Category Archives: Outreach

The Power of Education

IMG_4669IMG_2727In May I traveled to Mombasa with HMI intern, Julie, to teach a first aid and CPR course to a group of football (soccer for you USA friends) coaches. There was a lot of sweat, and even more laughter, throughout the course. We ran the full introduction to first-aid and basic health information class. A few coaches asked early on why it wasn’t just sports focused. We shared that what we were teaching was useful information that could be used at any time on, or off, the soccer pitch.

Just today I received an update from our hosts that a few of the coaches responded to an IMG_4596emergency over the weekend. They were able to help an epileptic woman who collapsed and was having a seizure on a public street. Not only were they able to safely administer first-aid, but they handled crowd-control and follow-up medical care, just as they had been trained to do. Another coach was able to identify a neighbor who was having seizures. People were saying that this neighbor was being possessed by an evil spirit. The coach was able to share the need to get medical help for this very real physical condition. What a blessing to get this report!

It was also really special to hear our hosts share that the coaches were impressed with how we showed love to them through running this course. The comment was made that it was clear what we were doing was out of love, not a requirement by our religion. I continue to be blessed at how powerful holistic ministry can be. Thanks for praying for and supporting the work we do here. Because hope really does matter!

Volunteer Opportunities: Kenya 2017

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Volunteer Opportunities

Do you have an adventurous spirit and a desire to serve in Africa? Here are some opportunities to come volunteer and serve alongside our team in Kenya in 2017. For more information and an application please contact Michelle michelle@hopemattersintl.org and Nikole nikole@hopemattersintl.org

Serving on a Team

All teams should ideally be made up of 4 – 8 members. The duration of the team will depend on the specifics of the project/outreach. A typical timeline is 5 – 10 days of service, with an additional two to three days of travel, and at least one full day for debriefing before returning home. Many teams choose to do an animal safari before leaving Kenya. Team members need to fund-raise or pay for their personal expenses and are also asked to help contribute to covering the cost of their ministry project. Donations can be processed either by the team’s home church or the Hope Matters Int’l (HMI) USA Office. HMI is a registered non-profit, so all donations are tax-deductible within the USA. HMI provides a training packet for all teams and asks that they go through a preparation process together before coming to serve. We generally recommend a minimum of at least three months to adequately prepare and fund-raise.

img_8343Discipleship/Medical Team

Description: This team would consist of both medical professionals and Christian leaders who are passionate about mentoring other believers in their walk with the Lord. We would like to give our national, medical, staff an opportunity to take time away for a spiritual-development retreat. Ideally the retreat would be a two-day event and would be run twice, allowing half of the national staff to participate at one time, and keeping half the staff in the clinic working alongside the visiting team. Staff would then rotate for the second session of the retreat.

Requirements: This will require medical professionals who can help cover the clinic operations, as well as a discipleship team to lead the retreat for the staff.

Time of Year: Flexible

Construction

Description: This team would assist with finishing work on the new medical centre. This may include, but not be limited to: tiling, painting, plumbing, electric installation, carpentry/finishing work (door and window frames, ceiling work, etc.)

Requirements: Primarily professional Construction Workers

Time of Year: May through July, or mid-Sept through October

img_5053Children’s/Youth Camp

Description: This team will be focused on working with children and youth, primarily ages 8 – 16. The team would organize a children’s conference/VBS that would run from 10AM – 5PM for roughly four days. Activities will include group lessons, small break-out sessions, crafts, music, and game-time.

Requirements: Open hearts, flexibility, and a heart for kids. Some experience working with children is desirable.

Time of Year: Either April or early Late July/August (when children are on break from school)

img_4320Medical Continuing Education

Description: Medical professionals who can train and equip Kenyan providers with up-to-date information related to any of the following topics: Maternal Child Care, Primary Care, Emergency Stabilization, or Chronic Disease Management. Training should be approximately 2-days in length and will most likely be run twice to allow for a maximum number of participants.

