The Power Of Light

Samuel Mwesiwga – Kerith Ministries

I would like to thank you so much for the great work you are doing through Kerith Ministries. We know that God continues to use each of you in so many ways. Because of your support through Harvesters International Ministries, we have been able to accomplish much and create a lasting impact in the community and in the lives of individuals.

In addition to providing a home for 32 children, Kerith Ministries offers an outstanding Christ-centered education to more than 165 children each day in our primary school. Our school children, most of whom walk from one of five surrounding villages, receive breakfast, lunch, medical care, and a great deal of love each day.

We are thankful for a recent special gift that God provided so that we can begin a new, micro-finance program. We will be making small, but life changing, loans to widows and single mothers in our area. Currently, 18 participants are undergoing the screening and orientation process to receive loans that will help them purchase needed items to begin or enhance their small business enterprises.

God has blessed our evangelistic efforts with over 400 new believers accepting Christ so far this year. Our new church plant among the Mening people in far northern Uganda continues to grow. Please pray for the new pastor who has recently moved there to reach more of these people for Christ and to disciple the new believers there. The material needs are also great in this area. On a recent medical outreach, our team met an 18 month old boy named Amon who was suffering from malaria, pneumonia, and scabies. Amon’s father died when he was two months old. His mother, three sisters and two brothers struggled greatly due to poverty and mistreatment by her deceased husband’s family. When the team met Amon he weighed only 11 pounds. The team was able to take him back to Kerith where he is living with the other children in the ministry’s full-time care. He is receiving regular medical care as well as proper nutrition. We are so grateful for his tremendous improvement! Please be in prayer for him and his family.

I would like to share with you our urgent need to install electrical power to our ministry property including the orphanage, clinic, and school. For years, we have been using solar panels to provide power. Due to the growth in our work and our vision to expand the ministry, we need access to regular electrical power. Using solar panels has turned out to be very expensive and inefficient to run the lights and support our office work. We have faced several challenges because the batteries break down often and are very costly to replace. During the rainy season, they do not generate enough power for lighting. All of this results in several dangers and issues for us. We have too much darkness at night, which attracts thieves who have tried to break into the health center. We need security lighting to also increase the safety of our children in the orphanage. Likewise, improved inside lighting will help our children to read at night and complete their homework assignments. Dependable electrical power will allow us to use electrical appliances in the clinic to provide better care and service to our patients. We will also use power to train young people in skills like metal fabrication, use of our electrical sawing machines, and computers.

To have electrical power at our ministry, the utility company must construct lines that will pass by over 30 other families. Those families will then have opportunity to have electricity for their homes. The total cost of this project is approximately $12,000 and will provide great, ongoing benefits that will impact many lives and our community in a wonderful way.

We are trusting God in all these matters. Again, thank you for your prayers and support.

The Kind Of Medication You Can’t Write A Script For

By Guest Contributor, Dr. Mark Paschall

This image has haunted me since our return from a remote village in a forgotten region of Kenya. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and this picture makes that especially true.

It tells a story of hardship in this mother’s eyes as she brought her child to our clinic looking for answers to the developmental and behavioral issues in her son. He was not acting like other children his age and at times did not seem capable of understanding and complying with directions or instructions. Hoping that perhaps some medication or nutritional supplement could remedy the problem, she had travelled a long distance to attend one of our medical clinics.

We were able to quickly diagnose Down syndrome and also determine that, at least for now, there were no other serious neurological or cardiac issues that often accompany this condition. While we certainly had no medication to offer that would change his situation, we were at least able to explain his condition to her and offer her realistic expectations for his future.
The obvious concern that can be seen in her face in this photo affirmed she had understood the challenges she was facing. The tremendous resources available in the U.S. for children with this genetic chromosome disorder would never be available to her, and she now understood that this was a lifelong condition that would impact her entire family for decades. At the same time, we were able to give her the information she needed to understand the implications of his condition.

When I was at the University of Michigan, the slogan for the Medical School was “Knowledge is Power,” While this may ring hollow in many desperate situations, I believe there is some truth in this case. We were able to empower this strong, determined, and concerned mother. We were also able to offer a commodity little seen in these remote areas of Africa. That commodity is hope. We were able to pray with her and remind her that she is not alone in her struggle. God is aware of her challenges, and there is now a group of Americans who will remember to pray for her regularly. Hope is something that I could never write a script for. It’s a remedy only God can provide.

As medical personnel, we often feel we have been successful only when our treatment has offered a cure or when we have fixed something or alleviated physical suffering. The most important thing we can do on these mission trips, however, is point people to the Great Physician through our holistic approach of caring for their entire beings: physical, emotional, and spiritual. This is what Jesus did and we have the tremendous opportunity to do likewise in His name on these medical mission trips.

Whatever your passion is, whatever skills and abilities God blessed you with to share with the world, I’d encourage you to use those gifts on a short-term mission trip. You will leave changed.

 

**Since 2011, Dr. Paschall has traveled to Kenya each year with his church, Kensington Community Church in Detroit, Michigan. We are grateful for his faithful service to the Pokot people and Pokot Outreach Ministries.