It is humbling to see God at work. At Hope Matters, we get the privilege of watching God's plan unfold around us every day. The miracle of Christ's hope and love is life changing. We'd like to share with you just a few stories of how God is using this ministry to spread hope.
When Michelle first saw Charlotte, she remembers breathing a prayer, “Lord I don’t want to bury this baby today.” But that was what she anticipated would happen. Charlotte was severely malnourished, dehydrated, and sick. She looked like a small newborn, but was in fact almost three-months old. Her mother had returned to work in another part of the country, leaving Charlotte’s grandmother to care for her.
Charlotte could not digest the cow’s milk that she was being fed. This led to her being on the brink of death when she came into the clinic. Charlotte was so sick she could not even swallow. Her veins were small and collapsed from dehydration. The only thing that could be done was to try to feed her with an eyedropper. One drop at a time. For hours on end. She slowly began to gain enough strength to suck from a bottle. Day after day her grandmother brought her to the medical center for intense care.
Fast-forward more than two-years. Charlotte is now a preschooler and the picture of health. She is a reminder that hope really does matter.
Naomi has been a type-1 (insulin dependent) diabetic since her teen years. This made pregnancy risky business for her and baby. She had lost her firstborn at delivery. No one could explain to her exactly what had happened, just that the baby did not survive the delivery. She came to us shortly after discovering that she was pregnant a second time.
This baby was very, very, desired. And Naomi was very afraid to lose another child. Thus began the weekly and sometimes twice-weekly visits with Michelle at the clinic. There were regular texts and phone calls as her pregnancy progressed. There was great joy when her baby girl was safely delivered in a hospital setting. And Michelle was most honored when she learned that Naomi’s sweet baby girl was being named in her honor.
Mary was referred to us by her friend Susan Wanjiru (another story of hope). She had a goiter and was a malnourished mother to several children, including a small infant.
We wanted to help her get treatment for the goiter, but she was frequently fainting due to anemia and poor nutritional status. So those had to be tackled first. It was the beginning of a long relationship with Mary.
After help with better food access, and treatment for her anemia, she was ready for surgery. She successfully had her goiter removed. And she has gone on to work part-time for Hope Matters as the need has arisen. It is our hope to be able to provide her with full time employment once the hospital is built.
Elizabeth is a single mother who struggled with a goiter for many years. When she saw that the Village of Hope clinic was being built, she approached the directors about the possibility of a job. In the past Elizabeth had provided for herself by brewing alcohol.
God has done a great work in her life, and she will tell you that she is very grateful for how he has used Hope Matters to bring hope and healing into her life. She has found both treatment for her chronic goiter, and employment through Hope Matters.
Elizabeth has been serving with Hope Matters for over three-years now. She is not only the clinic housekeeper, but also the resident mama and queen of hospitality. If you stop by the clinic she will be sure to welcome you with a cup of chai.
Michelle first met Susan in August of 2012. She was gravely ill with two chronic, serious, conditions that were both completely out of control, diabetes and a thyroid problem. She was so ill that she could not get out of bed, and was actually in a state of blindness due to her out-of-control sugars.
Through the involvement of Hope Matters, Susan no longer has to pay for any medications or medical bills. By consistently taking her medications and regularly seeing a medical provider, she is healthy, can see again, and can work to earn an income. That cycle of sickness has been broken.
Now, she is an advocate for others in her community who are struggling. The care she has received has brought hope not only to Susan alone, but also to her children and grandchildren.
Sarah came to us afraid that she was dying. She had a toxic goiter in her thyroid that was causing all manner of chaos in her life. She could not sleep, was losing weight, always sweating, anxious, her heart was racing, and she had a constant tremor in her hands.
We were able to help identify the problem and let her know that not only was she not dying, but her condition could be treated. Through the help of Hope Matters donors, Sarah was able to have her thyroid surgically removed. She feels a million times better now and is hopeful for her future.
This story of hope could just as easily be about Christine, baby Ivan’s mama. She is 19-years old, an orphan, and a single mom. Just keeping Ivan and herself fed, clothed, and under a roof has been more than she could handle. But on top of that, she knew that something was wrong with Ivan.
She came to our medical center fearful and alone, but determined to get help for her baby. Ivan’s second name, Bahati, means luck. Many would say he was unlucky, Ivan was born with a heart defect. The good news is that this defect has been identified early enough that he can receive life-saving surgery to fix it.
Hope Matters is walking with Christine and Ivan throughout this process. Ivan’s heart surgery has been scheduled for February 2019. A special team from America will visit a mission hospital six-hours away. Through the help of our donors, he will be able to have life-saving surgery. Pray with us for both Christine and Ivan to find true hope and healing in Jesus Christ.
Ian’s is a different story of hope. When we first founded Hope Matters, we knew that there would be times when we would not be able to physically cure someone, times when even with the best efforts, we would lose a patient. But we also knew that, that did not mean that things would be hopeless. Because with Christ there is always hope.
Ian was born with a heart defect that caused extremely high pressure in his lungs. The pressure in turn caused his heart to have to work very, very, hard. At just three, Ian’s heart was already failing. His family came to us hoping for a cure. Unfortunately a heart transplant would be the only fix, and that is not possible in Kenya.
