26 Oct October 2023 Newsletter
Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones. Proverbs 15:30
The work of the One Africa team has been blessed as they continue to build relationships with various Lutheran Synod’s throughout Africa. One of those, is the Luther Congregations in Missions for Christ (LCMC) in Kenya. The Synod is led by a dynamic leader – Pastor Mark Onunda. Pastor Onunda and several other pastors left the Missouri Synod and began the task of building the LCMC from scratch. LCMC is now in fellowship with WELS, and has congregations scattered throughout the country. Pastor Onunda spends much of his time on the road (Kenya is about the size of Texas) encouraging and training leaders and bringing Gods word to the Congregations. We pray God gives him the strength to keep up this monumental effort.
In Zambia and Malawi, our clinics have demonstrated God’s love for all people by looking after their physical and spiritual needs. In fact, part of the WELS early success in Zambia was due to our Clinic at Mwembezhi. To help grow the church in Kenya, Pastor Onunda has proposed something similar- a medical camp. The members of our CAMM committee have prayerfully considered expanding our work to help in Kenya based on several investigative visits by Gary Evans and Pastor John Roebke.
Short term medical camps, which last about a week, are common in Kenya and are used by church organizations to bring people to church properties where they are given physical and spiritual care. A camp might expect to see 3,000 to 4,000 patients over a four- or five-day period. The local government health care agencies support these camps as they are a means of health screening to populations who might otherwise have no access to health care.
CAMM has partnered with the One Africa Team, the Committee for Aid and Relief and LCMC to conduct a medical camp in late February 2024. The camp will be held on the grounds of St Paul’s Church, Kwiangachi, Kirinyaga County, which is located about a 3-hour drive northeast of Nairobi. The church has land, but no buildings, making the camp quite a logistical exercise. As there are no buildings, we will use tents for shelter and privacy. Two large 100- seat tents will be provided, one will be used as a reception/triage/devotion area, one as a pharmacy. Smaller tents will be used as individual consulting rooms for services such as nutrition, cancer screening, outpatient, dental, eye treatment, and mental health. We will provide the medications and medical supplies. We will also rent port-a-potties and provide a tank for drinking water. Medical staff and some medical equipment will be provided by the government. Transport and accommodation will be provided for staff and volunteers.
The LCMC are engaged in much of the ongoing planning and coordination. They will also provide volunteers for security, administration and making lunch time meals. Pastors from LCMC will hold ongoing devotions and provide pastoral services during each day of the camp. Patients who need follow-up and referral will be directed to go to local health agencies.
We have met with Kirinyago County Health Officials who have approved the camp and will provide 25 medical staff, medical equipment and an ambulance in case of emergencies.
CAMM has agreed to manage the clinic on behalf of the One Africa Team. The camp provides an opportunity for US based medical and non-medical volunteers to provide assistance. As this is the first of what could be many medical camps, CAMMC members will be the first set of volunteers to attend the camp. If this camp is successful, we hope to offer similar camps in the future, and will open volunteer opportunities to more WELS members.
Please pray for the success of this camp as it provides an opportunity for healing and most importantly, sharing God’s word with so many people.