the rest is just "extra".

And God provides.  My life may look a little different then most physically, but as mom's we have a common ground-our children-our mission field.

We came to Kenya with a family mission Luke 9:2 "And He sent them out to preach the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick."

This is a pretty heavy verse and mission especially for a 2 year old.  We looked at the life of Job.  A servant of whom the Lord was greatly pleased with. We looked at how he lived his life for our inspiration.

Job 29: 12-16
"because I rescued the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to assist him.  The man who was dying blessed me, I made the widow's heart sing.  I put on righteousness as my clothing, justice was my robe and my turban.  I was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame.  I was father to the needy.  I took up the case of a stranger.  verse 24 says, When I smiled at them they scarcely believed it; the light of my face was precious to them.  verse 25 I was like one how comforts mourners".

These are all amazing, yet simple ways we can "preach" the kingdom of God and "heal" the sick.

Daily we are facing the poor.  They knock on my door asking for help.  I buy their lemons, avocados and pumpkins.  Not asking for their price, but paying what the Lord thinks these items are worth.  Paying what this man or woman needs in order to get his "daily bread".

Education is not a right in Kenya after the 8th grade.  There are many children without fathers to provide for them.  We often feel the Lord prompting us to pay school fees for a child whose father abandoned them.

v. 13  Working at the hospital gives us ample time to be around those that are dying.  It's not just Kyle, but all of us.  We have brought clothes for warmth, toys for fun, food for hunger and prayers for peace.  If our family can provide any of these things in the Name of Jesus during someone's last days.  We have brought "healing".  It may seem small, but we feel the Lord smiles upon it.
v. 13 "making the widows heart sing"
We have a friend, Jane, she is blind.  She is a mom and she is a widow.  She provides for her family by knitting sweaters for the local schools uniform requirements.  As me how she does it-I don't know, but it is only the gift of God has provided.  She hugs the children and in a week they have a perfectly fitted sweater.  Her machine for knitting broke, unknown to us.  We received a call one night.  She told us that she had nothing to feed her family for dinner.  And no money to buy anything.  Sometimes I think I have "nothing" to cook for dinner, but it has never been that literal.  I couldn't imagine her heartache, her fear, what she felt.  The panic of knowing your child will go to bed hungry and wake up and go to school hungry the next day.  I thought to myself-there is something small we can do about this!  We got in our pantry rummaged through our overflowing pantry and fridge.  Found food for their dinner-food to fill their bellies.  I am pretty sure I heard a widow's heart sing that night.  In Matthew 25:35 it says, "For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you have me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.  I needed clothes and you clothed me.  I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me."  v. 40 goes on to say, "Jesus will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."

In Job 29:24 it says, "When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it; the light of my face was precious to them."
I have 2 children who provide this in abundance.  Isaac will run full force to give a smile and hug to almost anyone.  We often have doctors stop by weary from a long and grueling day just to get one of Isaac's hugs.  It brings healing to a tired soul.  Ariella's entire body smiles when she smiles.  Her face radiates light and shines Jesus to all those around her.  This act should not be underestimated or undervalued.  It is priceless and brings healing.

v. 25 says "I was like one who comforts mourners"
The older 2 boys have a little "mission" of their own-to provide "fun and friendship" to the kids in the hospital.  Our hospital is funny.  You can't leave until you pay your bill. Even if you are better.  Your trapped until the bill is paid.  In essence you are a prisoner.  For kids being cooped up is like jail.  Often we find kids there for months at a time.  Their parents have left to try and find money for their bill leaving them all alone.  There was one boy in particular that Hudson was drawn to.  He told me that he couldn't walk home without stopping by to say "hello" or color a picture with him.  The Lord tugged on his heart and he chose not to ignore it.  Hudson's visit was the highlight to this boy, to this "mourner" who was grieving his freedom, his family.  You will often find Hudson walking up to the pediatric ward with a backpack full of fun-stickers, bubbles, colors -you name it.  He is ready to bring joy to someone's day.  There was a boy named Titus.  Titus was 3, just like Jude was 3.  Titus had fallen into the cooking fire and was severely burned.  We met Titus on our way home from church when we stopped by to say "hi".  Jude noticed him crying in pain.  He was trapped in traction.  It was like a cage surrounding him.  He was unable to move.  Jude was drawn to him.  We went home and made him a beaded necklace and tied a shiny turtle on it.  We went back to hang it about Titus' head.  We instantly heard him stop crying!  We prayed for him.  Jude always remembered to pray for him every night before bed.  His prayer went something like this, "please help the boy, Titus, who's 3 like me and who got burned really bad feel better really soon."

