Jiggers: the Scourge of Village Life in Africa

Kingdom Driven Ministries is just a convenient vehicle through which saints around the world contribute to the work that God is doing, whether it be in expanding the Kingdom, discipleship, meeting medical needs, providing food for the hungry, or developing clean water sources. We are blessed to have many indigenous brothers and sisters working with us on a daily basis to see that this work is done efficiently and with integrity and compassion. One of our deacons, Silas, felt the Lord’s leading to spend much of his free time during the month of October coordinating with other brothers to reach out into a number of fellowships and communities to remove jiggers.

A jigger infestation of the feet

A jigger infestation of the feet

Jiggers, or sand fleas, are the scourge of village life in Africa. Though they can be minimized by regular bathing and removed one-by-one with a razor blade, one quickly turns to many because jiggers live abundantly in the dirt, and most home construction here is dirt-floor and mud walls. Jiggers conveniently implant themselves in any part of the body that maintains prolonged contact with the dirt—typically the feet, as folks usually walk barefoot, but it can be the knees (if they are kneeling, for example, to weed their crops by hand in their fields), or evens legs or arms (particularly in the case of impoverished children who do not have sleeping mats but rather sleep on their dirty clothes or even directly on the dirt floor). A single jigger is uncomfortable; an infestation is downright excruciating, as  layer upon layer of jiggers lay eggs and reproduce in their human hosts. They are active at night, preventing sleep. Approximately $20 worth of investment enabled our brother Silas to alleviate the suffering of many in our communities, and we praise the Lord for putting it on Silas’s heart and for providing financially through His people. We hope to continue this work as the Lord leads. If you would like to contribute toward this initiative, or other works like it, visit www.kingdomdriven.org/donate.

Silas hard at work

Silas (wearing the mask) hard at work

 

A New Lease on Life

Imagine with me, if you will, being a young man and the sole support for a wife and three growing children. One child is in school and you must pay for her uniform, books, and other supplies, even though her education is technically “free.” The other two children must be cared for and you are happy that your wife can be invested in the things of home while you make yourself available to work.

Unfortunately, you live in a small village. Opportunities for work are rare, though you sometimes get day labor, usually swinging your jembe (hoe) and weeding fields of maize. You make a few hundred shillings—really, just enough for the day’s needs. Only the Lord knows how you will pay the school expenses when they become due. To stretch your shillings you might only have tea for breakfast and lunch, then a filling meal of ugali and greens for supper. You persevere, doing what you can each day. “Give us this day our daily bread” is your reality.

013Such was the life of Anthony Mirundu. He and his wife, faithful adherents of a local denominational church, trusted in God for their provision. Yet an unexpected turn of events put their faith to a very real test. A small growth appeared on Anthony’s wrist. Over time, it grew aggressively. The sight of it was appalling; finding work became increasingly difficulty as Anthony could no longer hide the disability. While some families would still be able to survive by growing a crop of maize to last them through the year, Anthony was not so fortunate. He does not own enough land for farming, and the family was even too poor for him to seek medical care.

In time, things got bad enough that Anthony was brought to Kingdom Driven Ministries in hopes of getting some medical assistance. He was sent to a local hospital for scanning and consultation. It was determined that the growth on his wrist was cancerous, but the cancer had not yet metastasized. Anthony was concerned, yet relieved at the same time. Unfortunately, his only option was an amputation of his arm at the elbow. Though the idea of such a radical surgery and resulting life change was daunting, the alternative—death from cancer—was certainly not desirable, either.

It has now been almost two months since Anthony’s surgery. He has physically healed and has learned to do life with some limitations. Yet, as a man and the sole support for his young family, he feels at a loss and, to a point, despairing of his future. He can no longer work a jembe in the fields. His wife can do the work, but that leaves her often busy and unable to care for needs in the home and with their small children. For her to work outside the home is just not practical at this juncture. How can they pay for their oldest child’s school needs and get the few daily things they need: maize, soap, oil, sugar for their breakfast tea?

