This is a trip story from Erin Shawver. Erin goes to North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, GA, and was the trip leader for the first ever medical mission trip to Ngaamba North!
We arrived in Kenya on Saturday, Aug 21st and got to tour the community and see what projects they’ve completed and see what other teams that came before us worked on as well. What a tremendous blessing it was to meet everyone and see the fruits of their labor. They handed us each a bound community plan that had all the budgets, projects and goals in it. We were highly impressed with their dedication to the progress and growth within their community and the detailed plans that they had in place.
Sundays in Ngaamba are just a true treasure and a blessing for sure. Our team split up into two groups and visited the local churches. Rob, our trip leader and my husband was able to share and speak about the word of God to the Kenyans and it was definitely through the Lord that the words spoken touched the people in that church that day. Afterwards we led three Bible study small groups. One for the children, one for the ladies and one for the men. The men’s group was so great that they were asked to prepare an additional study for later on in the week! What amazing power the Holy Spirit was able to spark in the lives of the men in that group that day. We then went to the homes of some of the people in Ngaamba and got to serve them and love on them in the most special ways that we could. They were so receiving and accepting of us, it was a true gift!
Monday was the start of our medical camps and we unpacked and organized all the supplies we brought and all the supplies that the Kenyan medical team was able to get for us there. We were overwhelmed by how much God had provided for us as far as resources go. We, being human by nature, were thinking we may be short on supplies and little did we know God already had an abundance of resources over and above what we needed. We got started treating patients that day and began to see many trends in ailments. Sore achy muscles, dry itchy eyes, and poor eye sight in general as well as lots of dental issues. We also saw some very severe conditions as well that we unfortunately had to refer the patients out to see a specialist. It was certainly hard knowing you had come so far to treat patients and having to tell them there’s nothing you can do for them medically, but the beauty of it was that there was indeed something that we could do. And that was to love on them, pray with them and give them the hope of Christ and the good news. I had prepared scripture cards prior to leaving that had various verses on each with the Swahili translation on the back. We handed out a scripture card to every patient that we treated so they could carry the word of God with them wherever they may go and through what ever circumstance they may be facing they could find hope and truth through those verses. The Ngaamba 410 Council members had done such a beautiful job in planning and preparing prior to us arriving there and it was not unnoticed at all. We were able to set up what we needed to set up and just treat patients without having to worry about the line outside of our treatment rooms or if the people would even show up. Everything was super organized and all the people waiting in line were patient in their waiting and grateful to just be there. We certainly couldn’t have asked for more!
Tuesday morning we taught medical seminars which were really amazing! We had such a great turn out and the people in the community were very responsive to the education being taught and asked great questions. We taught on sex-ed and HIV prevention, dental hygiene, breast-feeding and pre-natal care, and first-aide! Knowledge is certainly power so our prayer was and is that the lessons we taught on will empower them to lead healthier lives from now on with the knowledge they gained from the seminars.
Tuesday afternoon we began medical camp again and over the course of two days we were able to treat 214 patients. Out of those 214 patients 148 of them were children. We treated one lady in our room that said she was 116 years old and she blessed us by giving us the Kenyan blessing and we prayed together. What a powerful message of the love that we share through Christ with our brothers and sisters in Kenya. They cared about our well-being and lives just as much as we cared and loved on them! At the end of the day we were sad because that was the last day that we were able to treat patients and there of course were more people that needed our help. But we were thankful and grateful to the Lord that He provided us with an overage of supplies that we could leave with the 410 Bridge Council members and that the people that still needed treatment would be able to utilize those additional supplies even after we returned home. What a blessing from the Lord it was to know this and what a comfort it was as well.
Wednesday was our community farewell day and it was super emotional. We had just gotten to know everyone and feel at home when all of sudden it had come to an end. Funny how time just flies right by when you are having so much fun serving others and also being served. We spent time playing games and we also had an additional Bible study time for the men and the ladies. This time is a time we will each treasure forever and a time that the word of the Lord really spoke into the lives of the Kenyans through us. It was beautiful! It was uplifting! It was a gift! We learned as they learned and they taught us lots of things as well. We finished out the day giving manicures and pedicures, playing games, singing songs and learning how to weave blankets with the ladies. We could not have asked the Lord for a better time with the people in Ngaamba! We are all changed forever for the better and cannot wait until the Lord brings us back and reunites us with our friends in Ngaamba again.