This is Sarah. She’s fifteen years old and one of my neighbors. When I met her, she was certain she was dying. Her resting heart-rate was 140 beats a minute. She was having constant fine tremors in her hands. She couldn’t sleep, felt like she was losing her mind, and was sweating all the time. Plus she had this growth in her neck that terrified her. Sarah has a thyroid disorder that has been wreaking havoc on her body. Thankfully we’ve been able to connect her with some great surgeons who will be able to help her. It’s been a battle to get her medically stable for surgery. But we have finally reached that point. Unfortunately we just found out that she is going to need $700 to get the surgery done. Sarah comes from an unstable situation and has no way of getting these funds on her own. We are hoping to be able to help her out. We’ve been walking this journey with her for a few months now. Her bubbly, energetic, can-do spirit always makes me smile. I look forward to the days she is scheduled in my office. Please pray with us for Sarah. Pray for her future. For her total healing, and for provision for her to get this necessary surgery. If you would like to help, you can make a secure donation on our website by clicking here.
During this holiday season we have a special opportunity for giving hope to the Village of Hope Medical Centre and hospital. We have set up a gift registry/wish list on Amazon. You can find the list by clicking here. When checking out please ship to “Tiffany Ninemire’s gift registry address”. She will be packing up and sending all of the items to us in Kenya.
If you would like to give a gift on someone’s behalf, please let us know and we can provide you with a printable gift note to share. We can also provide gift-in-kind receipts for tax purposes. So email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know if you purchase something. Thank you for helping to bring hope and healing in Kenya!
Hi Friends! Here in Africa we are pretty excited about the way ministry continues to move forward. We are currently in the process of preparing to launch walk-in clinic services not far from the Hope Matters property. As we prepare for this exciting growth we have some special needs. One of those needs is for a few new laptops to use in accounting and patient records. We’ve identified a reasonably-priced model of computer that we think would work well to meet this need. If this is something you think you might be able to help out, with please contact Michelle at email@example.com about working out the details. You can order direct from our wish list on Amazon and ship to our office in the USA. Donations like this are tax deductible within the United States. We have an opportunity for someone to hand-carry the computers over in early Feb so it’s an opportunity we’d like to take advantage of. Thanks so much!
We are excited to announce that we have been accepted by the organization Medsend to become one of their associates. So who is Medsend and what does this mean for Hope Matters? Medsend is an organization that helps medical missionaries to get to the field as quickly as possible. They know that the debt incurred in getting an education in the medical field can be prohibitive from beginning missionary service. So they exist to help get medical missionaries to the field sooner by helping to make student loan payments for qualified missionaries belonging to their associate organizations.
For the last seven years I (Michelle Kiprop) have been receiving a grant from Medsend which has allowed me to stay on the field. It also means that when donors financially support the ministry I’m involved in, none of that support has ever had to be applied to paying my student loans, but instead goes directly to the work I’m doing here in Africa.
With Hope Matters becoming a Medsend associate, my grant will continue. This also means that future medical missionaries with Hope Matters will also be eligible to apply for similar grants. Exciting news all around! If you would like to learn more about Medsend, you can click here to visit their website.
Next Wednesday marks the start of the season of Lent Some of you are likely very familiar with Lent and take part annually. Others may not be so aware. It’s a 40 day period (not counting Sundays) of anticipating and preparing for the celebration of Easter. I’ve spent a lot of time in my life in both anticipation and preparation. There have been major events such as graduations, weddings, births, and of course the launch of Hope Matters, that are exciting, but also require time and attention to prepare for. Lent is a period of time that allows us to contemplate Easter and all that it means. To honor this season we are going to be putting together a series of devotionals for lent. We will post one on the blog each week. If you would like to receive copies through e-mail please drop me a line at Michelle@hopemattersintl.org and let me know that you’d like to get the Lent devotionals in your inbox.
I’d also like to throw out a challenge. One of the traditions of Lent is to give something up during this time period to help focus on the meaning of Easter and on the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. If you are planning to participate in this aspect of Lent, would you consider giving something up and in it’s place making a choice to support the ministry of Hope Matters this season? It could be as simple as saying “Instead of that specialty shop drink every morning I’ll take coffee from home in a travel mug.” I’ve known many people who have given up chocolate for this period. It could mean cutting out reducing fast food and/or restaurant visits for a while. This is a great time to get the whole family involved in thinking about what they can do to help others by making a small personal sacrifice. And sometimes that sacrifice becomes a bit easier when you consider what a difference it is making in the life of another family. If you are willing to take on this challenge, I’d love to hear about it. Feel free to drop me a line anytime. I always love getting e-mail! Or you can share about your Lent plans on our Facebook page. Take care and may God bless you as we prepare for Easter together.
Here’s the long awaited post about everything you ever wanted to know about jiggers and then some… As we have been sharing some pictures and stories about our current jigger campaign in the community of Turbo, I’ve had quite a few questions come up. So here’s the dirt on the jiggers of Turbo.