I think what I am trying to encourage you with is that God cares about the little things.  Because the little things are big things to God.  And the "little things" - our children are God's gift to us as moms.  They have so much to offer this world if only we give them the opportunity to shine.  If we give them wings to soar.  If we allow them to bring "healing" to this hurting world.  A world desperate for band aids, for beaded necklaces with shiny turtles, for bubbles, for smiles that radiate the Kingdom of Jesus-the light of His glory.  Love the "little"years.  Seize every moment of them.  God treasures them and longs to use them in ways our minds cannot fathom.  This is why despite what the world would see as sacrifice or suffering- I see joy, I feel content.  Each of our days is full of mission-full of purpose.  And for this I humbly fall on my knees and say "Thank You, Lord!" 

Let me leave you from a quote from a blog I read a long time ago.
"We've chosen this life of changing diapers, watching our waistline expand to accommodate a growing nugget, and being on the never ending rotation of meals and baths.  Because the truth is we've been entrusted to royalty, every parent has been.  We've got babies to raise up so that when their little feet hit the ground, the enemy's heart trembles with fear.  They're awake and they're coming.  They're coming to lay hands on the sick and see them healed.  They're coming to shake the kingdom of darkness and forever change the world around them.  And it begins in a diaper gripping sippy cup."


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Hello all,
In keeping with tradition we have made a summary slideshow of the year, 2012.  Hope you enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCxEoy9AZ60

Monday, November 19, 2012

Community Work

 I thought I might share some pictures and stories from some of the community work we have been doing.  We praise God for the opportunities He has given us to serve in the villages surrounding Kapsowar and in the valley among the Pokot people.  It has been a lot of fun and we hope that through it all the Lord is using this work to spread the gospel. 

This is Hudson and I in front of the new Pokot Clinic that we constructing.  It will be the first Health Center in that area and we hope it will greatly serve the physical and spiritual needs of that community. 
Hudson and Jude came with me to help out at one of our mobile clinics that we are doing there until we can get it fully operational hopefully sometime early next year. 
This was our pre-clinic message where I shared the gospel.  Still a lot of Pokot that are not believers and in many ways they are still quite resistant to the gospel.  Tribalism and rituals predominate.  The men have multiple wives and the women undergo female circumcision and start getting married very early sometimes as early as age 12. 
This old grandma was blind from Trachoma.  She is the mother of Philip a recent convert to Christianity and my Chairman for the Pokot Clinic Building Committee. 
Hudson, Jude and a visitor named Carla helped to bathe all the children that came to our clinic.  Many of them were quite dirty so I'm sure it was a treat and some were also not so happy about it:) 
The boys also helped out in our pharmacy and overall did an incredible job as my little helpers.
Here are some Pokot women getting some of the free food that we were able to bring to them.
The patients all went through a triage area and then came to see me to get treatment.  Clara is a Pokot Nursing Student that we are helping and she would like to come work at the clinic when she is finished. 
After the clinic we all relaxed and had a good time.  The boys had some Peanut Butter sandwiches since I couldn't get them to eat much of the goat that was served to us at each meal. 
We had fun playing a little "football"
This is how we/they cook our meals, over an open fire.  That is a big pot of boiled goat meat.  No I was not in charge.   They can pick up those hot pots with their bare hands no problem.  Not me. 
This is the site for the new staff house that we are going to start building this week.
Hudson did a great job teaching the kids at Sunday School.
He taught them on the wise man that built his house upon the rock.
They gave out suckers to kids that answered questions correctly... and then to everyone.
They were a big hit with all the kids except some of them need a little extra help getting off the wrappers.

