Pete and Libby Halestrap

Finlay, Gabriel and Florence

Sent from St Leonard’s Church, Exeter

Pete and Libby share the love of Jesus through medical work, teaching and discipleship at Kijabe Hospital in Kenya.

The Halestraps have been living and serving in Kenya since 2012. They are based at Kijabe Hospital, a large mission hospital in the Rift Valley.

Whilst Christianity is widespread in Kenya, its ethnic diversity and vast countryside mean there are still many who remain strangers to the good news of Jesus. Though it is in an area where the gospel has been proclaimed for over 100 years, Kijabe Hospital serves people from all over Kenya and other parts of East Africa, including a large number from unreached people groups and areas hostile to the gospel. As people go to the hospital looking for high quality and compassionate healthcare they are also exposed to the gospel in both word and deed.

Pete works in the Outpatient and Emergency departments of the hospital. He also runs a Higher Diploma programme in Emergency Medicine and Critical Care for Clinical Officers, and a postgraduate General Practice training programme for doctors. Through these he is seeking to disciple local believers and mobilise them to be reaching others.

Libby leads a weekly ladies’ Bible study group and teaches a preschool class at Rift Valley Academy, AIM’s boarding school for missionary children, as well as supporting the family and taking care of their three children, Finlay, Gabriel and Florence.

Together, Pete and Libby are also Unit Leaders for the AIM Kijabe team, a role that includes responsibility for administration, strategy and member care for the local AIM families.

Could you partner with the Halestraps in this work?

 

Latest Prayer News

“Here in Kenya numbers of the virus have continued to rise, and Kijabe Hospital is now seeing more and more Covid patients. Meanwhile the workforce within the hospital has begun to dwindle, so Pete’s clinical workload has increased. It is likely that he will remain very busy for the coming months, but we can only wait to see how the pandemic continues to affect life in the hospital and beyond… Probably unsurprisingly, we have made the decision that we won’t be returning to the UK for our usual summer break. There were many factors involved in our decision, but for now we know it makes sense that we remain in Kijabe. We hope that later in the year there may be the chance for a visit, depending on how things open up in the coming months.” Please pray that God would sustain the family, especially Pete and others working at Kijabe Hospital at such a demanding time.

“During the last few weeks Pete, with many others, has been very involved in making plans, writing protocols and readying the hospital for what could be a devastating time. As we see good healthcare systems across the world overwhelmed by need it is hard to imagine how an already-overstretched and under resourced healthcare system will stand up to what might come. We continue to pray that we might be spared the full extent of this virus, and yet it also wise to learn from the challenges other countries have faced and work to proactively get ahead of the problem. The children’s wing of the hospital has been converted to a Covid Centre, allowing greater isolation and the main hospital to maintain most normal services, and thorough checks of patients and visitors to the hospital continue. Meanwhile teams from the local community, as well as in the hospital, are working to produce the best protective gear they can; many gowns, masks and face shields have been made in the last few weeks.” Please pray for Pete and others working in Kijabe Hospital during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Halestraps are currently in the UK. Libby shares: “Back in early July, when we were beginning to prepare for our annual visit to the UK, we learned that my mum’s health had inexplicably begun to deteriorate. [When we had returned to the UK] we found out a conclusive but devastating diagnosis; Mum had an aggressive glioblastoma – a brain tumour…. When it became clear that Mum’s diagnosis was not only terminal but also that palliative care was the only feasible option, we quickly began to review our plans for the coming months. We began to investigate the option of staying in the UK for the coming term, in order to spent time with Mum, as well as other family, and support my dad… It was a rapid turn-around in our thinking and plans, and we were sad not to be returning to Kijabe at the end of August, but we were, and remain, so thankful that there was the opportunity to stay. We knew it was the right thing to do and were grateful for the precious extra time it gave us… on the morning of September 9th, my beloved mum passed away peacefully into the arms of her Saviour Jesus. Nothing fully prepares you for the loss of a dearly loved one, even when you know it is coming, but in the midst of loss and sorrow there has been much to be thankful for. We have been so grateful to God for the opportunity to be together and grieve as a family. We have felt surrounded by love and care and have received a huge amount of support, both from our church family and wider family and also from friends near and far. We have seen regular work for Pete and the children settle well into a local school. And we have been reminded that this season, with its unexpected twists, was all part of a bigger plan.”

Pete writes: “A few weeks ago, I was able to go and visit another hospital in Kenya called Kapsowar. The main purpose of visiting was to spend time with some other people from AIM who have been working there for decades, but it was also a chance to discuss the opportunity for them to host and train family medicine (GP) residents, and to see how they were progressing with their new hospital IT system, which is the same one that we are getting here in a few months’ time… Kapsowar is a smaller hospital than Kijabe and has far fewer consultant staff, but it was really encouraging to see the amazing work they are doing there. It was clear what an impact the hospital is having on the local community and I learnt many things from the people I met.” Praise God for the ministry of Kapsowar Hospital, and pray that they will continue to impact their local community for the gospel.

Libby writes: “We’ve often talked about the joy and privilege it is to be part of training programmes at the hospital, and have shared many times of how encouraging it is to see trainees progress and grow in so many ways as they diligently work through their courses… I have enjoyed getting to know the trainees as the years have passed, but up until now have not had the opportunity to interact with them in the classroom setting. This changed recently however, when I was asked to introduce the graduating ECCCO class to the basics of teaching, particularly facilitating small group sessions, in order to prepare them more fully for the task of training colleagues in the future… It was a joy to see them so whole-hearted in their commitment to passing their knowledge and experience onto others, and to see them grasp the scope of influence they can have as they move on.” Please pray that God will use these graduates to help others grow in medical skill and in faith.

Kenya

Kenya gained independence from Britain in 1963. Since then British tourism has been a key element of Kenya’s economy, however, unemployment, poverty and crime remain high. Whilst the majority religion is Christianity, Kenya’s ethnic diversity and vast countryside means there are still many unreached with the gospel. LEARN MORE

Healthcare

We long to see Health Professionals practising, modelling and mentoring competent, compassionate medicine, but doing so in places where they will influence unreached people groups for Christ. LEARN MORE
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