KENYA MISSION TRIP TEAM 2011 Going to Kenya on the Mission trip to Katisaa, for the 3rd time was a very emotional trip for me. This is one to those things in life you always cherish. This year’s team was very skilled and had even more work to that required skills that each team member utilized.
Eight members from North Christian Church gave up two weeks of the everyday routine life style in the USA to live and work with the villages of the community of Katisaa, in Machakos, Kenya.
As the team leader, my challenges started in January 2011 when I started announcing about the trip. My fear was that no one was going to go due to the economy. In March 8 people were scrambling to get passports.
We left the USA on June 17, 2011 and Dr. Sheryl Elston made her 3rd trip this year and right from the time we landed in Kenya on June 18th, Dr. Elston was already talking with the knitting group that was formed from a previous trip. The NCC knitting group and AIC Katisaa group have both now formed a common bond of knitting prayer shawls. But it wasn’t long that after a couple of days, Dr. Elston and Dr. Katrina McGillivray were in down town Machakos purchase medical suppliers for the 4 days clinic were planning to have. Former and new patients came and interacted with Dr. Elston. One of her former patient came visit her.
Dr. Katrina McGillivray was making her first trip to Kenya and I could see in her eyes even when left USA that she had a lot of questions in her mind. But after a few days and the jet lag had gone, she was ready and in the spirit of getting the Katisaa Education project completed. Dr. Katrina put on her ‘doctor hat’ and I was very impressed on how she attended the patients with the help of interpreters.
Marty Winslow, a retired Principal of a school in Seymour, Indiana poured her heart to the nursery children and I could see and feel the person she hard in working with children. We visited MIP Nursery school and then we headed off to Manza Primary School where Marty once again talked to some 430 students of the school. Later on we distributed dental kits to the students.
Skye McGillivray joined us as the youngest trooper in the team. Her venture into the mission field at this early age was a testament to NCC and the community as how determined she is to make a difference. In the back of my mind I kept thinking of how trying and keep a close eye on her and the team leader to make sure that she was safe. But to my amazement Skye was out and about bonding with the young people. At one point we met her walking with a couple young girls in the opposite direction and she just waved to us and said see you guys later. Skye was very helpful at the makeshift eye glasses corner where she and Marty, with the assistance of Alice and Martha gave reading glasses to those in need.
Ashley Burton, a surgery technician with Ortho-Indy brought to the team extra medical skills that were needed. She helped in triage for the patients, and at one point I turned my head and she was fastening the 2 X 4’s used to secure the pavilion. Ashley not only worked in the clinic but her and Ian McGillivray connected with the AIC Katisaa youth in a way I never saw it coming. They had open forums where the youth asked all kinds of questions about life in USA and how the youth cope with Teen pressure. It was just awesome
Ian McGillivray joined us also for the first time to Kenya. Ian’s quiet and reserved personality proved to me that still waters run deep. At his age, what captured me most was his eager and zeal for building the Pavilion. As we were walking down by the river in Machakos where all the lumber yards are located Ian was already talking to me about the construction. It was amazing to see how even with my attention stretched in 7 places, there were no major injuries or accidents. The one incident I remember about Ian was him telling me had he walked from Machakos Sports Club to the construction site (by choice). If you know where Machakos Sports Club is to AIC Katisaa,-that’s a nice walk.
Neal Whitson, as they prefer to call him there – Babu Neal (Grandpa Neal) made is 3rd trip this year. Neal has made so many friends at Katisaa that by now they even speak Swahili at times. Neal’s skills in design and wood work came round circle when he designed and build the Pavilion with the help of Ian and two other gentlemen in the community. As Neal, made all the calculations and showed his assistance where to cut or mark, I couldn't help but laugh when they would speak in Kamba (the local language) when all the 2 x 4 were all measured and cut into specification. When all the pieces were being nailed into place, one of the crew members said in Kamba to his fellow tribesmen around, “OK Boys and you all say that you know how to build rafters, watch and learn from Babu Neal”. I just stopped recording and busted out in laughter.
For me, this mix of skills in one place for two week was more than I could have hoped for. But the greatest team members were the men and women who made generous contribution to make this trip a success.
Some of the great companies that also sponsored us included, The Colts of Indianapolis, Ortho-Indy, Indiana Oral Maxillofacial, Week of Compassion, Totem Post of Nashville, Indiana, Franklin Family Dentistry, Enterprise Consulting Learning if Indianapolis and Sherman and Paula.
Thank you very much and please plan on supporting us financially to complete this center.
All donations can be send to: North Christian Church AIC Katisaa Project 850 Tipton Lane 850 Tipton Lane Columbus, Indiana 47201 Phone: 812.372.1531