We would like to assist Anthony in setting up a small business that would permit him to have an ongoing source of income for his household. We have talked about him raising and selling chickens, or perhaps opening a small shop where people can buy staple goods. There don’t seem to be any shops locally, so such a business might be profitable for Anthony. We will continue to ask questions and assess what might be best in his situation. What we need at this juncture is for someone with a heart to help, to step up and offer hope to Anthony and his family. A financial gift of $150 or even $200 could set Anthony up with something that, ideally, will be self-sustaining and support his family on an ongoing basis. What a blessing, in many ways, this will be to a man who continues to trust God in spite of such challenging circumstances.

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If you would like to assist, you can donate toward Great Commandment needs at www.kingdomdriven.org/donate. You can note at checkout that it is for Anthony. And regardless of whether nor not you can help financially, please pray for this need, for Anthony and his family, and for his continued spiritual growth and perseverance in time of trial. God bless you.

Why Malaria Treatment Matters

The monthly gifts we receive towards our medical missions program are the lifeblood of our work here in the village, where many impoverished people often have to choose between food and medicine. Everyone likes to hear about the impact of their generosity. Photos and stories are a great way to give that feedback, and we strive to let folks know that what you are doing makes a difference! But sometimes at the end of the month, as we try to faithfully report how many and what maladies have been treated, it seems that everyone “just” has malaria. Perhaps there’s really nothing glamorous about treating a bunch of people for malaria, but don’t think it’s nothing. Come with me as I introduce you to Silvia, the daughter of one of the wazee (“old men”) in our fellowship.

Silvia

Silvia exhibited symptoms of malaria in 2010; she was a normal, 19 year-old village girl who lived at home and helped with the daily tasks of fetching water, making meals, and whatever else needed to be done. At the time, money simply wasn’t available to treat her, but that so often happens here. Many don’t have 100 shillings ($1) to buy malaria medicine, so they go to the local shop and get a small package of two “Mara Moja” tablets (the equivalent of Excederin). The fever goes down temporarily, the body aches subside, and if you asked them if they took medicine, they will say, “Yes!” But the malaria is still there. The fever may never go down below 100 degrees Farenheit, even with the Mara Moja. But it’s better than it was, it allows for some sleep, and things seem better for a few hours. Then what? This cycle can go on for days, even a week or more.

Such was the case with Silvia. And unfortunately, because of the delay in proper treatment, her malaria took a turn for the worse…it crossed the blood/brain barrier and became “cerebral malaria.” Treatment, in this case, is usually too little and too late. But she lived, praise the Lord. Even so, now she has frequent epileptic seizures and takes daily pills (when the family can afford the 90 shillings to get a month’s worth of medication). She has also visited our District Hospital more than once for psychological examinations and medications. On good days, she can function in a normal manner. But there are many not-so-good days. Her father has sadly reported that “she only wants to get married and raise a family like other girls her age!” but he knows that, because of her physical and psychological deficiencies, she will be at home with him until he can no longer care for her. And then what?

Another young mother of two small children in our community was likewise affected by cerebral malaria and, as a result, abandoned by her husband. She struggled to care for the children on her own for a time, not realizing her new deficiencies. Thankfully, eventually she returned to the family home, where the grandmother brought her now-malnourished children to KDM. After emergency medical interventions, they are now ongoing recipients of monthly, nutrient-dense food packages through our malnourished children’s food program. (This is another significant area where our donors don’t get dramatic feedback…but they are faithfully, quietly making a difference!)

These are the effects of untreated malaria.