And so we made the choice to walk with Ian and his family. To offer hope that is beyond this world. To take action to help them make lasting memories together. To grant Ian a special wish. Through the help of our donors, we were able to take Ian and his family on an amazing animal safari in the Masai Mara. At the writing of this, we continue to walk this journey of terminal illness together with them.
When we first met Livian, she was three-years-old. She had been sickly since birth. Her mama described her having a hard time catching her breath as well as having frequent fainting episodes. She said they had been to many different medical providers. She was always given some antibiotics and sent on her way.
After a few seconds of listening to her heart, the clinician asked. “Has anyone ever told you she has a heart problem?” No one had… Livian was born with Tetrology of Fallot, a combination of multiple heart defects that caused her oxygen levels to drop dangerously low. Without open-heart-surgery she had a death sentence.
Our team was able to mobilize quickly as a highly specialized, American, cardiothoracic surgical team were already planning to be in another part of the country shortly. God moved the hearts of some special donors to step forward and cover the cost of her surgery. Livian’s life was truly saved through the ministry of Hope Matters.
Wilson recently came to us to see if there was anything that could be done to help him. He has been suffering for 30-years from a rare, tropical, disease called elephantiasis; a disease caused by a parasitic worm invading the lymphatic (drainage) vessels of his leg.
As a result his left leg has become grossly swollen and disfigured. This in turn, has caused him to develop large, ulcerating wounds, as well as bacterial and fungal infections. In addition to being painful, it has caused great difficulty in walking. He has to have special pants made to accommodate the extra large leg.
The last time Wilson saw a doctor was 10-years ago. No one has been able to help him in the past so he had given up. Someone referred him to our clinic. Although there is no permanent cure for elephantiasis, we are able to offer some hope. We can treat his wounds and infections. We can take action to help reduce some of the swelling and improve his mobility. And most importantly, we can give him dignity by hearing and honoring his story as we walk alongside him.
The mosquito-born disease of malaria is a huge problem in the highlands of Kenya. So it’s not uncommon for the medical center to treat many children with this tropical disease each year when the rains come.
Unfortunately Cornelius developed a life-threatening complication of malaria called cerebral malaria. This is when the parasite actually invades the brain. It has a high fatality rate. Cornelius slipped into a coma as he was fighting for his life. We put the word out that prayer for a miracle was needed. Hundreds of people around the world began praying for Cornelius.
Two-days later, he woke up. His recovery has been challenging, and he has struggled with some neuro-deficits in the process. But he is young, strong, and learning to overcome. We believe that it is truly a miracle that Cornelius woke up and survived.
Patrick had a long battle with alcohol. It left him malnourished and likely contributed to his pancreas shutting down. He came to us just a few months ago. Weighing in at just 100 pounds, he was very sick and sickly when he came to us. A few lab tests quickly revealed he had diabetes.
Ideally he would have been admitted to a hospital where he could have routine blood sugar checks and treatment around-the-clock. But that was not something that was available to Patrick. So he began to spend his days with us at the medical center. It took a lot of time and effort, but Patrick began to stabilize. He also began gaining some weight.
He is so thankful for what Hope Matters has done to help him, that he has begun volunteering at the hospital construction site. And he’s not had a drink since he started care. We are so thankful for what God is doing in his life physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
We first met Purity two years ago. She had been living with an undiagnosed congenital heart defect since birth. At age 18 she contracted strep-throat that was untreated. It developed into rheumatic fever and attacked her heart. With the pre-existing heart condition, it was too much.
She came to our clinic near-death. Michelle truly did not think she would survive. Purity was admitted to a cardiac intensive care unit over an hour away from the Village of Hope medical center. After a month of intensive care, she recovered. Unfortunately there has been permanent damage to her heart and she is not a surgical candidate.
However, she is doing very well on medical management. Her life expectancy has been drastically reduced due to heart problems, but she is alive and well managed at this time. She’s a reminder to all of us how important it is to detect problems like heart murmurs and strep throat early on.
Eunice is a young widow and mother. When her husband died, her in-laws told her that she was no longer their concern. Her family didn’t want to take her back as they said they had married her off and she was no longer their problem. Eunice has high blood sugar requiring close monitoring and treatment.
When she came to the Village of Hope Medical Center, her pressure was 290/140. Our clinicians were amazed that she had not already had a stroke. The team prayed over her and provided emergency care. They had her transported to, and admitted to, the government hospital over an hour away. She was treated for several days and then discharged without any prescriptions or follow-up plan.
At Village of Hope, we started a treatment plan and have continued to follow her. Additionally our team has been able to help get her started with a chicken business so that she can help provide for herself and for her family.
When we first met Karin, she was a shy 8-year-old who was falling behind in school. Her mom brought her to a community health outreach and shared with us that she had been told that Karin would die without open-heart surgery.
Karin had a hole in her heart that made life very difficult. We were able to get her referred to the largest mission hospital in East Africa. Through generous donations from friends like you, she was able to get the life-saving surgery in October of 2012.
The surgeon said that it is highly unlikely Karin would have made it to adulthood without the surgery. She is now thriving and has been able to bring her average school grade from a D to a B! The day of her surgery, her mother exclaimed with tears in her eyes, "Karin will now live to make me a grandmother!"