I got to preach at the church that was planted there by the Kenyan Missionary that I work with.  It is a simple church with iron sheet walls.  I love the Pokot believers.  Many of them have incredible testimonies.  Mostly, they are first generation Christians and facing a lot of stress from their tribe.  We need to be praying for them and for the growth of the church. 

Next to our work in villages around Kapsowar.  We started a Community Health Program where we are going twice a week into nearby villages and teaching the children in the schools and then doing talks among the community members and a medical clinic for them.  My big topics for them are about the dangers of teenage pregnancy and alcohol.  We include the good news of the gospel in our talks and have great hopes to see God transform our communities. 

Talking to students at a local school.

We have probably had the opportunity to talk to over 2000 students at this point and we want to keep it going so we reach most of the schools around us and return every year.  What a tremendous opportunity I feel this will be to impact the next generation. 
This is a group of High School girls that we spoke to at a school and during this picture they were all praying a prayer to commit their lives to Christ and to sexual purity.  It was great!
This was a community meeting and the man on the left was giving a testimony of how God freed him from the grips of alcohol and had given him new life.  Praise the Lord!
This was our first community trip held at our local church that we attend, Ngongoroi.  They have a small "nursery" school there.  It was a lot of fun and we got to preach to the community members that came as well. 
Thanks for your prayers and support for our ministry.  We really appreciate each one of you!
Happy Holidays!

Friday, September 7, 2012

In a land far, far away!


Once upon a time, in a Kingdom far, far away there lived a King.  He was busy fashioning together a boy and a girl.  He had many big dreams for them.  He proudly sent them off to a new land. His heart was filled with many hopes for the pair.  The girl and the boy grew.  They grew in their love for their Creator and grew in their love for the people that surrounded them. The boy was faithful and hard working.  He was given many wonderful gifts from the Creator that he determined to use to bring Him honor.  The girl was tender and felt a stirring in her heart that went beyond the country that surrounded her.  The King crossed their paths, they fell in love and were married.  He gave them a vision for a territory unseen by their eyes.  He only asked that they trust Him each step of the way.  In the 3rd year of their marriage, the King gave them their first knight.  He proved to be loyal and obedient.  He was always willing to stand firmly for justice and mercy.  2 years later, the 2nd knight joined their family.  He was passionate and full of love and life.  He fiercely fought for what he believed in.  His heart was set on the battles he felt worthy to fight.  Soon after the 3rd knight entered their family.  He brought joy and laughter like they had never known.  He was faithful and pure.  He loved, and sang and danced with great abandon.  The King gave them their assignment and told them it was time to "go".  They set off into a territory He had prepared in advance for them. It proved to be all they had been dreaming of.  A life filled with sharing the Hope and Truth they clung to with everything in them.  It was a life spent serving a people that the King desperately loved.  It was apparent that the Creator had prepared each one with special gifts to give this people.  Just when they thought life couldn't get any better-a daughter entered their family.  Her family diligently prayed for her to be as strong as a lioness but filled with grace as she made her place in this world.  They prayed her life would bring 2 cultures together in unity.  They prayed that she would bring new beauty into their world.  The prayers were answered.  Those from home were longing to meet this copper haired treasure. So they set off to their homeland.  Families were joyfully reunited and memories were made.  But the family could not quench the longing in their hearts to return to the land that the King had prepared for them.  So they set off once again on their long, long journey.  The people received them warmly with great love and generosity.  It was if they were coming home again.  So their story continues.  The year began with fantastic birthday celebrations.






Treacherous journeys were made to visit friends they had missed dearly.  Only to tell of the King's faithfulness to protect them.  The story continued after 30 of the strongest men in the village came to display all of their strength to pull the family's vehicle to safety.  The family were awestruck by the kindness and love that was so generously given.


The days of the knights are filled with conquering the world one villain at a time.

But not without injury.










The knights all faithfully study reading, writing and arithmetic oh and history, geography, science and Bible.  They know this will help them to lead the next generation into many great new territories.







When the copper haired girl grows weary of battling with the knights she often retreats to the pink abyss as she thinks upon all things lovely, like flowers and butterflies and beautiful birds.


