My Family

My Family
Summer 2015

Friday, November 29, 2013

November 26, 2013-Meru Hospice-3 visits

On Tuesday we visited Meru Hospice which serves over 800 patients all over the surrounding area.  They have a facility which is kind of like a clinic where people can come and get registered if they have AIDS or Cancer that has already been diagnosed as terminal.  Then they serve the people by going to their homes with their suitcase of medications if needed.  They supply physical, emotional and spiritual support by checking in on each patient on a regular basis--or at least once per month.  Right now they are about to run out of funds in about a year.  The interesting thing we have noted, is how the building itself is adequate but we as Americans might say it needs remodeling.  Tiles tearing up, walls need painting, etc.  But it is evident that the funds recieved for their work doesn't go to those kinds of needs, it goes to supporting the work on the ground that they do.  This is one of the nurses who told us about their work.  They have nothing to help "cure" patients but they do have the meds to maintain their AIDS patients which have become quite effective in helping them to live with it.  There is no chemo or anything like it, but they do have meds for pain management, etc.

 We presented them with one of the Proclaimers in Swahili to share with the patients as they see a need.  I brought along 4 of these to share with different groups.  They don't require batteries and are the entire Bible in the language of choice.  In this case Swahili.

 The first home we stopped at:
 one of the precious children that lives there.

 Telling the story of the lady on hospice with AIDS.

 Here is the grandma who has been on the program for many years.  Because of the help of the program, she has been able to start selling firewood to sustain her family which consists of all these children living with her in a small 2 room hut.  A few of the children aren't shown.  But, they are all her grandchildren and orphans because their parents (her children) are all gone.  Grandma is raising them, herself with AIDS.
 wash day
 just some pics from around her home.
 One thing about Africa...they all cook outside on a fire which I've mentioned before.  The constant smell of campfire is evident everywhere.
 Isaac noticed these shoes laying on the ground outside the house.  They are TOM's shoes.  Tom's is a company that sells shoes which are popular with a lot of people in America.  They are typically basic canvas type shoes but are a bit pricey in my opinion.  However, their slogan is "buy one give one".  Well, I think these people are the recepients of "give one".  These are Tom's shoes.
 These are pet rabbits...
They are pets until they die.
Then they are food.
The natives have been very confused by the fact that we have dogs as pets.  They look very puzzled by that because they say "what good are they?"  "When they die you can't eat them..."  Truly a confusing concept.

This is inside the home.  Several of the people we visited had these decorations on the ceiling of their modest homes.  They are pages from a book cut into these shapes.

 As far as I could see there were 2 bedrooms like this for her and all the kids.
This place did get to Lucas.  There was an odor from the farm animals just a few feet from the house.  Wet soil.  Smoke from the fire. and some other unexplained things.  All of a sudden as Lucas was playing with the kids he began to gag and just puked.  It just overwhelmed him.  He wasn't sick.  It was just a little more than he could handle.  I get it.  Many times it becomes a mind over matter thing, but his "honest" reaction was very real and I think some of us felt the same way.  Yet, these beautiful children, just live that way.
We also had a bit of an encounter in the van afterward with Fire Ants.  It was kind of like they came out of nowhere.  My sister got nailed and Lucas a little and me just slightly.  But, they are vicious little critters.

sweet babies.

Our second stop was a similar home. Another small hut.  But, not a lot of kids hanging around.  It was a husband and wife.  Both with cancer.  He had prostate cancer and then she developed stomach cancer.  Precious family.  They have a son who is mentally challenged that has a daughter about Lucas's age or so.  We asked about that and I guess it is quite the system.  I'm not quite sure I get it, but somehow the family of the "mother" of the child pays the family of the man and because he is mentally challenged he cannot inherit the land so she along with the child will eventually inherit the land??? It was bizzare.

Another moment with John and Isaac connecting and chatting.
A few pics around the home

This is the "mamee" with stomach cancer.  She was having a good day.  You can't see it on the picture but her stomach is very swollen.  The hospice nurse says she doesn't have much longer.
more of the ceiling decorations
This is the man of the house who has prostate cancer.  He has been treated with Hospice care for about 9 years.  At first he couldn't stand, and then he got into a wheel chair, then used a cane for a while and is now able to walk and get around.  It has matastasized, but he seems really great to me right now.
This is their grand daughter.  what a smile!!

around the house.

Lucas loved to chase the kids wherever we went.  His "white" skin kind of freaked them out and they would just stare at him.  After a while he would start interacting with them and they would all just be kids.  Laughing and playing...


oh ya baby.

a very precious man -- he spoke of his gratitude that we took time to come and see him.  Before we left I asked if I could pray over him, and he was grateful.  

Here he is telling Paul of his gratitude.  And Pastor Godfrey is translating.

Slightly off topic...but for my husband...Kenyan Coffee...=) growing near the house.  I have to say, even though these people are "poor" by our standards, they live on some gorgeous property.  Tropical land with quite the views.

This is our final stop.  Lucas was needing a break when we first got there so I sat in the van with him.  But, from what I heard this man had a daughter who now was going off to college and getting a degree in medicine I believe.  So somehow even out of this poverty she has pulled it together to make a change in her own life.

Children that again were amazed by

When we returned to Meru Hospice, they gave us all gifts (t shirts) and thanked us for coming.

It was another emotional day and the road conditions where we travelled were...rough.  We felt so priveleged to see what they do. 

And as a side note...they gave us the MOST amazing Kenyan tea EVER!  I asked what why it tasted so much better and they said they made it with fresh milk (from that morning) from the farm next door--oh my gosh!!!  It was sooo good.

God is at work in Kenya.

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