Greetings from Kenya
Wow, we can't believe that it has been almost a whole year since arriving in Kapsowar. We are so thankful for what the Lord has allowed us to do and see during this time. We could not have done it without the prayers and support of people like you. So thank you very much. This Christmas we are also thankful to be celebrating the opening of our new newborn nursery at the hospital. This new space is going to help babies like baby Cynthia whom some of you may have heard about. She was a very special baby that was born severely premature at only 29 weeks (normal is 40). Plus her mother is HIV positive. She weighed less than 1kg which is a little over 2 pounds, the smallest baby I have seen here yet. She struggled and struggled for a long time, but the Lord sustained her and miraculously after 101 days in the hospital she was able to go home. We praise God because we really didn't have the right equipment to keep a baby of her size alive, it was only God who did it. Everyone had been praying for her and when she was discharged we had a party for them. I praise God for her and her mother whom we saw yesterday in follow-up and they are doing great. Cynthia is now 3.3kg or about 7 pounds. We were so happy to pray together and thank God for this miracle. Because of your support we were also able to give her some money to restart her little shop/business that had dropped off while she was in the hospital.
Community Home Visits
Another excited thing that we have started doing at the hospital is community follow-up visits in patient homes. I recently had the chance to visit a girl named Faith. She lives in a nearby village about a 15 minute drive away. She had been in the hospital with rheumatic fever. On follow-up we were able to see that she was improving physically with her treatment. We also addressed her spiritual state and found out that she had never accepted the Lord Jesus as her Savior, but after hearing the gospel she was eager to pray and invite Him in. We also became aware of the many challenges facing their family. The fa- ther told me that he had 9 children and he was unable to meet all the family's financial needs such as school fees. This is a common request for us and it is difficult to know how best to help. In this case we decided to help him start a new gardening project where we supplied seeds and a special sprayer to help him grow some vegetables that he can use to sell and to better feed his family. Please continue to pray for this family and many others like them that are struggling to make ends meet.
Exciting Opportunities Among Pokot People
We also want to give an update on the Pokot trips that we have been doing. We have done 5 trips now down into the valley to see these precious people that have been unreached with the gospel. We always visit a small growing church among them and take about 16 people to do a one day clinic and lead their church service. The last time we went I had the privilege of bringing them
the Pokot Bibles that I had promised them. They were so happy to be holding the whole Bible in their hands written in their own heart language. Praise God for that and pray that God's word would trans- form them and the gospel would spread among them. They are also very much wanting us to help them start a permanent health clinic. They even do- nated to the project 10 acres of land to be used for the clinic. The community has formed a committee to oversee it and I have met with a Kenyan man named Willy Komen that has been helping to start clinics like this among the Pokot people before. This however would be the first clinic for his or- ganization among the East Pokot people. It appears that things are coming together for this, but of course our biggest challenges at this point are finances to build the clinic and proper staff to manage and run it. It is possible that our nursing school could help in some of the staffing needs and I am looking to become more involved in teaching there as well. As far as the cost to build the clinic, I talked to my friend Willy and he said that they have been able to build other similar clinics for around $10,000 which is quite small in comparison to what it would cost to build in the U.S. This is something we feel excited and led to help out with. If any of you would like to help out with this particular project please send me an email and send the money to our Samaritan's Purse account then we will send a gift to Willy Komen's organization which will spearhead the building project.
When I was a young girl I used to daydream that I was Laura Engles or Anne of Green Gables and sometimes Christy and every once in a while Dr. Quinn Medicine woman. I now feel like I am living some of those dreams here in Kapsowar. We have a small farm complete with a goat, rooster, barn cat, a tortoise and every once in a while a chameleon. I have the most amazing little “shamba” or my garden. We grow most produce that we need in our backyard. We don't go to Lowe's to get the supplies needed to tend this garden all we need is here in the land. I have my one room schoolhouse which I am the teacher of. We are now creating all of our Christmas decorations. We will have garland from bushes here, poinsettias from the backyard tree, gingerbread ornaments and stockings bought at a local market. We often have family game nights by lantern. And our Thanksgiving was by candlelight due to an unexpected power outage. It often feels like we have stepped back in time to a simpler time in life. We are truly thankful for God's creation and our friends that help us learn the details of living life without many modern conveniences along the way. Through this year we have seen our family grow closer and be united under one purpose to share the good news of our Savior, Jesus, with the people of Kenya. It is such an honor and privilege to be a part of God's work here. Thank you for being our partner. We are humbly grateful for you allowing us to be your hands and feet to God's children here.
May God Bless You and Merry Christmas,
The Jones Family
Kyle, Vanessa, Hudson, Jude and Isaac