We thought of Silvia recently when our own 8 year-old son, Micah, came down with malaria. We are fortunate that at the first sign of fever, we can take him to the local clinic for a test. He got an immediate injection of malaria meds (the first of three daily injections) and a Diclofenac injection for his fever, as he was nauseous and vomiting and couldn’t take oral medication. We were thankful to see improvement within just an hour, and saw a light at the end of the tunnel  when he was able to enjoy spaghetti supper with the family without vomiting. But by the next morning his fever was back up and his nausea had returned. We went back to the clinic for his second injection, and he immediately fell asleep on the couch when we returned home. I (Cindy) was working in the kitchen preparing lunch a couple hours later when Micah came in to talk to me. I could see that he looked a little “out of it”–his eyes didn’t seem to be focusing on me. His voice wavered, and I realized quickly that he wasn’t even speaking in coherent sentences. He would enunciate a few words, then falter off into mumbling. Trying again, he seemed to be trying to communicate something totally different, but still with the same result. I put my hands on his head, prayed for him, and sent him back to the couch with some rehydration drink, hoping for the best.

The rest of the afternoon passed with some uncertainty, we being very concerned at the possibility of cerebral malaria and what it could mean. However, there was not much that could be done outside of prayer, as he had already begun treatment. Thankfully, by the next morning, Micah had returned to himself. After his third injection, he was back to complete health. But it’s not lost on us that the outcome could have been far different. It was for Silvia, and for others that we know in our village. And, if we did not have faithful donors assisting with timely malaria treatment for our community and folks in our fellowships, the statistics in our area might well be far worse.

Doctors at our partner clinic, Solonamu Medical Centre, helped us to understand the risks associated with malaria a little better. They acknowledge malaria as perhaps the worst disease in Africa. The World Health Organization reported almost a half-million deaths from the disease in sub-Saharan Africa in 2015, the majority of them children. Severe malaria, and its permanent health effects, typically occur as a result of delayed treatments, particularly if the delay is a week or more (which we have found is not unusual). Cerebral malaria is among the complications that arise. Other complications can include liver or kidney failure, or rupture of the spleen. Untreated malaria can lead to chronic re-infection, as the parasites “hide” in the liver and re-emerge at a later point in their reproductive cycle.

Aside from the physical effects of the disease, there a couple of other problems associated with malaria: one, folks typically can’t afford both a malaria test AND medicine, so they usually self-diagnose and self-treat. The over-use of certain drugs (even when malaria is not actually present) has led to resistance to some types of anti-malaria drugs commonly used for treatment.

Secondly, when people are affected with malaria and don’t get treatment, mosquitoes can spread the infection to others. This is significant to everyone, but particularly to pregnant women, as malaria infection during pregnancy can lead to many ill effects for the developing baby, if an immediate miscarriage does not result. (This is particularly relevant to me, as one of our babies became a miscarriage statistic due to one of my bouts of malaria a couple years ago.)

However, as more and more people in a community are able to get proper diagnosis and treatment, not only is their individual health improved and risks avoided, but fewer people in their community will be infected with the disease. Though it is unlikely that malaria can be eradicated in endemic regions, the effects can certainly be ameliorated. Lab confirmation of malaria and timely treatment are vital! This is the work of KDM: referring the sick to the clinic, and getting them treated as soon as possible when symptoms of malaria occur. Sending someone to the clinic, getting them tested, and medicine in the form of tablets or injections might only cost $8 or $10 (with the cost of transportation by piki piki included). We rely on our donors to accomplish this every month…so know that when we are “just treating malaria” (even if there aren’t any dramatic stories to tell), you are making a significant difference in someone’s quality of life, and in the overall health of a community at risk. God bless you for your heart and your generosity toward this work.

If you are not giving regularly toward KDM’s Urgent needs/Medical fund and would like to, feel free to visit www.KingdomDriven.org/donate.

Faith Anita: Preliminary Medical Update

Faith

Faith

Perhaps you remember our first report of 6 year-old Faith Anita, whose deformity of the spine/neck was debilitating her, and whose family has been financially unable to get her the care she needs.

At that time, while we had a great deal of sympathy for little Faith and wanted very much to assist her, we were also not in a position to report with certainty her condition, or what would be needed to complete her treatment. But we thank God for granting us an opportunity (through those who so compassionately gave for this need) to take over the process of restoring Faith’s health and future hope.

