Category Archives: Prayer

God With Us

82563335_185438952851788_8590227727812919296_nOur chaplain led us down the dirt road to the humble homestead of our neighbor. During our first visit, we came with pastors from across the world to pray for the old man. Lying on a thin mattress on the floor of his home, he was covered in layers of wool blankets hiding his catheter and frail body. Unable to move, a visiting pastor knelt beside him and shared the words of the 23rd Psalm.

We returned to see the man a few weeks later. His wife explained that he was getting worse and that they had thought they lost him the night before. He was still lying on the thin mattress, covered in blankets, unable to move. There wasn’t much more medically we could do for him. He didn’t want to be admitted anywhere, he just wanted to be home. Our chaplain then turned to me and asked if I could share a few words. Immediately the words, “God with us” came to my mind. I began to share with the old man and the others in the room of the day Jesus was born and was named, Immanuel, God with us. In that moment, lying on the floor, with nothing else to offer the man, all I could encourage him was that God was with him in this second, in this place, in his suffering and pain, in his final moments, in his heart and mind, in the mud walls on the thin mattress. God was with him – ready to bring him home. My prayer was that, in the final moments of his life, he would experience the intimacy of God with him.

He passed away a few days later. I have no idea what he felt in the days, hours, minutes, and seconds before he died. What I know was that God was so near to him then, and that they are now together in heaven.

When we ponder the ways that Hope Matters has grown over the last year, we can truly say that God has been with us. We’ve seen God’s hand on the many patients we have treated including Alex, Jescah, and Baby Caleb. From the hospital walls being built and the tiles laid, to the rose bushes being planted at the entrance to the prayer garden. From treating hundreds of people in unreached communities, to helping a mother understand her child’s down syndrome diagnosis. From the communication towers being put up at our clinics as our receptionist learns our online patient management system, to breaking the news to patients that they have cancer. From the water pump being repaired after hauling water for days, to doubling our staff in a matter of months. This last year held a full spectrum of life experiences and healthcare encounters. We watched small babies show up for their newborn check-ups, and we received massive traumas on our front steps. From watching the sun beam through the leaves outside our clinic, to entering the homes of our neighbors who are on their death beds, God has truly been with us.

As we enter 2020, we know that God is still with us. And while we prepare to open our hospital, double our staff, increase in capacity and care, and so much more, we know, without a doubt, that God is indeed with us.

– By Nikole Opiyo, Hope Matters Missionary

Jescah’s Brain Tumor

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A few months ago, I shared about Jescah. She has a brain tumor which has caused her to lose her sight, as well as most of her hearing. She’s the same age as me, which really makes it feel personal. Jescah is also a wife and a mother of five children who need her. Since we met Jescah, it’s been a bit of a challenging journey.

a65580f1-4f81-4cd2-bb7e-5fb4ab4f77ecWe were able to connect her with one of the few neurosurgeons in Kenya. Her test results showed that not only is this tumor most likely not cancerous, but that it is operable. Good news all around. We were able to enroll her in a health insurance program that could help pay expenses for treatment. A surgical date was booked and we were all hopeful. And then she dropped off the grid. Phones were not answered and texts were not acknowledged. We finally learned that her family have had quite a few fears about what seeking treatment might mean. Many thought that if she had surgery it meant for sure she would die. They relocated her to a very interior area and stopped taking our calls.f414f0d1-70c6-476a-babf-cc0eed0b971c

With persistence we were able to find her. We explained that the surgery would be life-saving, not life-taking. They heard us and agreed to move forward. When we reached out to try to re-schedule her surgery, we learned that the neurosurgeon had left the country and there was not a return date on the calendar at this time.. So discouraging!

But then I remembered something. Part of what allows me to be here in Kenya is a grant from Medsend, an organization committed to getting medical missionaries on the field. I had recently seen an updated from Medsend saying that they were introducing a new neurosurgeon who would be posted in Kenya. I reached out to them and found out that he had just arrived with his family. Medsend was able to put us in contact with each other. The surgeon has reviewed Jescah’s report and says he has a 95% confidence level he can remove her entire tumor!

