THE ANIMALS OF MAUA
...AND WE ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT THE CATS!
This has been a challenging time for Maua Methodist Hospital.
And we need your support more now than in any time in Sue’s and my memories. We need you to Come Join the Herd!!!
To explain, let me share an experience from a morning chapel service I led a few months back. I asked every member present to turn to their neighbor and share that, if they were an animal, what animal would they be?
I expected some to share that they would be lions! You know, strong and mighty – king of the jungle!
Or I thought some might opt for a giraffe – far sighted and wise, regal even….
Maybe some felt they were like the Topi, ever alert, standing on a mound and looking out for others!
Or maybe a Cape Buffalo - impressive, strong, bold...
Sue had a suggestion for me....can't remember if it was this.....
Really gotta get a hearing aid.....
But few, if any, of these animals were mentioned. The overwhelming response was…..this…..
Seriously? A cow? I mean, given you could be a lion, or an eagle, or a Seahawk, would you want to be a cow? Really?
When I asked "why a cow?", the answer came through true and clear. Because in this culture a cow brings life. Milk for drinking and milk for sale. Calves for trade and sale. Even meat for a hungry family. For those at chapel that morning, being a cow was an affirmation that the staff of Maua Methodist Hospital brings life. It is what they are called to do...it is what they are dedicated to doing.
And they need your help in living that vision! We need you to be a part of the "herd!"
It is hard to imagine that a setting as beautiful as Maua is facing issues related to its security. The flowers are bright; the birds beautiful; the rains have made things green and lush ;
- all this, ...and yet security is at the forefront of our thinking here at Maua Methodist Hospital.
The hymns and prayers in chapel are lifted up; good healing is happening; the sounds of newborns echo through the wards;
all this, ...and yet things are tense and uncertain.
The terrorist murders at Garissa University have put the whole nation on edge, hospital included. Rumors fly; speculation runs amok; and yet the staff is holding its head high. In the words of one senior staff member, “We stand together!” We are still giving life!
Three weeks ago Sue and I felt the situation was tense enough here that we sent an email to Kathie Mann, which was relayed to team leaders sharing our concerns. We worry that we cannot give the signal this year that it is “business as usual” in terms of team involvement. We would never tell teams what to do - come or don't come - but we do feel it important to provide information as we perceive it and let teams make their own decisions. This we did, and most teams have cancelled for this summer.
And yet…and yet…and yet we love this hospital and its mission to those in need of the amazing healing offered here. Christian, Muslim, Non-Believer – it matters not. Rich, poor – it matters not. When a person comes through our gates looking for hope and life we do what we can. If their condition is life threatening we treat them. Period.
And that is where we need your help.
With the teams not coming this summer, there will be a serious negative impact on the hospital. We need the many supporters of the hospital to come together and, for the next six months or so, make regular, loving gifts to the hospital's Service Fund.
The Service Fund, in turn, will allow us to continue giving life-saving medical care to people who do not have the resources to pay for it.
He is here in the front - shortly after birth his back was broken, and never treated. Without surgery his life would not last much longer than the few years he already has lived. When we first met him, he told us, "I hurt." That was because there was not room in his deformed chest cavity for a little boy to grow. So how much is a life worth? For Kevin, the surgery cost the hospital 150,000 Kenyan Shillings, or about $1700. Kevin is an orphan, and his grandparents have no funds.
So we need your help to give Kevin life.
The little boy behind him also cannot pay for his broken arm. But who would not mend a child's arm.
These are the people we need to give life to.
Like these patients, many of whom cannot pay for the surgery that saved their lives....
Like these children, who rely on the gifts of others for their very lives.
Maybe another way to ask it is this: Will your gift to the Service Fund make a difference?
Well, ask Angel, here with her family at her second birthday party - your giving gave her life! That's her in front of Pamela....with the bonnet!
Or ask Faith, who was shot in a cattle rustling incident near Ithata, and had one leg significantly shorter than the other as a result. Giving from people like you gave her two working legs and a new chance at life!
Or ask this father, a subsistence farmer, holding his child for the very first time. The C-section needed to save his wife and child were unplanned, and he used all his cash to get them to the hospital from far away. Your gift to the Service Fund is what is bringing the gratitude to his eyes.
The hospital needs your help. These are challenging times. But we know that God will speed us into the future in good ways.
A new surgeon is coming in September.
Dr. Inoti is being trained in June in India, and when he returns in the Fall, the Eye Institute will bring sight via cataract removal throughout the Maua catchment area!
There is a bright future at Maua Methodist Hospital that the threats of terrorism will never dim! We need you to be a part of that bright future now.
Go to www.umcmission.org, and hit the "Donate Now" button! The Service Fund Advance Special number is #09613A. Just enter the number when prompted and your gift will get to us within a month and a half at the latest!
So what kind of animal do you see yourself as being?
Come join us...
...as we give life to those who need our help in Maua!
We will miss the teams this summer, but you can still be a part of the work here in Maua, but you can still be part of the "healing herd"!
We are praying that next summer teams will be able to come again. Until then,
the needs here will still be hanging around!
Jim Monroe and Sue Owen