Requirements: Licensed medical professionals, some teaching/speaking experience preferred, but not required.

Time of Year: Flexible

Community/Agricultural Development

Description: Coordinating and running a conference specifically focused on economic empowerment for small-scale farmers. Topics would include farming business development, budgeting, and making your farm productive. The conference would also include a spiritual track about living out one’s faith as a farmer.

Requirements: Team members with economic, business, or development experience, as well as spiritual discipleship leaders.

Time of Year: Flexible

Serving as an Individual or Pair

Licensed Medical Professionals

We are looking for licensed medical professionals who could be scheduled and counted in our staffing to provide service at the medical centre for 1 – 4 weeks at a time. Often this would entail covering a national staff-member’s leave time. Volunteer(s) would be partnered with a national staff member who would assist with translation and local protocols.

Student Internships

We have a limited number of student internships available each year. The internship is designed so that the volunteer will typically spend part of their time working on a special project for the ministry, and part of their time shadowing/working with our staff in the medical centre. Students are often asked to help give educational presentations in local schools and support group settings.

Diabetes Support Group: Top Chef Style

IMG_7257How do you maintain a healthy, and diverse, diet when you are a diabetic who lives in a rural Kenyan village, and you don’t have a generous budget or access to a fancy grocery store? This was the question we decided to take on in our Hope Matters Diabetes Support group. Today we had 19 diabetic patients join us for a live cooking demonstration of “Spiced Carrots”. Great fun was had by all. The comment “I’ve never been given food at my doctor’s visit before” was made accompanied with a big smile. There was even a door prize of a bottle of spices for one lucky group member. We are striving to not only provide quality care to our diabetic patients, but also have fun in an educational setting as members encourage and support each other at our monthly gatherings. All members get free blood sugar checks and medical consults at the conclusion of each meeting. For more pictures from this fun event, please visit our Facebook page by clicking here.  A donation of $35 covers the expenses for a support group meeting. Click here if you would like to make a secure donation to cover the cost of one of our meetings.

A Summer of Outreach

IMG_4802We just said goodbye to our volunteers from Kingsburg Community Church in CA. They helped us run a series of medical outreaches. IMG_4851

With the team’s help, we were able to see approximately 400 patients in our outreach clinics in just one week! Patients were tested for diabetes and high blood pressure as well as getting eye-exams and reading glasses.

 

 

The team also had the opportunity to do special health education in a large primary school. One of the highlights was being able to share the Jesus film in several different venues.

 

 

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Another special experience was feeding over 200 children lunch in the slums of Turbo after a special program and gospel presentation.

 

 

IMG_4841One of our team members has been living with diabetes for over four-decades. She was able to encourage patients to not fear testing and treatment. It was beautiful to see the skills and personal life experiences come into play to minister to the sick and hurting here in Kenya. IMG_4846

 

Glasses were distributed to those who hadn’t been able to see well or read in years. We also had a number of patients with complicated medical issues whom we were able to refer back to our medical center for more comprehensive treatment.

IMG_4860We want to give thanks to each of you who pray for and financially support this ministry. You are greatly appreciated! Please keep an eye on this blog for regular prayer updates. And if you would like to financially support the work we are doing in Kenya, please click here.

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!

Kingsburg Nurses Team

IMG_4254We are loving having our team from Kingsburg Community Church here serving alongside us. The nurses are teaching courses about helping newborns to breathe for healthcare providers and reproductive health workers. Our non-nurse on the team has been incredibly helpful with various projects around the clinic from painting to installing flooring! For pictures and daily updates on their activities please check out our facebook page by clicking here.

Christmas Shoes

VictorI first met Victor at his school when we were doing an assessment to determine how many children required jigger treatment. Victor stood out for two reasons. First he had the saddest eyes and countenance about him for such a young child. And secondly, his jigger infection was so bad that even his hands were affected.

