The Camp at Ibinzo


The Village of Shimanyiro

SWIMMING IN MATTRESSES:

First of all let me say thank you to all the people who emailed me to say you would buy mattresses for the boys at the Shikusa Boys Detention Center.  Several hours after my email we receive enough money to buy 90 more mattresses.  Tomorrow a big truck will show up at Shikusa, while we are there, with 200 mattresses.  It will be like Christmas for the boys, because, believe me, sleeping in comfort is a universal joy.  This will be enough to get every boy who needs a mattress up off the floor.  Thank you Lord!  It will also be a testimony to the staff of the detention center.  We learned a few hours ago that the national director in charge of the prison’s system in Kenya will be there on the same day, because he wanted to meet us.  I trust that he will be a giver and not a getter, because the boy’s detention center needs the help of the government.

Today we are in village of Shimanyiro on the compound of the Ibinzo Church of God.  The ministry of the church is sponsored by Compassion International and is the center for a community outreach to 300 handicapped children and hundreds of orphans.  As you may know Compassion International solicits sponsors for children at risk all over the world and, in my opinion, are a ministry that is really worth supporting.  Doing a medical camp here is really a joy.  They really take care of our Doctors and nurses.  We usually get by on a few bananas, some cookies and some tea, but they serve everyone tea, peanuts, fry bread, and a tasteless substance called “Arrow Root”.  They call it Arrow Root because it grows in the ground like an arrow.  According to Dr. George it is one of the most nutritious substances in Kenya.  The Kenyans say “one bite of this will lengthen your life for a day”.  They also prepared an excellent lunch for the whole staff.  You keep the Arrow Root and give me the chicken!

My job today has been to go around and give all the children cookies: especially those who are crying.  Believe me, it’s a great job.  I am enormously popular. We will see a lot of people today for two reasons; one is that we were here last year and the other is that the nearest medical facility is several miles away and it is a clinic that rarely has medicine.

For the last several days the team has not gone to the restaurant for dinner.  It takes over an hour to be served and we are just too tired so we have been having picnics in one of the rooms and going to bed early.  Praise the Lord for PB and J and bananas.  Tonight though we went out to a local restaurant.  Both Britta and Kendall ordered “fish and chips”, what they got was a whole fried tilapia, with the head still on (it’s one of my favorite foods, but to an American it is a shocking sight) but let me say that both of the ate it the African way “with their fingers” and loved it.  It’s great to see people who are not afraid to try new things, and believe me, there are a lot of new things in Africa.

We end our medical camps tomorrow at the Shikusa Boys Detention Center.  I just love to go there and I am looking forward to seeing the boys.  So many of them (over 50%) have given their lives to the Lord and they love to worship.

More tomorrow…….

Richard