Kenya (MNN) — The isolated farm town of Bungoma, Kenya is full of orphans and poverty. Amy Norton of Orphan Outreach says Bungoma recently played host to one of their short-term medical missions teams.
Healthcare is a low priority for Bungoma families, and many of the 130 kids at Madeline School in Bungoma are AIDS orphans.
“These children are so impoverished; they literally have no shoes on their feet. They don’t have food each day,” Norton explains, “so seeing a doctor is very rare.”
The elusive opportunity came when Orphan Outreach’s team showed up at Madeline School. The medical team cared for each child’s medical needs, and created a record for every student. This way, future medical needs can be addressed effectively.
“They helped train staff on the ground there in medical care for the children, and provided a lot of donations to help the kids medically, as well as hygiene items and things like that,” says Norton.
Classrooms are made of sticks, dung and mud, all built upon a dirt floor. Treatment in such a primitive facility was challenging, to say the least.
“We literally had to get everything, even chairs for the children to sit in, rented and brought to the school,” Norton says.
But in the end, their hard work was worth it.
Norton says, “It was a huge blessing to have this team go in and provide that for the kids. They rarely get medical care at all. Many of them have skin diseases or issues, they have intestinal issues.”
Dental care was also a top priority.
“They don’t even know about brushing their teeth, [nor] have toothbrushes and toothpaste,” says Norton. “Our team took that in for the students.”
While the medical care and supplies are a physical outpouring of Christ’s loves for these children, believers in Bungoma are helping kids see the Gospel in living color.
“Here’s the local church, very poor, and the community of believers in the church is taking in these children,” says Norton.
She explains that church families are housing orphans while they attend Madeline School. Even the pastor has taken in some of the children.
“The opportunity that we have to partner with fellow believers in-country is just a huge blessing to us; it’s what we’re called to do,” Norton states.
While Bungoma doesn’t lie in the line of fire, the nation of Kenya is grabbing global headlines this week following terrorists’ seizure of the Westgate Mall in Nairobi. Thankfully, Orphan Outreach’s team was on their way out when the attacks took place.
“Our team was at the airport, about to leave the country, when everything happened,” Norton explains. “Safety of our travelers and mission team participants is always of the utmost concern.”
That’s why Orphan Outreach is continuing to monitor the situation in Nairobi. Pray protection over Orphan Outreach staff and the children they’re helping in Kenya.
According to UNICEF data, the country is home to 2.6 million orphans. Of those, an estimated 1.1 million have lost one or both parents to AIDS; UNICEF confirms the AIDS virus claimed both parents of 310,000 children.
Norton says a majority of the kids need sponsors. Can you help? Click here.
“Sponsorship is…so important for us to provide for the daily care for these kids; for food, for paying the teachers, for their educational needs,” Norton says.
Pray more sponsors come forward to sponsor the children in Bungoma.