Thank you all for your prayers. Patrick has expressed his appreciation every time I've seen him. And your prayers are working! Please continue to pray for Solomon's brain, that there will be no damage and his memory will be restored. Also please pray for the funds to pay for Solomon's medical bills, as more and more people here are adding shillings to help. Thank you all again!
Monday, June 28, 2010
We went to the hospital this morning to see Solomon. He looked great! His swollen face was back to a normal smile. The top of his ear, that we could see sticking out of his bandage, looked perfect. As Patrick, his uncle, said, "It's a miracle." After a week in the hospital we still don't know when Solomon will be discharged. He has some memory loss, which shows evidence of brain damage. The neurologist is still keeping tabs on him. We also don't know if he's going to be able to hear from the side of his head that was scraped away in the accident.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Solomon is walking around and talking with people! He is doing amazingly well very quickly, and Patrick, his uncle, was shocked when he saw him last night at the hospital. He seems to have no brain damage thus far, but he is being monitored closely. We don't know if he will be able to hear from one side of his head, as his ear was torn off and he suffered damage on the right side of his head when the truck struck his school bus. Patrick wanted everyone to know that your prayers are working. When Will and I told him that all these people in America were praying for Solomon and their family, he was overwhelmed. He is very grateful, and his eyes reddened. Hopefully Solomon will be released from the hospital in the next day or two. This is very necessary due to the medical bills that are quickly racking up. Many people are generously donating to meet the costs, but continue to pray that the money is provided for Patrick's family. This is a HUGE thing in Kenya. This family would not be able to meet these medical bills on their own. Please also continue to pray for Solomon, that he would be a walking miracle for us all to witness. Thank you again for your prayers from Patrick and all of us with his family here in Kenya.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Solomon is out of the ICU after surgery, that we were told went well. He ate breakfast and soft foods for dinner, and he is talking and recognizing people. He's still in a lot of pain. If you've ever heard a child in that kind of pain, you'll understand how difficult it is to be there and not be able to do anything. Patrick, our dear friend and the uncle/guardian of Solomon, wants to thank everyone for their prayers. Please keep praying for Solomon and his recovery, as well as wisdom from doctors and funds to pay the medical bills. Thank you all.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
This morning Will and I rushed to the hospital to meet a friend who took his niece and nephew to the emergency room after their school bus collided with a large truck, killing the driver and one child instantly. Rosemary, 11 years old, had a minor head injury and cuts. She was released from the hospital this afternoon. Her brother, Solomon, who is 9 years old, suffered a major head injury, needing surgery. Please pray that Solomon will be OK. Kenyan medicine is not like American, and the frustration of that today made us extra worried, as it took 5 hours before he saw a neurologist for his injuries. Pray Solomon receives good medical care and God protects his brain from damage.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
With more time on my hands this summer, I've read the following books thus far...
A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, by Betty Smith
Very difficult to get into at first, but comes around to really explain the lifestyle of New York immigrants in the '20s. Interesting for me to see the correlations between poverty in America and poverty in Kenya - not much different actually. Kim's rating: OK.
The Search for God and Guinness, by Stephen Mansfield
Great book describing the generous hearts of the Guinness Family and how much they had an influence on Ireland, beer, and the church. Very interesting biography! And I learned some things about brewing beer too. Kim's rating: Excellent.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
A classic I've never read before. I got it from the Limuru Children's Center, but I don't think any of those kids could read all the slaying in this book. It was hard for me at times. Kim's rating: Classic (need I say more...).
Books of the Bible - Mark, Luke, John, and Romans
I love the gospels and reading what Jesus did, but I have to say I've decided I don't care for Romans much. I can see where people draw their "hell, fire, and brimstone" theology from this book, but they should read ALL of Romans before they draw those conclusions. Kim's rating: Gospels - Excellent, Romans - OK.
That's it so far. I'd take your suggestions on books to read this summer, but I don't have a public library or local book store to get the book from, so I'll just have to stick with what I find around here. Comment and tell me what you're reading though. I'm curious.
Friday, June 11, 2010
Jikazi is one of the many projects Will's organization, Global Connections (GC), supports. The Jikazi story begins over two years ago with the post-election violence, which began in December 2007. Due to tribal differences, corrupt government officials, and a botched voting system, Kenyans began fighting against Kenyans when President Kibaki and his opponent, Raila Odinga, disputed the outcome of the election. Kibaki, the reigning president, said he won, while Odinga, from the minority Luo tribe, claimed his win. Since Kibaki and Odinga hail from different tribes, violence errupted between the tribes of Kenya led by the government officials themselves. Luo against Kikuku. Luhya against Kalenjin. Bullets, pangas (machetes), and stones became the weapons of choice aimed at anyone who was from a different tribe. Many Kenyans were displaced when their homes were burned. Other Kenyans lay dead in the streets. Still others were burned alive in churches, like something out of an American Revolution movie. And foreigners hid in their homes or left the country. Two months of fighting resulted in hundreds of thousands of Kenyans being displaced, with nowhere to live. Humanitarian aid organizations set up camps to house the IDP's (Internally Displaced Peoples) with the intent that the Kenyan government would help families reestablish themselves. As with most things in Kenya, that never happened. However, IDP's throughout Kenya worked to thrive. A small group of 150 people used the small funds the government gave them to purchase land together and try to rebuild, creating their own village in the Rift Valley. They called themselves Jikazi.
Global Connections later befriended the people of Jikazi, helped raise funds for them through microfinance loans, and put in hours of labor to help build homes and set up a water source. Through the relationships established with GC, Jikazi is a thriving village. As villagers find their lost family members or invite new-found friends to Jikazi, the village is growing. A water well is currently being built to provide drinking water. Those that lost everything have found a new home.
Last week I had the opportunity to go with our volunteer team to visit Jikazi. Our intent was to hear people's stories and help build two new homes.
We built homes of sticks and mud alongside people who had experienced horrible tragedy. One girl I nailed sticks with was 17 years old, holding her one year old son. Lydia had been raped and became pregnant while in a displacement camp. Mama Miriam sat next to me at lunch and told me she thought some of our girls looked like boys since they were dressed like boys. We laughed together. I have many impressions about my visit to Jikazi, but overall I am in awe at how people can rise above extreme sadness and be happy again, laughing about how bad they are at hammering nails or making jokes about women's fashion. And it humbles me. It makes me thankful and challenges me to do more with the good things I've been given.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
We had a team of 13 college students staying at our house for three weeks. They left this week, but not before enjoying a special performance in our living-room. Some Masai men from the neighborhood came and danced for our group. After pushing the furniture aside, jumping men in skirts and African chanting filled the house.
Even some of our guys joined in the fun and showed their version of Masai dancing, which really involved jumping up and down multiple times as high as they could. It was a great live performance in the comfort of our own home. Now when any of those Masai men see Will on the road, they wave a big hello.