IMG_2381bAfter two weeks of our soaking intervention, we saw a few children improve enough to be discharged from the program. But there were many others who needed to go on to receive surgical intervention. Victor was among the second group. Treating that little boy just about broke my heart as his tears silently streamed down his face. Once finished, I bandaged him up in gauze. And it was then that I realized that he would be walking home down the dirt road on his bandages because he had no shoes. For a moment I asked myself “Why am I doing this?” Why go through so much trouble to help this one child who will go home with a good chance that his surgical wounds will be infected, and an even greater chance that he will be reinfected with jiggers? It was honestly a very discouraging day for me.

IMG_2385bAs a team at Hope Matters we have talked about how we will continue to treat the same children with the same problems repeatedly if we can’t get them in shoes. Will shoes fix everything about their life and guarantee they will never get another infection? No, but getting those little feet into shoes will be a huge step in the right direction. It will also be a physical representation of our love and care for these kids. We want them to know that we love them and more importantly that Jesus loves them too!

We have completed a survey and found that there are approximately 130 children under the age of 10, in the Kampi Mawe slum, who currently need a pair of shoes. We are holding a special Christmas Eve program for these kids. At the conclusion of the program we hope to provide them with a snack and a pair of Christmas shoes. We would love your partnership to help make this happen. We are estimating that it will be approximately $10 for each pair of shoes. If you would like to help us, you can do so by making a donation on our website by clicking here. Just make a note in the comment area that says “Christmas Shoes”.  Thank you!

December 2014 Prayer Points

IMG_2459bIt’s hard to believe that we are already in December! This month in addition to our regular ministry activities, we have a few special events related to Christmas. Here are some ways you can be praying for the ministry this month:

  •  “The Nativity” movie will be shown at several venues. Please pray that hearts will be receptive and open to learning more about Christ.
  • On Christmas Eve we will be holding a special party for children in the slums of Turbo. We are hoping to distribute a pair of shoes to each child in need. Pray for the resources to be provided for us to meet this need. Pray that the children will experience God’s love and light on this special day.
  • On December 11th we are partnering with the Training Center at Empowering Lives Int’l to provide a Basic Health Training in a train-the-trainers style, for approximately 40 individuals who will then take the education they have received and share it with others. Participants will be coming from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania and all over Kenya. Pray that the material is understood, retained, and effective as it is shared with many beyond this training.
  • Last month we asked for prayer for a journey the Kiprops needed to make to Nairobi. Please give thanks for the success and safety of this journey. An extra blessing was that Michelle’s Kenyan nursing license was approved for a same-day renewal. Normally it takes three to four months!
  • We are praying and planning to hopefully initiate walk-in clinic services early next year. Please pray for us to have wisdom and direction as we are in the planning process for this exciting expansion in ministry.
  • As always, every single day our entire team needs prayer for divine wisdom, strength, energy and renewed hope as we reach out to make a difference in the lives of East Africans.

Video Message from Michelle: Giving Tuesday

Click on the video above for a special message from Michelle about Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday follows the American Thanksgiving holiday, and has been designated as a day of giving. This year Hope Matters has a few special projects we are hoping to accomplish through this event. First, we are hoping to be able to provide as many pairs of shoes as possible for the children in the slums of Turbo for Christmas. Each pair will cost approximately $10. Our second project is related to bringing specialized medical equipment from the USA to Kenya for use in our medical ministry. We have an incredible opportunity to bring a forty-foot shipping container filled with donated medical equipment. We only need to pay for refurbishing of some equipment as well as the purchase of the container and it’s shipping expenses. The total cost will come to around only $24,000. The value we will be receiving is literally hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment. And we are excited to report that we have already received our first donation of $6,000 making our current need only $18,000 to make this project a reality.

We would love for you to partner with us in helping make these goals a reality. You can give to Hope Matters this Giving Tues by clicking here to make an online donation. Or you can send a check to: Hope Matters International, P.O. Box 9293, Alta Loma, CA 91701.