Monday, May 27, 2013

Drs. Brown who served at Chogoria

We are very grateful to have met Drs. Richard and Judith Brown, who served at Chogoria Hospital for three years, ending around 2001.  He is a physician and she is a cultural anthropologist.
We  were introduced by Jim Wood, Senior Pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Norfolk.

The Browns are wonderful saints who served on the mission field for 38 years.  They shared an abundance of advice with us.  They described the ministry at the hospital, how to avoid social and cultural missteps, how to navigate the countryside, what to expect about daily life, what sort of car to buy, and so much more.

Dr. Brown (Richard) helped set up the Casualty (ER) at the hospital and started the HIV program there.

We are honored to follow in their footsteps.

Our house at Chogoria

Our hosts at Chogoria have picked out a nice house for us on the hospital compound.  Here are a few photos.
 Entrance gate

 The front garden

 Attached chicken coop - Helen is especially happy about this!
 Living room

 Rear garden
 Kids' bedroom with mosquito net
 Jim and Martha's bedroom
We are grateful to our advocates!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Where is Chogoria?

Chogoria is located in the Central Kenyan Highlands, just east of Mount Kenya.  The town is on the shoulders of Mount Kenya, at an altitude of approximately 6,000 feet.  Chogoria is a popular route of entry for climbers of the mountain, and is a couple of hours drive from Meru Game Preserve.  It is a rural very small town in the middle of a very fertile agricultural region known for its excellent tea.

We are excited to be part of God's plan of redemption in a magnificent land.  Back in the 1920's, the Lord brought Scottish Presbyterian missionaries to the Central Kenyan Highlands, just east of Mount Kenya.  They started a medical outpost there.  Over the next 80 years, they and the Kenyans built a 300-bed hospital and two fine boarding schools.  All were very effective in spreading the Gospel throughout the area.  After 80 years, the Scots moved their Mission to a different country, and the Kenyans have been running the hospital and schools themselves.  PCEA Chogoria Hospital is a well-run facility with a very good reputation, but very few fully-trained mission-minded doctors remain there.
We are convinced that the Lord would have us move to Chogoria to assist the Medical Missions Ministry there, and especially to help start an advanced medical training program.  This program will function in partnership with Kabarak University and Tenwek Missions Hospital, and will train East African medical professionals for medical missions service throughout the continent.
We strongly believe that the Lord has been preparing us for this role.  Jim has been training medical students, interns, and residents for over 15 years, and he was the Program Director of an Emergency Medicine residency for seven years.  He earned three national teaching awards as well as many local teaching awards.  Jim's trainees have also won many national competitions and serve in positions of leadership and service nationally and internationally.  He has served and taught in Kenya, Cameroon, and Afghanistan.   A recognized speaker, he has lectured on international medical ethics to many groups including national medical meetings, high school and college groups, and the Pentagon.
Martha has homeschooled our six children for seventeen years, served in leadership in many local ministries such as Awanas, homeschool co-ops, and Venture Crew.  She has lived in Puerto Rico, Korea, Holland, and Italy, and has a deep love of service.
Helen, though only 15 year old, has completed all required credits for High School, and is very excited about moving to Chogoria. She has an interest in medicine, and will be an apprentice with Jim at the hospital.
Meredith and James are also very excited about the move to Africa.  Though they are sad about leaving their friends (and dog and cats) here, they anticipate meeting new friends in Kenya.