5e960050-e7ba-4fa4-bf0a-bb282c6c1030When I shared about Jescah before, some of you helped contribute to her medical expenses. We were able to cover her expenses for her workup, specialized CT scans, and travel back and forth between the hospital near Nairobi. Our understanding is that her co-pay for this neurosurgery is going to be approximately $1,000. Part of our Hope Matters team visited Jescah in her home this morning. The situation there was not good with very little resources available. As a ministry, we would like to help cover her surgical and travel travel expenses. We are setting a goal of $1,200 to raise for Jescah and her family. If you would like to help contribute, you can click here to make an online donation. Just make a note that your gift is for “Jescah’s Surgery”. Checks can also be sent to our office: Hope Matters International, P.O. Box 9293, Alta Loma CA 91701.

Our goal is for Jescah to travel to Tenwek Mission hospital within the next few weeks for this surgery. Please pray with us for all the pieces to come together for her. Pray for every need to be provided and for total healing. Thank you!

Believing that Hope Really Does Matter,

Prayer Points: Spring 2017

DSC01658Excited. Overwhelmed. Joyful. Fearful. These are just a few of the emotions I’ve been feeling in recent months. Things have been incredibly busy in the ministry. We are seeing more patients than in the past; more complicated sicknesses and diseases. Yesterday we had to double up patients in the beds in our observation/admission area. There were just too many sick patients and not enough room for them. So here are some ways you can be praying:

  • We’ve recently added some new staff members to the Village of Hope family. The demand has been more than what our staff could keep up with. Pray for the new employees as they join us in serving the poor and sick in our community. Pray for continued provision for the growing needs.
  • Each month we continue to see more complicated cases. Pray for us to have divine wisdom in treating these patients. Pray that they will see the love of Christ in all that we say and do in our encounters with them.
  • The demand for services is exceeding our facility space. Because of this we are preparing to begin offering some services at our new office in the village of Musembe. It’s about 10 minutes from the Village of Hope Medical Centre. This office is located on the property where our future hospital will be built. Community members are anxious for us to start providing services here. Pray for wisdom, energy, and provision as we take on a second location for providing patient care.
  • Every day we see the need for the hospital to be built and opened. There is so much that we are grateful, and give thanks for. We have a great staff coming together. We have been blessed to already possess much of the equipment that will be needed. We already have three acres of land that can be developed. I often say that now we just need the building and the doctors! Pray that God will open the floodgates and provide the resources needed to begin construction on the hospital.
  • Give thanks with us for the successful installation and rolling out of our new computerized system at the Village of Hope.
  • This year we have a number of volunteers coming to serve alongside us. Ask the Lord to use them for his glory during their time serving with us.
  • We so desire your daily prayers for our governing board, Kenyan staff, and volunteers. Please ask God to fill them with his spirit and use them for his glory. Pray for daily wisdom and discernment, for strength and energy, and for protection from attacks from the enemy.

Thank you for standing with us in prayer. We are honored to be serving here in Kenya and are so grateful for your support, prayers, and encouragement.

Prayer Points: Fall 2016

pt-and-mamaIt’s been a long time since we’ve updated the blog, and even longer since we last posted prayer points. I’m sorry for the delay! The good news is that we have been busy, busy, busy, since the last post. God is on the move and we are so excited to see where He is taking Hope Matters. We will be posting more updates about what we have been up to soon.

Here are some ways you can be praying for us during this season:

