The Village of Shinyalu


Today we made our way to the village of Shinyalu over 8 miles of dirt roads.  This is rural Kenya at its best!  On the way we passed a lot of little farms and people walking to Kakamega with baskets of bananas or avocadoes on their heads.  Most of the people in the camp today are elderly people, women and children, because the young men leave the farm to try to find work in the city.  Traditionally the work of raising kids and working the farm fall on the women.  There are a lot of sick people out here because the medical facilities are far away and very few people can afford a doctor or medicine.

When we arrived this morning it was chaos.  Everything had to be arranged and rearranged to make our camp work.  In the end this rural church turned out to be the ideal setting for a medical camp.  We saw over 700 patients again today.  So many people are expressing gratitude to us for our coming.  What a privilege it is to serve these sweet people.

Shinyalu is Abaluya country.  Out here a lot of people do not speak English and many don’t even speak Swahili.  Simeon and Mary Obayo are Luya’s so over the years I have made it a point of learning some Luya greetings.  The people always laugh when there here their language coming out of the mouth of a white man.

The Red Cross joined us in this camp to treat people with “jiggers”.  Jiggers are horrible little insects just a little bigger than a flee, that burrow themselves into your skin and lay their eggs.  The result is horrible infections that eventually cause people to lose their fingers, toes and feet.  The treatment is to soak the infected area in antiseptic for an hour to kill the jigger and then to squeeze it out.  Not a pretty process.  The dirt in Western Kenya is bright red and for some reason this red earth is a breeding ground for these little bugs.  The Red Cross just joined us last year.  They came and donated us a bunch of expensive equipment  to Worldcomp and then they worked with us the whole time.  Bless their hearts.

Just a few more days of camp.  Please continue to pray for the team, because the pace really is taking its toll.  4 of us are taking antibiotics because we have scratchy throats, runny noses and a cough.  In spite of this everyone is doing a fabulous job.

GREAT NEWS!  The ultrasound technician just fired up the ultrasound machine and it is working.  Tomorrow we will put the transducers on and begin to use it.  The poor thing has really had a hard journey from Seattle to Kakamega, but Hallelujah, it is back in action.  We believe that  machine will have a long and prosperous life here in Kenya.

THE SHIKUSA BOYS REALLY HAVE A NEED.  Today we spoke to the warden at the Shikusa Boys Detention Center.  We had planned on buying them 100 new plastic chairs to add to the 100 be bought last year, but the warden begged us to consider buying mattresses for the boys.  A quarter (125) of them are sleeping on the floor on blankets and a number of them are doubling up on little two foot wide foam mattresses.  We agreed today that we would buy them 110 mattresses at the cost of $1000.  I would love to do more but finances just won’t allow it.  Anyone want to buy a mattress or two?  The cost of a mattress is $9.00.

Tomorrow we set up at Ibinzo.  This church and ministry is run by Compassion International and is really a lovely place.

Thanks again for your prayers

Richard