After several visits to medical institutions here in Kenya, we were assured that the disease can be treated, though it will be a lengthy process requiring further financial resources.  Preliminary laboratory tests and x-ray scanning reveal that Faith \is suffering from advanced scoliosis, in this case an exaggeration of the thoracic curve that causes a pronounced hump or backward bend in the upper back–a so-called Gibbus deformity that pitches the shoulders and neck forward of the normal gravity line. This condition has greatly hindered her physical growth and limits her ability to walk straight and upright. It has also been socially debilitating as far as her friendships and her ability to engage in schooling as other girls her age do.

According to the local orthopedist, the next step is radiology scanning to determine the best course of treatment. There is a possibility of stents placement, which will help in straightening the thoracic spinal cavity. (Stents placement is a surgical process.)

Thus far, your generosity has enabled us to begin the process of healing for Anita, and now we need your help to continue! Though it is difficult to get accurate estimates for medical procedures here, we have been told that the next phase of her care can be addressed for approximately $250.  Once again, we  invite anyone interested to lend a helping hand by giving at www.KingdomDriven.org/donate. You can earmark the funds for Great Commandment/medical or make a note at checkout that your gift is for Faith Anita. As our Lord has promised, you will store up for yourself treasures in Heaven as you bless little Faith in her time of need!

Anthony’s Surgery Successful–Prayer Request

It with a mixture of joy and sorrow that we share the report of a successful surgery for Anthony Mirundu.  We are so thankful for those of you who have made it financially possible for him to have the tumor on his wrist evaluated in recent months. Though the report of cancer was disappointing, it was not a surprise, and we were happy to know that there was as-yet no metastasis. Anthony was given hope through the possibility of amputating his arm at the elbow, an option that he embraced in hopes of prolonging his life for his wife and young children.

On Thursday last week, at around 9 pm, the surgery was finally completed. Though he is now handicapped, both KDM and Anthony know that it is better to have lost partial use of a limb than to experience the slow growth of cancer and its inevitable consequences. We pray that this experience will cause Anthony to contemplate eternal things and perhaps draw closer to the Creator who loves him.

We also ask that you all pray fervently for Anthony during his recovery period, for the inevitable life transition that this will be for him. Life won’t be the same again to him, his family and friends and community may not treat him the same, but we know that the LORD remains the same. Please remember Anthony in sympathy and compassion of Christ.

 

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The Story of Faith Anita

Not too long ago, Veronica, wife of John and mother to 6 year-old Faith Anita, came to visit us at Kingdom Driven Ministries with her little girl. Here is their story, in her own words:

“In the year of 2012, when my daughter was 3 years old, we saw a small node on her back but we never knew what it was. We thought it was something that would go away after a little while, but to our great surprise it kept on growing and growing until it became a huge mountain on her back.” As we interviewed her, Veronica’s eyes filled with tears, but she continued. “We thought of taking her to hospital for medical assistance, but before we took the step, another bad luck came upon us; my husband was fired from his work as a watchman, and so we were unable to afford even our own meal. We were forced to watch our daughter’s condition deteriorating day after day. We thank God for bringing Silas our way, who shared with us about Christ and linked us with Mzee Timothy.”

As you can see in the photos, this painful deformity has affected little Faith normal growth. We yearn to help this family and bring new hope to them. We are likewise sure that many of our faithful supporters will be moved with compassion to help this young girl. However, we are not even sure what to ask for. We are not doctors, and Faith has yet to see a medical professional regarding this problem; we would only surmise that it could be scoliosis or perhaps spinal TB. In either case, treatment might be in the $200-$300 range, but a smaller amount would at least get us started with a consultation at the local hospital. Depending on the diagnosis, we could then move forward as we have ability.

If you wish to help Faith, you may give to Urgent Needs/Medical or earmark funds in a note at checkout at www.KingdomDriven.org/donate. Please pray for provision for this need and that Faith can get the treatment she needs.

Micah Updates

We would love to share this brief medical update with all of you who are supporting Micah Juma, through prayers and financial assistance, since his surgery to repair a leg badly broken from a road accident.