  • The Village of Hope Medical Centre has been very busy. We are seeing an average of 500 patients each month which is keeping our staff on their toes. Give thanks with us for the many lives who are being touched by the ministry. As word about our work gets out, we are seeing more  complicated and highly unusual cases. Please pray as our staff needs wisdom on a daily basis on how to provide the best care, and when indicated, the most effective referral for each patient.
  • We are quickly outgrowing our current building. God has opened the doors for us to purchase a piece of property very near to where we are currently renting. We are hoping to begin construction on a permanent medical centre building soon. We have only raised a portion of the funds that will be needed to construct the full building. Please pray for more financial provision so that we can begin this expansion soon.
  • We are getting more and more requests to expand our maternal-child-health services. A few things need to come into place for us to be able to do this. Pray with us for the provision of the necessary resources to meet the huge needs we are seeing.
  • Since we first opened in May of 2015, we have been working to register our facility with the ministry of health. This has been a long and challenging process. We are being encouraged to expand our services by local health officials, even as our paperwork is being held up. It is confusing as we know that they are aware of, and approve of, our work. But we still don’t have our full registration. This limits some of the services that we can provide. Please pray with us for this registration to be processed quickly and smoothly.
  • Hope Matters owns a 3-acre piece of property in the village of Musembe. We are in the process of putting the finishing touches on our first building on that property. We currently have an agricultural cooperative of approximately 35 farmers who are meeting for training and agricultural support on a weekly basis. Pray for these farmers as they learn sustainable and practical ways to better care for their families.
  • The Kiprop Family will be in California this December. Please pray for them to have safe travels, and for many opportunities to share about the work of Hope Matters. Pray that people’s hearts will be moved to partner with the ministry.

Please know that we pray for you as well. If you ever have prayer requests to share with us, please send them to office@hopemattersintl.org Our staff would love to pray for you!

February 2016 Prayer Points

IMG_6729Here are some ways you can be praying for the ministry of Hope Matters this month:

  • We are thrilled to share with you that this month our shipping container of hospital equipment and medical supplies was released from customs and transported to our property in Musembe. This project has been over two-years in the making and we are thrilled to start unpacking and putting the many items to work! Give thanks with us for the safe arrival of this container and everything it holds!
  • The Kiprop family was blessed with a productive trip to the USA in Dec/Jan. They arrived safely back in Kenya on February 5th and hit the ground running. Praise God for their safe return to Africa. Pray for them to get an opportunity for rest and renewal of body, mind, spirit, and marriage as they have been going non-stop for quite some time now.
  • The Village of Hope Medical Centre is expanding with the addition of another room to the medical centre. We are praising God for this amazing opportunity to expand our services. And we ask that you would pray with us for more funding as more space and greater service opportunities also come with increased expenses and a need for more staff members.
  • We desire to commit all of our plans to the LORD and to follow his leading as we move forward in 2016. Pray with us for daily wisdom and direction in everything we say and do. We are excited about the possibilities of expansion in the ministry this year and look forward to what God has in store!

When Physical Hope is Gone

IMG_8904Shortly before we left for our recent visit to the USA, I was asked to see a friend’s wife as a patient. I knew she had been sick for some time, but I really didn’t know the details. As I sat down with her in the treatment room, I could see that the situation was serious. I knew she had seen other medical providers and I asked to see the records. The more I read of her file, the more hopeless the situation felt. I realized that she wasn’t just sick, she was dying. Our eyes met. I asked if any of the doctors had explained the reports to the husband and wife. They nodded yes. “We know she is really, really, sick.”

I paused. I was a bit overwhelmed. This wasn’t a patient I was just meeting as a medical provider. This was my friend’s wife. I’d worked with him for a number of years on health projects in the local public schools. This was so much more personal. I was confused. They had been to some of the best medical institutions in Kenya. Every test had been done. Every possible treatment was already in play. What more could I do?

I humbly asked how they felt I could help. In that quiet moment the pain in the eyes of this husband and wife was oh so evident. The husband’s eyes met mine “You can pray” he said. They had come to see not a miraculous medical provider, but a friend who could take their hands and pray. And in that moment I was reminded, this is why hope matters. This is why we exist as an organization. There are times when I do not have anything that I can physically offer a patient; times when the only hope I can offer is actually the greatest hope that ever was. The hope of eternal life. The hope of healing of heart, mind, and spirit. The hope of knowing that one day, when this life is over, we will meet again. And when we meet on that day, there will be no gasping breaths, no pain, no fear, no shadows. And so we prayed. We held hands in that little treatment room and went into the throne-room together.

