One Week After Returning Home

I have a lot of thoughts about Kenya this past week.  The people we met and the promises we made.  The things God showed us and the ways He answered prayer.   I thought you would be interested to hear some of the ways God worked.

First, due to some generous donations we were able to provide the Cheerful Special Home with new water pipes and new beds. We were also able to connect the home with some physicians and social workers in Kenya that should be able to help them get increased services and medical care for the youth that live there.

Second,  some of you may remember I mentioned in a blog about a special needs child whose family needed help with school tuition to provide him with the care he needs.  Another kind family has stepped up to fulfill this need.

Third, the baby who came and was having seizures in clinic one day is still in the hospital but is doing well.  They will have the support of the Kenyan physician who worked with us and Nancy our wonderful follow up nurse.  Kay West and Nancy were able to visit the mother and baby in the hospital and prayed with them.

The gentleman with elephantiasis was admitted to the hospital and is being cared for.

God was so faithful in meeting the needs we saw.  I know there are so many more that we didn’t know about that He will continue to meet.

Please continue to pray for the people of Kenya especially those we were able to interact with.  Please also pray for the Kenyan church through Summit Ministry who will be reaching out to those they met and offering support and community.

It is a wonderful thing to see how God uses his church across the world.  Thank you for being a part of it.

– Written by Dr.  Lara Yoblonski as she shares her stories from Kenya.

 

 

Day 4 – The Last Day of Clinic

Today was the last day of clinic for our 2019 Kenya medical mission trip.
Today we saw some wonderful elder community members.  One particular woman was bent in half at the hips and using a cane to walk. After Dr. David examines her he found a large amount of water on her knee. She also had significant hip pain on the same side from the way she had been walking.
Dr. David was able to drain the fluid and give her significant pain and ambulation relief. She was so happy as soon as she was helped off the table she smiled and said thank you with a huge smile.
We aren’t able to fix everything for these sweet people but sometimes we can make it a little better.
I have had several people on the team tell me how much the Kenyans have thanked them. It is such a pleasure to be here.
Written by Dr.  Lara Yoblonski as she shares her stories from Kenya.
final day

Day 3 – God Uses Our Team to Minister Across the World

This is my first trip with CMO and it is an experience that can scarcely be described. I’m going to try, with just one example of the kind of ways God uses the team to minister across the world.

Today began with a mother at the front of the line who said her baby was sick. Mothers in this area wrap their babies in layers and layers of warm clothes, so when the doctors started peeling back the blankets they expected to find a normal baby. Buried inside the wrappings was a premature baby who, at five months old, probably still only weighed about three pounds. It was malnourished, and clinging to life.

The baby started having a seizure and our doctors jumped to help, while trying to get the story of the baby’s history from the overwhelmed mother.

The team quickly found a driver to take them to the local hospital. En route they were met on the road by a local pediatrician who is working with the team this week. He realized the baby had been sent from the team and seeing that it was still seizing he got them to a closer hospital so it could be stabilized. Once there they were able to revive the baby and send it to a larger hospital to be admitted.

We don’t know what will happen with this small, very sick child, but God does. And God knew we needed to be here in Kenya, in that village, on this very day, at that hour. He knew it a year ago when this trip started being planned. It’s a reminder that He knows our every need, long before we ask.

Please be in prayer for this mother and very small, very precious child. And for the team as we continue to work on whatever God brings our way.

Giving thanks in all things.

– Karen, Volunteer Team Member, Kenya 2019

 

Day 2 – Micah 6:8

Our week verse is Micah 6:8.

Pastor Gregg is taking us through it and ended our devotion with a statement by Rabbis. The point of it was yes there is suffering.

We have not been called to fix all of it but we have been called to work on some. Work in justice, be merciful and be humble and get to work. I think that sums up these trips well.

We can’t fix much of what we see; the seizures will still continue, the arthritis isn’t going away and the special needs child will still need extra services. What we are called to do is to enter into these need and address what we can. The nurse we have will follow up on what she can, the church will support how they can and the rest we leave with God.

He has reminded me several times on the trip that he cares for the birds so how much more for his children. Please pray for a young man names Samuel. He had meningitis at 6 months old and since then has had brain damage. He has learning problems and his family has found a boarding school that can help but they cannot afford the full tuition.

Please pray that God will provide for this young man and his family in all ways.

In all things give thanks.

Written by Dr.  Lara Yoblonski as she shares her stories from Kenya.

 

Micah 6:8

Day 1 – The Calm & The Storm

Day 1 was great.  It started off calm which then brought some storms.

Thankfully we got the clinic set up and running and had a relatively calm morning. We had some new examiners so we were having them settle in.

But after lunch the rains and the issues started. We have quite a bit of rain that actually blew the tent proving shelter for the crowd off the supports but no one was hurt thankfully.

We also had two patients that really left an impact on us.

The first one was a younger and in his 30s who was diagnosed with a brain tumor that has spread and there are not any options left him medically. We weren’t able to do much with medicine but we were able to get him connected with the church and our Nurse Nancy.

The second one on the other hand we had a young man in his 20s who had a seizure disorder and had run out of seizure medications. he has a seizure in clinic and we were able to help him and get him to a hospital to be stabilized. In both cases the important thing wasn’t the medicine we had but was about being with the patient and helping support them within the systems available.