There have been rainstorms and power outages that have created memories to last a lifetime.

The family have encountered beasts that have become our friends as well.



 Days are filled with the fervent and faithful prayers for clinics and wells.  Intercessions for children that have been tragically injured by swarms of bees and blazing fires.  All have been answered.  Some have brought the family tears of joy.  Others have brought them heartache unfathomable.


























The family is happy to be back in this precious land they call home.  Each day brings new adventure and hope as they follow the King who has faithfully provided for them every step of the way.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Praise the Lord!  We made it to our first Pokot clinic since coming back to Kenya.  We had a wonderful time and the Lord was so good to us by giving us traveling mercies and a blessed time with the people there.  We started our journey on Saturday morning and made the 4 hour drive to Lodengo where we have been going to work among the Pokot for over the past 1 year now.  It was my first clinic since returning from our furlough.  I was very interested to see how the work was going on in the clinic/health center that we are constructing.  When I left them last December they had only completed the foundation.  So I was very happy to see that they had already almost completed the building.  The community has really all been working so hard.  The women have been bringing all the water they need for the project often walking long distances to find it.  As you may know we are in the process of digging a well, but it had to be put on hold until another bigger drilling rig can come and finish the job.  We found the ground was very rocky there so we are praying to get water soon.  So before we started our clinic we took time to really appreciate all the work they had done.  We held the mobile clinic in the new clinic building even though it was not all the way done.  It was still so great to use even 3 of the rooms and everyone was so happy.  Before the clinic we had a time for sharing the gospel.  I shared the story of the tower of Babel and how the people at that time were building it to bring glory to themselves, but that we wanted to build this clinic to bring glory to God.  I asked how many of them were followers of Jesus and less than half of them raised their hands.  I wish I could tell you that at the time of the invitation they all decided to accept Jesus in their lives, but that did not happen.  There is still much darkness in that place and that is why we want to have a steady presence among them with the clinic.  God is beginning to break through among them and every time we go we get to see the new believers and fellowship with them.  On Sunday morning we spent several hours with them, worshiping together and praying for their people.  We heard one testimony of a woman that had come to know the Lord the week before.  She said she had been making home alcohol brews before, but she was no longer going to do that.  She now wanted to follow Christ.  All the believers are first generation Christians.  It is fun to see their excitement for learning new things about the Lord.  We are praying for God to fully reach their people and that they would follow Him for generations to come.  It felt very good to be ministering to them again in their physical and spiritual needs.  That is our goal each time we come.  We make sure that they know we love them and we are there because of Jesus.  We take time to pray with each patient when they come to the clinic which has been such a joy.  It seems like I always get my sickest patients coming on Sunday mornings.  The last 2 visits I have had to start IVs on sick patients before church.  The woman that came this time had recently miscarried and had lost a lot of blood.  We gave her IV fluids and medicine to help her blood levels increase.  She came to us dizzy and bearly able to stand.  When she left I saw her smiling at me and with her strength back, which is one of the reasons why I will keep going back again and again.  I look forward to opening the Health Center Lord willing by early next year.  We hope to complete the clinic and start working on building a staff house within the next month.  Thank you to so many of you that have helped contribute to this project.  We feel it is worthwhile and something the Lord desires for these people.  We pray that it will produce much fruit in every way for many years to come.  Enjoy some pictures below of our trip.  

AIC Lodengo Health Center under Construction

Meeting with Pokot woman before the clinic

Post-partum ward and matenity under construction

Evans and I.  He is my contractor for the building.

Before the clinic

Pre-clinic message

Praying with a mom and her sick baby

The children singing at church

Saturday, August 11, 2012

1st Month Back in Kenya

We are happy to report that our family is back in Kapsowar Kenya and we are doing well!  This first month back has been a very busy and exciting one.  We really enjoyed having Vanessa's mom here as she came back with us to stay for a couple of weeks and get a taste of what our life is like here in Kenya.  Her time with us was full of fun times as a family, sweet times introducing her to our Kenyan friends, a few adventure moments and some times of just our typical daily lives.  I'm sure she could tell you more of her stories and favorite moments.  The kids really enjoyed having her around and it was sad to see her go.  I will say I'm sure she is glad to get back to the nice American roads...during her time here we had a scary "minor" accident that could have been much worse if God had not provided a perfectly placed tree that kept our car from rolling off the hillside when the muddy roads pushed us off the road.  It was a reminder to us all at how we are so daily dependent on the Lord for His protection over our family.  We certainly are thankful for all those who have been lifting us up in prayer.