While in the USA I received word that she had died. We missed her funeral by just a week. Monday morning as I sat down in my office to organize my plans for the week, I glanced up and saw my friend standing in the doorway. He sat down with William and I to share a cup of chai. We began to talk about what it means to say goodbye. To mourn. To grieve. He shared with us some of the platitudes he has recently heard “We loved her, but God loved her more.” Things like: “Now is the time to pull up your socks and be strong.” or “God has a greater plan in this.” Right now to him those are empty words that do nothing to acknowledge his huge loss or the part of him that feels like it died when he put his wife in the ground. And so we did not offer platitudes. We listened. We reminded him that David in the Bible got angry sometimes and that, that is actually, perfectly, okay. That his loss is massive and is worth mourning over. And once again we prayed together. It wasn’t what I had imagined for my Monday morning. But I wouldn’t have started my week any other way. It was a reminder that I’m here because hope matters, it really does.

November 2015 Prayer Points

IMG_5662Here are some ways you can be praying with us in November.

  • We have been undergoing a registration process with the Kenyan Ministry of Health since before we opened the Village of Hope Medical Centre back in May. It looks like this month we may have some forward motion in moving towards getting our certification. Please pray for this process to continue to move forward and officials working on our registration to be favorable towards us.
  • We are pleased to report that on November 2, 2015 our forty-foot cargo container full of medical equipment and supplies departed from Los Angeles. It is now working it’s way to us halfway around the world via cargo ship. Pray for safety in transit, and favor as we work to get documentation here in Kenya that will make clearing customs easier once the container arrives in late December.
  • In October William Kiprop sustained a life-threatening injury which ultimately resulted in the loss of his left hand. He is doing much better now and continues to get stronger each day. We are exploring options for further therapy and prosthetics at this time. Give thanks with us for the gift of William’s life and God’s divine intervention in sustaining him and the entire Kiprop family during this time. Please pray for continued healing of body, heart, and mind as this is a huge loss.
  • Please pray for our Hope Matters staff this month. Ask the Lord to strengthen and encourage them. Pray that they will be the hands and feet of Christ as they bring physical healing in our community.
  • We have recently lost two special patients whom we had been caring for, for some time. Please pray for their families to be comforted a they grieve these deaths.
  • Give thanks with us as we celebrate the breaking of ground on the Hope Matters property. Construction has been started on a small office and a platform for the container to be docked once it arrives.

Thank you for standing with us in prayer. We are blessed to have you along in this journey of ministry.

September 2015 Prayer Points

IMG_5085The summer has flown by. Here in Kenya we were blessed with many volunteers who gave of their time, resources, and their very selves to serve alongside us. Give thanks with us for each one of them and for the lives that were touched by their work. As we look to the coming weeks, here are some ways you can be praying with us:

  • The Village of Hope Medical Centre has been continuing to grow and gain momentum. Give thanks with us as we’ve seen more than 1,500 patients since opening in May. Pray for our staff to be filled with strength, energy, wisdom, and compassion as they encounter each new patient.
  • We began the registration process for the facility back in May of this year. We are still waiting for the final approval for our license. There are subsidized resources (medications, supplies, etc.) that we won’t be able to access until the license is processed. Pray that God will move people to cut through the red tape and move our application along so that we can be fully licensed soon.
  • We have a forty-foot shipping container full of medical equipment and supplies that will soon begin making it’s way to Kenya from Los Angeles. Please pray with us for all paperwork to be processed smoothly in both Los Angeles and Mombasa. We have heard stories of other non-profits having to pay thousands of dollars in unexpected fees once their containers arrive in port. Please pray that God will have his hand on this container. That it might travel safely, arrive smoothly, and be released from the port without any incidents.
  • Our Hope Advocate, Kim Sparks, is continuing on her run between the US/Canadian border and Alaska. Pray for her to have strength, energy, and remain injury-free. Also pray that her fundraising efforts for Hope Matters will be blessed. You can learn more about her run by clicking here. If you would like to support her run, (donations as small as $5 or $10 can make a difference when added up!) please click here.
  • Join us in praying for wisdom and direction for the leadership at Hope Matters. It is our desire that Christ would be glorified in all that we say and do. Please pray that we might be used by him to bring his love, and his HOPE to those who are hurting.

