Thursday, November 8, 2012


    We are now well into our second month here at Tenwek Hospital.  Some days it doesn't seem like it has been that long, and others days we feel like well seasoned missionaries.  Like any move, whether across town, across country or across the globe, there have been moments when we are invigorated by our new surroundings and new challenges, and other times when we are terribly homesick for our friends and familiar surroundings.  However we are comforted by the peace we have in knowing that we are exactly where the Lord wants us to be.

    Joy is very busy with the OB/GYN service.  The need of the women in this part of Kenya is amazing.  In addition to the large number of births this hospital handles annually, she is also seeing women with various forms of cancer on a daily basis, and Joy has also participated in several fistula repairs in her first month.  Joy has been blessed to work with a very experienced OB/GYN surgeon from Vanderbilt University who spent many years working in Nigeria.  Andy, and his wife Judy, really took us under their wing during their stay here and helped us get settled.  Joy is also working with two excellent residents, one of whom is currently training in Greenville, SC.  Jill and I have enjoyed swapping stories about the upstate, but I don't think she has ventured to the Beacon yet.

    Life at Tenwek continues to be busy and fulfilling.  There are children playing everyday and dogs running around, including one very big Great Dane named Zeus. We are very lucky to have a  comfortable apartment with a nice view of the countryside.  We even had a nice big brown slug come in to greet us our second night here!  After several minutes of discomfort/paranoia/disgust, one of the mks (missionary kids) just told us to put on a pair of gloves and put it outside.

  A big part of life at Tenwek is having dinner with friends.  We have hosted two dinners so far.  The first was with a fellow OB/GYN and his wife, one of the long serving nurses, and a family who are adopting two Kenyan girls from a village where they are working to set up a clinic.  The second was a dinner for the hospital staff working on the OB/GYN service.  Joy and I prepared spaghetti, and the Kenyan guests made mandazis (fried donuts) and Chai.

    While Tenwek Hospital is not a town, there are several dukas surrounded the hospital.  The dukas are where we can get sandwich bread, juice, milk, and fresh fruits and vegetables.  There are butchers, salons, and even a place to make copies.  On the other side of the street from the dukas is a hillside field where people harvest vegetables and graze cows.

We hope that these pictures have given you a little bit of an idea of what our lives are like in Kenya.  We both feel very blessed to be in a place with a strong sense of Christian community, both among the missionaries and the Kenyans.  We would ask that you continue to pray for the people in the community and the people who treat and are treated in the hospital.  Finally, we want to thank everyone who has reached out to us through email or facebook.  We love our new friends, but we also miss our friends and family back in the states.  Contact with those who love, care and support us back home helps us to remember that we are merely the tip of an iceberg that is our team serving at Tenwek Hospital.