Vanessa will be writing more updates soon about family life, but I thought I might share a few stories from how it has been for me back at the hospital.  I have enjoyed being back to work at our hospital and am excited about the things going on here.  We have a great new Nursing Officer that I have enjoyed working with.   We are currently working through expanding the amount of community outreach that we are doing which has always been an interest of mine.  We are still training nursing school students and last week the senior students took their exams to graduate.  We are trying to recruit some of them to work in our Pokot clinic when it opens, probably early next year.  I will be taking a team down to do a mobile clinic this next weekend so more updates to come soon on that with pictures.  

There have been a few patient encounters that have encouraged me since being back.  One was a lady that I mentioned on a facebook update.  She was admitted to our hospital with a new diagnosis of HIV and TB.  I asked for people to pray because she was not accepting her diagnosis and was threatening to take her life.  After several long talks with her over her time here I began to see her attitude change.  We gave her the best care we could for her physical body and we saw the Lord bring her into much better health.  We also addressed her spiritual needs with her by counseling and prayer.  She reaffirmed her faith in Christ and began to accept the hope that He provides.  Emotionally she became more encouraged and joyful as I saw her each day.  My hope was that each time I saw her I could bring a smile to her face.  We also got her accustomed to prayer at each visit so much that the last time I saw her before I could finish she said, "doctor don't forget to pray."  We truly saw God do a mighty work in her and I really appreciate everyone who prayed for her. 

That patient really summarizes what my hope is to do during our time here.  I have heard other missionaries say, "I am here to do for them what they cannot do for themselves."  I agree with this and have thought about what I have to offer them.  I have seen how medicine here is very focused on the physical only.  It is my heart to practice and teach whole person care that addresses the physical, spiritual and emotional needs of patients.  Many of you probably heard me tell the story during our furlough about the poisoning patient that we "treated" but did not "heal."  The one who was sent home after he physically improved but returned the next month with the same thing because we had not yet addressed his spiritual and emotional needs.  Well, very quick in my time here we had another patient just like that.  Fortunately, this time before she was sent home we picked up on the fact that she was still depressed and was planning to attempt suicide again after discharge.  We were able to work together as a team with myself and the chaplains to counsel her and encourage her mind and spirit.  She admitted that she had been living with several men and when we tested her for HIV she was positive.  I spent a long time talking to her about the choices that she has made in her life, the consequences of sin, but how there is hope and forgiveness found in Christ.  She responded very well and decided to give her life to the Lord.  l couldn't help but think of the woman at the well and I pray she continues on for the Lord. 

Her case reminded me again of our need for discipleship.  This is one of my biggest goals for this term.  I am planning to meet with our chaplains this week to decide on how we want to proceed in discipling those patients that come to know the Lord.  I hope to send them with materials, a Bible and a letter to their local pastor to encourage them to continue the discipleship process when they go home.  I would also like to work in follow-ups in the community with these people when we get our community health program going.  Good health is more than just physical!

We hope to keep the updates coming with more pictures in the next ones. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Making House Calls


Here is the article and link to the video from Samaritan's Purse about our ministry in Kenya

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfKNbir5sVw

A physician’s visit to an ailing child opens the door to a new remote medical clinic in Kenya


“This is Kyle. Where is she? Now? I’ll be right there!” Dr. Kyle Jones dropped his cell phone into his pocket and sprinted into the darkness along the rutted, muddy road that led to Kapsowar Hospital, a remote mission hospital in the hills of northwestern Kenya.

In less than five minutes, he delivered healthy twin boys to a woman lying on a gurney in the entryway. It was another typical evening at the hospital.

“You’re always on call,” said the young physician from Tulsa, Oklahoma. “You never know what to expect.”

