Our Experiences as Orthopedic Medical Missionaries in Kenya
Dan, Heather, Jeremiah, Emma, Claire, Levi, Josie, Jane and Ethan
Friday, March 26, 2010
Sunsets in Kisumu: New Lessons in Trust
After over 16,000 miles of air travel, and countless miles on the road, Heather and I finally made it back to our African home after a six day visit to the U.S. It was good to see the kids again, and they seemed happy we were home, although I suspect they also had a good time staying at friends’ houses, and of course, taking a break from homeschooling. The trip, overall, was tiring, but fruitful.
The day after I returned to Tenwek, I (Dan) was on the road again, this time headed to Kisumu, where I attended the Kenya Orthopedic Society’s 4th Annual Meeting, the theme “The Road Carnage Continues,” a very apropos title highlighting the significant increase in road trauma over the past few years, which, according to a few of the papers presented, is directly correlated to the onslaught of duty-free motorcycles imported into the country for use as taxis (called boda-bodas). One presenter, an official with the World Health Organization (WHO), remarked that Kenya, being one of the top 10 countries in the WORLD for road trauma, has the dubious honor of being selected for a new decade-long initiative exploring ways to decrease the tremendous burden of injuries and death that result from road traffic accidents. I gave a presentation on “Open Fractures of the Tibia,” and thankfully discovered that the American style of power-point presentations (including creative slides and mild humor), was well received.
Kisumu, on the Kenyan shores of Lake Victoria, is a beautiful city, famous for tilapia and Nile Perch, and now more famous as the home of Obama’s father. In fact, a new airport was just built to accommodate the increased number of tourists, and a new 5-star hotel is being erected. After striking out at several “lesser” hotels, John Tanksley and I thankfully found two rooms at one of the “3-star” hotels in town, “The Sunset Hotel.” Although “3-star,” I discovered, was a truly meaningless designation, (I was stung on the toe by some unknown African life-form at night, and the A/C leaked a huge puddle on the floor of my room), the hotel DID live up to its name…the view west over Lake Victoria, at sunset, was absolutely incredible.
While sitting out on the porch the final evening watching the sunset, as the colors changed every minute, from yellow, to orange, to red, to purple, I was overwhelmed with a sense of God’s goodness, of His delight in His own creation, His steadfast faithfulness, and His concern for humanity. Amazing how God uses his creation to point us to Him, to remind us how glorious He is…and how small we are; to show us His dependability…and remind us of our volatility; to demonstrate His power…and our weakness; and to show us His grace…and our need for it. Pondering all this placed, in my heart, a deeper trust in the God who pursues us because he loves us, and desires to meet with us, and to show us that He is the culmination of everything, the sum of all we strive so hard to find.
Psalm 8:3-4 “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?”