What are they? The scientific name for the jigger is Tunga Penetrans. Its really a parasitic flea that burrows into the hosts skin and then lays eggs there. The eggs develop into larvae which, you guessed it, produce more jiggers! The whole process takes a few weeks to go from initial bite to full blown infestation with eggs and larvae.
Other than being disgusting what problems do they cause? The location that the jigger bites and burrows in becomes both painful and extremely itchy. Unfortunately these fleas also carry a lot of bacteria on their bodies. Once the flea imbeds itself in a child’s skin, that child is also being exposed to the bacteria and can develop a super-infection.
Why do so many people have this problem? The area where we are seeing huge numbers of infections is a slum area. People live in crowded and rather unhygienic conditions. Most members of this community do not have good shoes. Most commonly seen are flip-flops that are open and allow the fleas easy access. Many children don’t even own a pair of closed-toed shoes. If they do, they are reserved for school and worn until there is nothing left to wear. Houses are often not well maintained with regular smearing, allowing the jiggers to set-up shop inside the mud-homes. (Smearing is coating the house with a fresh, smooth layer of mud and sealing up any cracks where the jiggers like to live.)
So why don’t they wear shoes and have better hygiene? This is where we really start to see some of the root problems. Besides being a very poor community, alcohol is a major issue in this area. Most of the people living in the slums have had extremely difficult pasts. Some were born into poverty, others have faced unspeakable acts of violence and rejection. Ultimately, the majority have turned to home-brew alcohol as a coping mechanism. It’s not unusual to enter the community at 9 in the morning and find the majority of people you meet already completely drunk. In this state it’s hard to do things like properly maintain a home and care for one’s children. This is why we are partnering with Empowering Lives’ Anti-Alcohol program in this community.
How do you treat them? It has generally been believed that the best way to treat is to soak the feet in a special disinfectant and then surgically remove the bugs and all of the eggs. Up to this point that is how we have conducted treatment. We have recently heard from some other organizations that they have had success by following a strict daily soaking regimen to kill the parasite and that it will fall out. Because we haven’t been able to find a scientific study comparing the two methods, we are conducting our own study right now in partnership with some local healthcare providers. Our goal is to find out the best possible treatment method and then to provide it, free of charge, for the children and adults in this community.
How can I help? Thanks for asking! First of all you can pray. This is not an easy task and at times we feel discouraged as we try to tackle it head-on. Secondly you can give by clicking here. We do not charge our jigger patients for their treatment. So your donation to Hope Matters can help underwrite expenses for treatment. We have already had a few donations specifically for the purchase of shoes. It is our hope to be able to purchase a good, closed-toe, pair of shoes to every child in this community who is being impacted by jigger infections. We believe that by investing in the children we are investing in the future of the community.
Thanks for taking the time to learn about jiggers. It’s not a pleasant or fun topic. Honestly, some days when I return home from Turbo I’m completely drained both emotionally and physically. But then I look into the eyes of these children who I’m able to physically touch with the love of Jesus and I know that I’m right where I’m supposed to be.
This journey of Hope Matters has been an exciting one. In 2013 our community outreach program has come to life. From chronic disease screening and treatment, to health promotion and trainings, we’ve been busy. Our outreaches have taken us from the highlands, to the coast, and all the way to the remote northern deserts of Kenya. It’s truly been an honor to serve the under-served in this country.
As we look forward to 2014 we see exciting things on the horizon. But the simple fact is that we cannot move forward without a strong support team. We are so blessed to have already raised enough funds to purchase a community health vehicle/ambulance. We also have raised approximately 50% of the funds needed to purchase land for our future Medical Center. We already have commitments for approximately 65% of Hope Matters monthly operating expenses.
To meet our minimal operational budget we currently need to enlarge our monthly support base by about $2,500/month. That’s just 25 families or individuals committing to give $100/month. Or perhaps 50 donors at $50/month. The point is that every little bit does add up to make a big difference. Throughout our last six years of serving in Africa, the backbone of our support has always come from families and individuals who have chosen to stand with us through financial support of our work. We have individual donors who give anywhere from $15 – $250/month. Some make annual or semi-annual contributions to help support the work. We truly consider each donor to be a member of our ministry team.
Would you prayerfully consider joining the support team for Hope Matters? If you have never given to our work in Africa before, this would be a fabulous time to start. If you are already a part of our support network, would you consider a special year-end gift to help with our capital expenses? One of the exciting things about being a young organization is that we have virtually no overhead expenses. Our minimal US office expenses are being covered by some generous donors so that 100% of your donations can go directly to the work in Africa. And all donations are tax-deductible in the United States.
We have been blessed with a very generous donor who has agreed to match every dollar designated for the purchase of land up to $5,000. Contributions must be made before the end of the year to qualify for the match. These donations will help us to purchase 5 acres of land for the new Medical Center.
There are several ways to give:
- Set up monthly donations using online banking through your bank.
- Sign up for automated credit card giving. E-mail me for more info and I can get you set-up.
- Make a one-time gift or set up monthly gifts online by clicking here.
- Mail a Check to: Hope Matters International, P.O. Box 9293, Alta Loma CA 91701
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions! firstname.lastname@example.org