July/August 2015 Prayer Points

IMG_3986bWell the summer is flying by here in Kenya. Here are some ways you can be praying for us this month and next:

  • The Village of Hope Medical Centre is exploding with growth! Word is out that medical and laboratory services are available and the patient flow has been very high. Some days it’s hard for the providers to find time to grab a bite of lunch to eat! Give thanks for the many patients who are receiving care at the medical centre. Pray with us that the Lord will open doors for additional space and staff as we are already outgrowing our current facility and are in need of more hands to help treat the high volume of patients.
  • We were extremely blessed by our Nursing Team from Kingsburg Community Church. They taught two courses of Helping Babies Breathe in which we saw 37 providers receive certification in this critical skill. Give thanks for all they accomplished and pray that the providers will not forget what they have learned, and that lives can be saved as a result of their training.
  • Our next team is en-route to Kenya I type this. This team from Kingsburg Community Church will be involved in several major optometry/diabetes/hypertension outreaches. They have a very busy schedule during their time in Kenya and will be serving with us from the 21st through 28th of July. Pray that they will be strong and effective in their ministry.
  • In August we will have an intern from Canada serving with us for two weeks to help our staff transition into an electronic form of patient record keeping. This is a huge undertaking! Pray for her and the staff as they take on this huge task.
  • We have learned that the soonest our patient Ann might be able to have her open-heart surgery would be October. This is because of the level of complication to her case and the need for an American surgeon to perform the procedure. Her condition is deteriorating and I have some concerns whether or not she will be strong enough for surgery when fall comes. Please pray for God to be in the middle of this difficult situation.
  • We have been blessed to have a major Hope Advocate named Kim taking on a huge task to benefit our ministry. She is running from the American/Canadian border all the way to Alaska to raise funds. You can read more about her journey here: Alaska or Bust! Please pray for her safety and success on this huge endeavor! Pray that her efforts will be fruitful and that our ministry in Kenya will be blessed.
  • We are still trying to raise the funds needed to bring our shipment of medical supplies over to Kenya. As the health ministry is really taking off, it would be a huge advantage to have access to these supplies. Pray that the floodgates of heaven might be opened so that we can get this equipment shipped to us where it can be put to good use!

We value your prayers and support! Please let us know if there is any way that we can be praying for you this season! You can contact us at office@hopemattersintl.org Thanks!

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May/June 2015 Prayer Points

  • Give thanks with us for a successful opening of the new Village of Hope Medical Centre. We have already seen over fifty patients through only word-of-mouth advertising.
  • Pray for our staff at Village of Hope to see clients through the eyes of Christ and that the patients might receive not only physical, but spiritual healing through their interactions at the medical centre.
  • Give thanks with us for a special time with our volunteers John and Bobbie Kerns. Bobbie is on our USA board of directors. They were able to come alongside the Kenyan team in day-to-day ministry as well as doing some special projects at the new medical centre. They also brought some much-needed supplies that were generously donated from friends at Life Bible Fellowship church in Upland CA.
  • Unfortunately Ann has not yet been able to receive her open-heart surgery. When she traveled to the mission hospital she was informed that they were only doing single-valve replacements and that her double-valve replacement would need to happen at a later date. Please pray that things will come together for her to get surgery sooner rather than later. Also we learned that the cost will be significantly more than initially quoted. So pray for the family as they are working to fund-raise here in Kenya to make up the difference for the needed funds.
  • Pray for safety on the roads as our staff and visitors travel the highways of Kenya. There have recently been a number of accidents in our region with high casualty and fatality numbers.
  • June 16 – 30 we will have a team from Kingsburg Community Church coming to volunteer in the medical centre and teaching a special course called “Helping Babies Breathe” to Kenyan healthcare workers. Pray for safety in their journey and effectiveness in their ministry. Pray that hearts will be touched through their ministry and that the Kenyan HMI staff would be empowered and encouraged through their visit.
  • For the last few years we have been working towards getting a shipping container full of hospital supplies sent to Kenya. Please pray with us that the final funds will be raised, doors will open, and we can get the supplies sent to Kenya. With the medical centre open and functioning, many of the supplies will immediately be put to use when they arrive.