Already more than a month has gone by since he was readmitted at Webuye County Hospital for the initial surgery. However, it was only a few days after the surgery that it was reported to us that he was experiencing some minor pain which turned out to be an infection that was oozing blood and pus. We took him back to the hospital for re-examination. After the test, it was found that the infection was caused by a piece of rotten flesh, which had accumulated near the broken tibia after five years without any medical attention.

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Early in June another minor surgery was undertaken in order to remove the infected flesh, and Micah was put on a course of antibiotics as well. The area of the infection has still not healed sufficiently that the doctors feel comfortable for him to be discharged.This is an unexpected development, but we trust in God’s faithfulness as we press forward with Micah’s treatment.

Hospitals here in Kenya are somewhat different than those in the West, in that patients do not receive all their care from hospital staff. When someone is admitted to a hospital, a family member generally accompanies the patient to make sure that they have daily meals as well as help with basic care if they cannot perform these tasks on their own. In Micah’s case, his father has faithfully been staying with him and managing such things; however, as you can imagine, this has been a long month for both of them. The good news is that, during this unexpectedly long hospital stay, Micah also begun physical therapy to help in restoring the muscle strength and flexibility as the leg heals.

We also thank the Lord for opening doors to share the Gospel of the Kingdom with Micah. In our last visit to the hospital, we sent two brothers who went and planted the seed of the Kingdom; as we continue to pray for his healing, let us also remember to pray for that seed  to grow and bear fruit.

 

June Medical report

Kingdom Driven Ministries extends our deepest gratitude to all those who have helped us to keep the embers of compassion burning and have enabled us to assist those with medical needs in our community. In the month of June, the number of those who came seeking  medical assistance was, perhaps, not as overwhelming as usual, but we were pleased to serve those whom the Lord brought to us.

The majority of our patients this month were those who dealt with typical illnesses but were without financial means to seek medical care: malaria, typhoid, flus and colds, severe headaches, and gastrointestinal issues in particular.

014We also met this young boy, Maxwell Wanjala. Maxwell is 14 years old and a grade 5 student of a nearby school who was involved in a road accident. This tragedy occurred while he was coming from the forest to fetch firewood, as he lives without a mother, who would normally perform this task.. Maxwell broke two lower joints of his right leg, leaving him in a critical condition. We thank God for the presence of good Samaritans who rushed him to our Mzee Timothy at the Kingdom Driven office, where he was assisted with first aid and then brought to the hospital for treatment. There we were told that the accident had caused  a transverse fracture of the bone, which called for a surgical repair known as reduction. Join us in praying for Maxwell’s quick healing, that he will be back on his feet soon.

We also encountered several  toddlers with different health problems. One case that stood out was that of 024 Hamilton Wafula, who had been suffering with a painful conjunctivitis (“pink eye”). The young mother was ignorant of the sickness and was worried to death about her little one, truly imagining that the child would become permanently blind. We thank God for the knowledge that allowed us to treat this common childhood illness for little Hamilton and ease his mother’s anxiety.

As usual, we encountered several cases of people ailing from malaria and typhoid who came seeking for assistance. Before sending them to Solonamu Medical Centre, our church deacon Mzee Timothy examined and questioned them, in order to find out if they are using their mosquito nets which will help to prevent the wide spread of malaria. He is also encouraging people in the community to utilize the water well on the KDM premises for clean drinking water. To his surprise, some of the patients are not in the habit of utilizing their nets nor the clean water well provided. Even more, many didn’t realize that they themselves could prevent the spread of these  diseases by becoming more cautious with their health and environment. We thank God for the initiative and caring of our Mzee, to help educate folks in our community and perhaps reduce the amount of illness and the necessary medical treatments. Mzee Timothy is a retired school master, and thus he rather enjoys employing these skills in his service for the Kingdom of God in our village community.

