EVENT DATE: Jul 27, 2012
I am hoping to join a medical mission team traveling to Kenya from July 27 to August 14. The team will provide medical and dental care as a draw for people to hear the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. During our time in Kenya, we will see upwards of 2000 patients in several different locations, including the rural towns of Namanga and Masai Mara, and the slum of Dandora on the outskirts of Nairobi.
Kenya is located on the equator of East Africa and has a population of more than 30 million. The citizens of this country have suffered greatly in the past few years due to epidemics of malaria, cholera, and AIDS, in addition to a devastating East African drought. The inability of the land to support Kenya's growing population is forcing people into cities in search of employment.
Nairobi is a modern city of more than 3 million people. Like the rest of Africa, Nairobi is a place of contrasts. There are wealthy people in Nairobi, but they represent a very small percentage of the population. Two out of three people in Nairobi live in slum areas. Most of those coming into the cities have limited education and vocational skills, and are only marginally employable, so they end up in slums like Dandora.
Dandora is situated about 15 kilometers from the Nairobi city center in the Eastlands area. Eastlands comprise some of the most poverty-stricken area of Nairobi. Families live in homes made of sticks and mud, with no windows, water, electricity, or sanitation. The roofs of the better homes are made of flattened tin cans. Others are made of cardboard or sheets of dirty plastic. Six to eight people live in a room the size of an average American dining room. There is usually only one bed. Children sleep on gunny sacks on the ground. There is no money for proper nutrition or health care. Many children are force to work long hours at often dangerous jobs to help provide food for their families. The average daily income for the head of a household can be anywhere from 20 to 50 Kenyan shillings (that is, 15 to 35 cents per day).
Other social issues affecting Kenyan society include escalating crime and disease, including HIV/AIDs, which continue to ravage the country's populations and claims more than 700 lives everyday. Drug and substance abuse is also becoming increasingly common among street families and orphaned children. Rising numbers of elderly individuals are unable to provide for themselves. These issues are compounded by the near breakdown of the government services and community infrastructures.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ - Matthew 25:34-40