Bill and I returned safely back home Saturday midnight a week ago. Bill tells people 87.3% of the project was completed to install a piped medical gas system and battery backup in Tenwek Hospital’s new Eye and Dental Building. The team was unable to commission the system because the building was not yet “electrified” by the contractor. The guys had to use headlamps and extension cords to run their corded tools. There were a number of challenges and frustrations but they persevered and kept looking to the Lord for ways to improvise, “work around” and keep moving forward.
Bill was thankful for the men who comprised the team. Peter, the electrician; Ryan, with mechanical and braising skills; and Noah, a mechanical engineer, who brought along his wife and two very young children 8 1/2 months daughter and almost 3 year old son. It was nice for me to have another woman with our team and I was glad to play grandma more than once.
Just about everyone on the team had GI issues the first week, including Bill and me which is somewhat unusual with our trips. By the end of the first week, discouragement was lurking. So we began writing what we were thankful for and realized the list was considerable and there were significant items on it. One praise was that my carry on, which was somehow not loaded into our vehicle the morning after our arrival in Nairobi, was brought to Tenwek intact by Hospital driver. And that was just one of our praises that reminded us that the Lord had everything under control in spite of how we might have felt.
I knew time would go fast and it definitely did. I had a fair amount of impromptu connecting as I bought my fruit and veggies from booths around the hospital. It is customary to ask their names and ask about their families, etc. which helped me feel connected. One day, as I returned from checking out the progress the guys were making, twice people began conversations with me out of the blue as I walked along. Once, ladies who were related to a patient who had died and who were part of the group taking the body back to the village introduced themselves and wanted to know my name. They asked me to pray for the family and I did. After walking a little farther, an older man in a suit, told me I looked familiar (Hmmm, really?) and told me about the radio ministry board he was on. He wanted Bill (I had told him he is involved in the technical end of hospitals) to come and take a look at their station. I assured him Bill would have loved to see it (which I know to be true) but was very busy with the project he came to work on. The last week we did get to visit a well-run orphanage complex with school, Bible school and farm about a half hour away. I did some crafts with some of the middle school age students and wished I’d have been able to stay longer.
One of Bill’s mottos was put to good use this trip, “Blessed are the flexible, for they will not get bent out of shape.” 😊 We thank you again for prayers on the team’s behalf. The Lord’s presence guiding, protecting, providing, healing was very real to all of us.