Wednesday, June 13, 2012





When we discovered that our special neighbor, Mama Ogla was in the hospital,  it was unquestioned... we MUST visit her.
It was my first time into a public hospital here in Kenya. 

The conditions are difficult even to describe... filth... heat... bugs... crowded... Mama Ogla was sharing a (twin) bed with another large woman. 
I wish I had a picture - my emotions were too great to even pull out my camera!

 After a short while, Abby whispered to me, "I'm feeling a little dizzy." 
The whole situation was making me feel dizzy too!
We found a spot on the bed (already occupied by 2 ladies) for her to sit. As soon as Abby sat down, she fainted
Despite my protests, the other mama moved out of the hospital bed to leave some space for Abby to lie down.

As Abby was recovering, Mama Ogla started to describe the procedure she had gone through ...the pain she had experienced. I had gone through the same procedure in the US while under general anesthetic!  Mama Ogla hadn't even been given pain killers. 

Listening to her story, imagining the pain she must have suffered, I started to feel dizzy.  The next thing I knew, I was waking up on the floor of the hospital, with a huge crowd around me... including Mama Ogla - all trying to figure out how to get me up and into a bed.

Needless to say... we had a good laugh... a hospital visit we will never forget... and left many many patients and visitors with a great story to tell their families tonight!

And, my burden... the health care system - and how the poor are treated.    I ACHE for them!

We do love baby Ogla!

Sweet baby Ogla!
Ogla helping make soap

Mama Ogla, learning to make soap... getting ready to start her own business!

Supplies gifted to Mama Ogla for the startup of her soap business

Saturday, June 2, 2012

What if everything you own took you 20 minutes to pack up and move...

A struggling mama.... adores her sons!
Another desperate call today... from Mama Maina. 

Two months ago, she had her second baby boy.  In the hospital, she was unable to leave until her bill was paid (while at the same time, the bill grew with every extra day she stayed)... her husband was in jail, she had nowhere to turn!  As we got her to her home, we realized that the road ahead for her was going to be difficult.  The following 2 months have brought her to tears many times.  No food for herself or her 2 year old son.  Thus, her own milk supply has waned, causing the new baby to also be hungry.

Maina is 1 year, 10 months. Playing in the corner of their home.

Baba Maina (the father)?  He’s been out of jail.  He drinks.  He comes home sometimes... when he sees that there is no food, he leaves again. .. to be gone for days even weeks.

So, this morning, Mama Maina again found herself hungry,  in a hopeless place.  As we helped her think through a plan, she decided that if she moved, there would be more opportunity of opening a successful business.

The new baby, Mwangi Christopher.
She found a new “home” (10 foot square room) within an hour.  I drove to her old home to help her move.

We helped her pack.  2 DUFFLE BAGS which I had loaned her.  A gunny SACK which she had.  A CHAIR.  A very small square SIDE TABLE.  A TWIN MATTRESS (2 inches thick) - for all 4 of them to sleep on.  Plus a few PLASTIC CONTAINERS for carrying water and washing clothes. 

Everything she owned took 20 minutes to pack up!  It all fit easily in our mini van along with 4 adults and the 2 babies.

As we carried her few belongings, and helped sweep out her new home, I came to a big REALIZATION:  I am so blessed... oh, how ungrateful I am at times!

As we circled around, to pray together, for the first time in their new home, I KNEW... Jesus, you are all I need!  You are the only one who can meet Mama Maina’s needs!  You are the ONLY one who can satisfy...  Whether my belongings would take 20 MINUTES to pack up and move, or whether they would take WEEKS to organize, sort, pack and move...