We also like to report of the progress of our long-term patient, Micah Juma, who had surgery on a broken leg and then suffered from post-operative infection. He has remained under treatment at the hospital for many long weeks now. Here in Kenya, an admitted patient is not completely under the care of hospital staff for basic needs; his father has been faithfully staying with him to give him companionship and assist in getting him food and meet other pressing needs he may have. I’m sure they will both appreciate your prayers for complete healing and discharge from the hospital. Thank you all who are supporting him.

007We also recently introduced to you the youth Ferdinand, who was ailing with varicose veins. We thank the Lord for standing with us and providing for his scheduled surgery. The surgery was undertaken last week on Wednesday, and he was finally discharged on Friday. Currently, he is under recovery at home. The area of the surgery in his leg is still very painful, so please pray for his perseverance and comfort as well as full  recovery so that he can pick up with his peers in school.

Our total expenditures for emergency and acute medical needs were just over $400. Special medical cases, such as Ferdinand and Micah, were just over $300 this month. Thank you all for your care, prayers, and financial contributions that allow KDM to assist with the many pressing medical needs in our community and our network of church fellowships.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Life-Changing Opportunities!

After a recent third visit to the hospital 013for examination concerning the growths on Anthony Mirundu’s wrist, we are very glad to inform you that, though the growths are cancerous, the cancer has not yet metastasized and remains localized in the wrist area. This was somewhat unexpected, as he has been nursing the swollen wrist since late 2011. Thank you all who kept him in prayers!

After extensive scanning and consult with the surgeon, the recommendation was for an amputation at the elbow as the best and only option. While we are happy to have this option available to halt the spread of the cancer, of course this will be a significant change for Anthony, who is the sole provider for his wife and three young children. Even so, Anthony has agreed that the amputation is a must and it is scheduled for July 13.

099Thus far, however, the funds which have been earmarked to Anthony from your generous donations were only enough to make an initial diagnosis and recommendation for treatment. We have no funding available to go forward in meeting the amputation  and follow up examination expenses. According to best estimates, the whole process will cost at least $200.

007Also, a new urgent medical need has been brought to our attention, the case of Ferdinand. He is the young brother of our “man of peace,” Silas, a dear brother in the Lord. (As the oldest in his family, Silas has taken responsibility for caring for his Mom and siblings on the family shamba; his father died when Silas was just a boy.) We sent Ferdinand to our local clinic last month for an examination of his leg; it looked like varicose veins but because of his youth (he is only 15) we were skeptical that this would be the case. He was referred to the District Hospital, where it was, indeed, confirmed to be a case of severe varicose veins. Ferdinand has been suffering from this condition for the last four years, and reports that he is at the point of feeling ongoing discomfort and pain when he lays down to sleep at night.

008There are several methods of treating varicose veins, including injection therapy and surgery. Injection therapy is mainly used to treat small varicose veins below the knee, and surgery is often performed to treat larger veins. Due to Ferdinand’s age and the progression and pain involved with the deteriorating veins, the recommendation is for a ligation surgery. Essentially, they will make small incisions in the skin and cut and tie off veins that are not functioning. Since these veins are on the surface of the skin, once the dilation is done, the blood will begin to find new routes along deeper veins. This surgery has a high rate of effectiveness and is done on an out-patient basis. This will be adrastic change Ferdinand, and we rejoice that we would be able to offer him this opportunity!

Up until now, Ferdinand’s care has come out of our regular medical budget, but now with a surgery recommended, we must request special funding to proceed. The procedure has already been scheduled for June 22, so we are looking for willing donors to fund the approximately $200 that will be needed.

Join with us in changing lives–the young man Anthony, who will have a new lease on life with his wife and young children with the removal of his cancerous tumor, and the youth Ferdinand, who can experience healing of his painful veins! Either need can be met by giving at www.kingdomdriven.org/donate. You can earmark to urgent needs/medical and there is a place to note at checkout if you would like to give for Anthony or Ferdinand, if you would like.