When Kyle completed his medical residency, he and his wife, Vanessa, packed up their three young sons and headed for Kenya, following in the footsteps of missionary pioneers who had served at Kapsowar Hospital since it started as a small dispensary in 1933.

Last August, Vanessa gave birth to a daughter, Ariella. The local Marakwet people gave her the name Jepchemoi, which means, “born in the middle of the night.”

The move to Kenya fulfilled a call to missions that Kyle first experienced when he was 12 years old. He didn’t know then that he would become a physician serving in Kenya through World Medical Mission’s Post-Residency Program. The program helps Christian physicians pursue careers in medical missions by supporting them for their first two years on the field.

Dr. Jones faced all of the unique challenges of practicing medicine in the developing world, from treating unusual tropical diseases to managing life-threatening complications of preventable illnesses that are rarely seen in the United States.

One of Dr. Jones’ patients was a little boy named Musa who had a severe case of meningitis. Musa was from the Pokot tribe that lived down in Kerio Valley, several hours away.

Dr. Jones treated Musa and prayed earnestly for his recovery. “It was really a miracle that he survived,” he said.

After Musa returned to his village, Dr. Jones wanted to see him for a follow-up exam. He decided to make a house call that had a far-reaching effect on the Pokot people.

News that Dr. Jones was coming to Lodengo quickly spread beyond Musa’s family. Dozens of people were waiting to see the doctari when he arrived.

The need for medical care was overwhelming. Dr. Jones did what he could and promised to return with more supplies and medical personnel to set up a mobile clinic. Before long, teams of doctors, nurses, and interns from Kapsowar Hospital were making regular trips down treacherous mountain roads to minister to Pokot families.

Sick and injured people came from miles around. Expectant mothers received prenatal care and children were immunized. Emergency cases were often transported to the hospital at the end of the day.

A woman named Mercy walked nine miles to bring her 1-year-old daughter, Chebet, to the clinic.

“My baby is sick,” she said. “There is nowhere else as good as this to go to. We all wait until we know the doctors are coming.”

The mobile clinics also included spiritual care. A Kenyan missionary, Stephen Olimaouma, had moved to Lodengo from Lake Victoria to plant a church among the Pokot. The local church family and the Christian medical workers made a powerful team.

“Sharing the Gospel at the clinic is the first thing we do,” Pastor Olimaouma said. “They need to know Jesus.”

Members of the medical team always pray with their patients and find opportunities to share the Gospel.

Dr. Jones was pleased when he asked one woman if she knew Jesus Christ as her Savior and she said yes.

“I was happy when she said yes and I asked her when she got saved,” he said. “She said, ‘The first time you all came.’ What a joy it was to me to see some of the fruits of the ministry!”

The medical pioneers also became unexpected ambassadors of peace. For generations, disputes over cattle and land led to deadly conflicts between the Pokot in the valley and the Marakwet, whose territory extends into the hills surrounding Kapsowar Hospital.

One eerie stretch of the boulder-strewn road that winds down into the valley passes by a Marakwet village that was burned to the ground by a group of Pokot cattle raiders. More than 30 people were killed.

Fear of entering “enemy” territory often prevented Pokot families from seeking medical care at the hospital. The Pokot were at first surprised and then grateful to receive compassionate care from Marakwet medical workers that came their village.

“The medical clinic has brought healing to the community and peace between the Pokot and Marakwet people,” Pastor Olimaouma said.

Visits by the mobile medical teams also emphasized the need for a permanent clinic in the area. Dr. Jones and others dug into their own pockets to create a building fund. The clinic is now under construction. A well is also being drilled to provide clean water for the entire community.

Dr. Jones recently completed his two-year commitment with the Post-Residency Program. He and his family are back in Tulsa, preparing to return to Kapsowar Hospital in July to continue sharing the Gospel as medical missionaries.

“When God gives the vision, we should not be discouraged," Dr. Jones said. "It is only God who receives all the glory. God cares about our physical and spiritual needs, and as a physician, I need to provide that same care for my patients. My prayer is that they will know Jesus.”


Website to donate to Kyle and Vanessa Jones' Ministry is:
http://www.inhisimage.org/international/give.html