God has faithfully carried us through this challenging past year of home ministry assignment (HMA) in the states, and we are now immersed in our preparations to return to Kenya on August 15th! We are excited about our return and wanted to update you on some new directions in which God is leading our family. The past few years, we have become increasingly aware that our children have some critical educational needs that have been challenging for us to meet in this life of missions. As you know, since first arriving in Africa in 2008, our family has been serving at Tenwek Hospital (on the west side of the Great Rift Valley). When our kids were young, homeschooling (supplemented by the Tenwek co-op) was the best (although not always easy) option. But as they grew, and entered middle school and high school, we saw a growing complexity in terms of their educational, social, spiritual and relational needs. The only real option for a secondary classroom education while serving at Tenwek is to send our kids to the Rift Valley Academy, a boarding school about 3-1/2 hours drive from Tenwek (on the east side of the Great Rift Valley). Jeremiah graduated from RVA in 2015, and Claire and Emma have both sent time there as well. While most families at Tenwek have done well with sending their kids to RVA, it is becoming evident that this boarding school environment is no longer a viable option for our family. In addition, we have been counseled (and we agree), that our family, at least for this season in life, needs to remain together.
As such, after much prayer, and seeking wise counsel from others with much more experience and knowledge than us, we have made the difficult, yet confident, decision to relocate our base of ministry to Kijabe Mission Hospital, which is on the same campus as the Rift Valley Academy. In this way, our kids will be able to continue their education at RVA, but now as day students rather than as boarding students - which also means that we will be able to keep our family together during these important years. In addition, I will be able to continue my calling to serve “the least of these” through orthopaedic medical missions and resident education/discipleship.
Kijabe and Tenwek are similar (almost sister) hospitals - Christian mission in focus, and dedicated to the surgical education of African nationals. Kijabe’s orthopaedic residents have rotated at Tenwek as part of their education for years, and we have recently started sending our Tenwek orthopaedic residents to CURE Hospital (located at Kijabe) for paediatric orthopaedic training. Because of this already established Tenwek/Kijabe connection, even though our Galat “base of operations” will be at a different location (at least for the time-being), we very much view this as an opportunity to expand our current ministry in new and exciting ways.
Nevertheless, as is so often the case in this life of international missions, our emotional response to this decision has been quite paradoxical. While we are thankful for this opportunity to be together as a family, we are sad to leave our family at Tenwek, and our home, which we just recently rehabbed (our house at Kijabe will be quite small in comparison– three bed and one bath!). However, we are thankful that another large family will have the opportunity to live in our house while we are away. And while we are excited at the opportunity to broaden the scope of orthopaedic training at Kijabe, I will miss the day-to-day interaction with the consultants and residents at Tenwek whom I love deeply and view as family. Thankfully, God has ordained two very qualified, talented and skilled orthopaedic surgeon consultants - Drs. Kiprono Koech and Dylan Nugent - to continue the work at Tenwek (as they have done even this past year while I have been stateside). As I mentioned, I will remain closely tied to Tenwek, even while stationed at Kijabe, on multiple levels.
Some have wondered how this move will impact giving and support of the Galat Family Ministry going forward. Although our ministry base of operations will change to Kijabe, we will continue with World Gospel Mission as career missionaries, so no change in giving is necessary. Funds given to the Galat Ministry Account(125-03814) will continue to support our family, the orthopaedic work at Tenwek AND now the orthopaedic work at Kijabe as well. Funds earmarked for the Orthopaedic Residency Fund (125-25240) will continue to support resident education at Tenwek, and now also at Kijabe going forward. Thank you for being a part of our Galat Family Ministry in Kenya with WGM over the years. Your partnership has enabled us to continue strongly in our calling to serve people in the most needy areas of the world through compassionate healthcare, and though the education, training and Christian discipleship of African orthopaedic surgeons. Your support and giving is making a tremendous difference in the lives of countless people (directly, through surgical care, and indirectly through training of national surgeons)!
Please keep us in prayer over the next several weeks as we make this transition back to Kenya, and to our new home at Kijabe. Pray for joy and peace as we pack (yet again!), say our goodbyes in Phoenix, and then enter a season of traveling with two little girls in tow! Pray for Jeremiah, as he remains behind to continue college at ASU, and for Emma, as she continues for another 3-6 months at a wonderful program in Nashville, TN called Mercy Multiplied before joining us in Kenya. Finally, pray for provision of all the orthopaedic needs (consultants, implants, residents, etc.) at Tenwek and Kijabe…the work is massive at both places – and in the entire developing world – and resources are so few. This is a work that only God can sustain. Thankfully, He is able to do immeasurably more than any of us could ever ask or imagine! Thanks for all your prayers and support!!