 

 

 

May Medical Updates

Here at Kingdom Driven Ministries, we know very well that without our donors and well-wishers nothing could be furthered, nothing could be accomplished, and nothing could be achieved. We hope you will be blessed by this brief report of our May happenings for those in our community and fellowships with medical needs.

The month of May  had its own ups and downs, especially in the medical department, but nevertheless the end was good and worth reporting about. As usual, the burden of dealing with various patients falls mainly on the old shoulders of our church deacon, Mzee Timothy; however, he enjoys the assistance of other brethren and ministry administration.

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Church deacon, Mzee Timothy Sitati

This month, our focal point was on two major cases that were brought to us by local administration, that of Micah Juma and Anthony Mirundi. I believe most of you are familiar with these two young people, whom we have long been laboring to assist; one, with long-lasting impacting from road injuries, and the other with bone cancer in the arm.  In case you are not familiar with their cases, please visit our previous articles, Sympathize with the Needy and Extend the Circle Of Compassion

IMG_1374After few months of moving to and fro with Micah Juma, seeking a right medical facility that could help to 116remedy his broken leg and examine the conditions of his urethral dysfunction, at last, this month we found redemption for him at one local hospital. He was attended two weeks back, and we are happy to inform you that the whole process of surgery went well, without any major problems, and Micah’s leg was finally repaired. The surgery to hold the broken bones together by insertion of plate and screw in between the fractured tibia, lasted ten long hours. Unfortunately a few day after the surgery, he was reported to have some minor discomfort, which forced us to return him back to the hospital again. He has been  re-admitted for one or two more weeks, but it is our prayer and desire that he will finally emerge a healthy and strong young man.

009We also took our patient, Anthony Mirundu, to one of the local mission private hospitals for initial examinations. Anthony came to us with growths on his wrist, which we learned was a malignant bone tumor. Unfortunately the doctors at Dreamland, being unable to do a likely necessary amputation, referred us to Webuye Hospital. Therefore, this month our Mzee Timothy has been a frequent visitor in Webuye Hospital! After Anthony’s blood test, to find out if the malignancy has spread to other parts of the hand, we will meet and discuss treatment options with the surgeon. His followup appointment is scheduled for Wednesday, June 8; please keep that in your prayers.

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Anthony at Dreamland Mission Hospital

As far as regular medical needs, perhaps our most disturbing case this month was that of four year-0ld Brandson. Unfortunately, it is culturally the norm here for a man to take more than one wife; when he does, his children typically remain with the first wife or her family. In the case that no caregivers are available for the children of a previous wife, they are taken into the second family circle but are typically not well-treated.

Imagine a mangy cur, unwanted and tolerated only because he provides some minimal security to a family (also common here). This dog is beaten when it approaches people for attention; it is tossed a meager portion of scraps from the family table and expected to forage elsewhere to satisfy his grumbling stomach. He coat is matted and sparse; his ribs betray the reality of his condition. Such is not far from the condition of a step-child.

Bradson’s young body was full of dark scars as a result of beatings, burning, biting and worst of all, it was reported that the step-mother had inserted a thread needle into his back. The boy was weeping uncontrollably as as two church wazee rushed him to the District Hospital, where the operation was conducted and the needle was removed. Perhaps in incidents like these, the prophecy of the apostle Paul is being fulfilled: “at the end times, people will be godless, unkind, cruel and lovers of self.”

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Brandson after discharge

And of course there were the usual  cases of malaria and typhoid, as well as dog bites, severe headaches, stomach upsets, and joints dislocations. Most of these minor needs were treated at our local clinic. The cases of malaria and typhoid–names to put to your prayers and our thanks–are Benjamin Makhoha, Naomi Naliaka, Florence Nafuuna, Junior Wafula, Silas Juma, Annet Nafuna, Brenda Nanjala and many others.

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Kingdom Driven Ministry thanks all of you who have supported us this past month of May; receipts totaled $636 this month—one of our biggest in recent history. You have helped us to serve and bring hope to all those that came our way. Let us enter a new month of June with the same zeal and strength.