Short Term: Faith & Physio?
Connected to prayer
This article was first featured alongside our Prayer Diary in December 2017. You can download the December 2017 prayer points here or sign-up to receive future editions by post or email.
Mari Jenkins explains why she chose to do a short term mission trip to Kapsowar, Kenya.
Supporting long term missionaries
I arrived in Kapsowar slightly anxious but mostly excited to see what God was going to do during my three months there. Having lived in Namibia until I was ten, my love for Africa and its people stayed with me during my studies in physiotherapy in Cardiff. Over those years and then through my working life, that grew into a desire to go and serve.
I saw my role as a short termer very much as supporting and serving the work of the long term missionaries and Kenyan nationals who were doing great things in the hospital there. My first day was a bit overwhelming, seeing the great needs of the people and the limited resources to work with; it was clearly going to be a challenge. However, over the next few months God began to teach me how to rely on him more in all things. I really enjoyed working with the Kenyans, both learning from them but also being able to teach them some of the skills I have, to help them treat patients as best they can.
Putting faith into practice
During my short time there I enjoyed getting to know the people of Kapsowar – lovely, friendly, generous people, but also many hurting, struggling and with few opportunities in life. I built up friendships with student nurses at the hospital and was able to share my life with them and have discussions about my faith and how it is not just a tradition, but actually a day-to-day life changing relationship with the God who made me. I was privileged enough to help lead a Bible study with the local ladies. I loved those Wednesday evenings of fellowship with them; seeing their understanding of the passage grow and then their desire to put what they had learnt into practice in their community was exciting.
Getting to know Godwin
Godwin was a young boy who I treated in my first week. He was brought in by someone passing by on the street with a head injury and weakness in one side of the body. Godwin ended up staying in the hospital until my last week there. His condition improved amazingly and he regained full function. Over the three months we were able to build up a good relationship and even though language was a barrier I enjoyed his smiling little face every day coming in and watching me work. Unfortunately Godwin was from a broken family, like many of the young children around, and his family were no longer willing or suitable to care for him.
Throughout my time there Godwin’s future was a real prayer point and I was able to see one prayer for him answered as he was admitted to the local Africa Inland Church children’s home where he will be cared for and given the opportunity to go to school. I pray that Godwin would one day know the amazing and unconditional love of his Father in heaven.
Serving alongside Bill and Laura Rhodes was a real blessing. I was challenged by their love and total commitment to serve the people of Kapsowar as Christ would. I was really blessed listening to Bill’s Bible teaching and was encouraged once again to study the Bible not just to gain knowledge but to know God more and to reflect him better. My time in Kapsowar was a great three months and I am so thankful for all that God taught me. I now look forward to seeing where God will use me to reflect his love to others.