Makeshift Medical Church – MAF in Kenya
Instead of a nine-hour drive, One Child Matters chartered two MAF Caravans to fly a medical outreach team of 18 people from Developing Workers to Lokori. From there they drove 25 km in a bus to Elelea and set up a makeshift clinic in the local church.
Text: Joy Dirks. Photos: Samuel Pagel.
Joy Dirks, a garden variety volunteer with Developing Workers, reports:
I enjoyed the experience of flying with MAF on our mission trip. MAF treated our team well and the flying experience was enjoyable. We arrived at Wilson Airport early in the morning. I was tired. Reading a scripture verse on the wall in the waiting room reminded me why I was going out to serve people that I did not know.
Checking in at Nairobi, we were able to get all our gear and people aboard. The pilots that I flew with both directions were a pleasure. They prayed over our team before takeoff. I had never experienced that on an airplane before, and it was a pleasure. When we flew from Nairobi to Turkana, as I flew over terrain, I became aware how isolated we would be. The landing on the dirt strip was like butter. The pilot did a fantastic job.
Developing Workers were busy during their time in Lokori. The team included different members to provide different types of ministry. There was pastoral staff to provide training to ministry leaders, and there were medical, psychological, and general support staff. We provided care through medical clinics which were open to both children and adults.
Medical clinics are more than just medical clinics. In addition to providing basic medical care and medicine, patients also receive spiritual counselling in coordination with the local church. This allows for spiritual help to continue even after the team leaves. Child safety initiative was another component of clinic which screened for children at risk of abuse. Children that were possibly being abused were noted for future help with a local child advocate to continue on after the team left. Basic medical care included not only medicine, but vitamins and deworming for children with nutritional deficiencies. Medical clinics certainly cannot solve every problem, but we were trying to provide care for each person physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
As we were serving in an isolated part of Kenya, I was comforted by the fact that I knew MAF would be returning for us. When our pilot picked us up, he had a whole pre-flight briefing that made us laugh as we loaded into the plane. Although the planes we flew on were small, I never felt unsafe. MAF did an excellent job transporting us to a minister to a people that we could not have reached without them.
Thank you for a lovely experience.