Eventually the storm blew over and we were able to get back to normal flow but we will remember these two men and how God brought us to each other at the right time.

Please pray for these men. The team is great; working hard and loving on patients. Keep us in your prayers also.

Written by Dr.  Lara Yoblonski as she shares her stories from Kenya.

Photo of Nicole Simpson, Volunteer Team.

 

 

Kenya 2019 – Travel to Kenya

Our team arrived after nearly 30 hours of travel to the same hospitality we’ve come to know from our Kenyan hosts. After collecting our luggage – and we cannot overstate the importance of this: all our luggage arrived with us – we were taken to our accommodations for the night.

It was 12:30 AM when we arrived but our lodge had a delicious meal prepared for us so we could all go to bed with a full stomach and try to get some sleep. Despite a 12 hour time difference almost all of the team got a good, if short, nights sleep.

Sunday morning we traveled to our host ministry’s church for a true African church service. That means lots of exuberant worship, imagine Zumba with a stirring message delivered from the heart.

We’ve now made the two hour drive to our base of operations for the coming week.  Clinics began Monday morning so please be in prayer for the team as we work to meet the many needs. More to come… Until then we give thanks.

Written by Dr.  Lara Yoblonski as she shares her stories from Kenya.

 

   

Kenya 2018 – Cheerful Special Home

Dr. Lara Yoblonski shares her stories from Kenya.

Cheerful Special Home

Today was a bit different. Instead of doing clinic we went on home visits to provide medical care and food. In the afternoon we went to a school/orphanage for special needs children.

The school struck a special chord with me because I’m a Pediatrician. I know how hard it can be to care for children with developmental delays and special educational needs.

The woman who runs the school is amazing. She and a few others care for 20 children. These children are incredibly well cared for and were very happy. The school runs on faith. They often don’t know where food is coming from or how the bills will be paid. We were able to examine the kids and leave some medicines with them. Part of the team played with the kids and several team members had some gifts for the children as well.

What a privilege to meet these people of faith and to be able to provide basic care for these special children. If you are interested in learning more about the school here is their Facebook Page.

– Lara

Photo Credit: Cheerful Special Home, Facebook Page

Kenya 2018 – Home Away from Home

Dr. Lara Yoblonski shares her stories from Kenya.

Pastor Gregg has been sharing from Romans this week.  One part of the passage mentions honoring others more then yourself and showing hospitality.  The Kenyans we are working with have taught me a lot about this.

 

Opening their home

One of the staff at the hotel we are at noticed a member of our team was only wearing a light jacket and it is cold in the morning.  Because she was worried about her being cold she brought in a blanket for her to use while she was in Kenya.

We have been also been told by our hosts and national team that we have a home in Kenya.  While I know this could be a nicety I have no doubt my brothers and sisters in Christ here would take me and help whatever the issue.  How sweet it is to be part of a group of believers that care for each other across nationalities and borders.

God has truly knit us into a world wide family.  We come to do something we love and I’m turn become part of a family.   For me it is a glimpse of heaven.

– Lara

 

Kenya 2018 – Give Thanks In All Things

 Dr. Lara Yoblonski shares her stories from Kenya.
Let me introduce you to a young man I will call “L”.  He came to clinic with a folder of X-rays.  I looked at them briefly and they were MRIs of the brain.  They had an large spot on the right side of the brain.
I asked Kathleen to see him and she started to dig into his history.  “L” is in his mid-thirties and is a mechanical engineer.  About a year and a half ago he started having seizures. In the fall of 2017 he developed dizziness and started passing out.  They sent him for an MRI and found a large tumor.
Due to the seizures and dizziness he is not able to work and therefore can’t afford the surgery.  Strangely enough his father had been over to visit Patricia our host  the night before to catch up and they were talking about what his son was going through.

These are the hard ones where you ask why?

It may be that this team was made for a season such as this.   We prayed with him and we will do all we can to support and come around him. Summit ministry will rally around him as a church.

Please pray for L that God will comfort and heal. Pray for us that we know our role in this and as the Bible says “give thanks in all things,” Lara.
 

Kenya 2018 – A Second Day Brings Out Many

The Volunteer team made it safely to Kenya!  Dr. Lara Yoblonski shares her stories of Day 2.

Today was a very busy day. We didn’t know what to expect in a second day in the same place. Word got out quickly after day 1 and lots of patients showed up.

In the midst of it all several cases stood out.

  • A woman that we were able to facilitate getting to the hospital for a chest X-ray had active TB.
  • One man had elephantiasis as best we could tell (haven’t thought about that since medical school).
  • Saw a special needs child that needs to be able to go to school.
  • A young man that had a broken finger and couldn’t afford the X-ray.
  • A man on dialysis with diabetes and who had the start of an infection.

The special part of all these cases was that along with summit ministries we were able to help out with each of these in some way. With the pastoral team working with patients and some local nurses care, help was provided and we are thankful.

Our goal and hope is to have a follow up plan so that some nurses and the church can keep in contact with patients and meet needs like Jesus instructed us to do.

I hope we were able to be his hands to some today, Lara.

Mele gives an exam to a little girl.