A Story of Faith January 2015
(by Beth Tracey, Individual U.M. Volunteer at Maua Hospital, Kenya)
Stories of faith show themselves in many ways in Kenya. Those of us who live and work here see them fairly often. And every now and then a story just jumps into our hearts and we feel compelled and called to share these stories of faith.
This story is about faith and Faith. Faith is a 12 year old girl from the Ithata, Kenya. Ithata is community that West Market Street UMC in Greensboro, North Carolina and the Community Health Department at Maua Methodist Hospital support in a variety of ways: a primary school, and a weekly clinic (sponsored by Colin Wilkinson and his group from Texas). At the first official clinic day in October of 2014, I noticed this young girl on crutches, navigating her way to school over very rough Ithata terrain. I asked the school headmaster about her and got her story.
Faith had suffered a gunshot wound to her right thigh in January 2014 from bandits stealing cattle in her area near Ithata. Cattle stealing is, unfortunately, a common occurrence here. And Faith was caught in the cross fire. Her femur was shattered. She spent 4 months in Maua Methodist Hospital in traction and with external screws immobilizing the fracture, hoping for healing. She returned home after those 4 months but unable to walk without crutches and unable to bear any weight on that leg. I asked the headmaster to bring her to our new clinic in Ithata to see if we could help her. Faith's right leg is 10-12cm shorter than her left one and does not have normal alignment. There was significant muscle wasting andlimited movement I requested that our physiotherapist see her and consult with her parents at the next clinic visit.
|Faith with her parents|
Fridah, our PT, met with Faith and her parents, at the Ithata clinic the following week. She taught them exercises that would strengthen Faith’s muscles. We measured Faith for an orthotic shoe to make her legs even in length. Faith and her parents have been amazing and so ‘faithful’ in following all of Fridah’s instructions. Faith and her parents came to the Ithata weekly through October and November.
|Fridah, Physiotherapist, Faith and Beth)|
We received Faith’s new shoe from Meru, along with some pretty new purple and pink socks, at the end of November. During this time, Faith had made great progress, getting stronger but she still could not bear weight on her leg. Unfortunately, even with the shoe she could not stand-her leg would just collapse. Fridah and I decided an xray of her thigh was in order. This was arranged for December 1st 2014. Again, Faith and her faithful parents came to MMH as scheduled for the xray. The xray revealed our worse fear…Faith’s right femur had not healed AT ALL and was a false joint. She would not be able to walk again without surgical intervention.
Faith’s story was shared with Stanley Gitari, at the Community Health Department at MMH. He made us aware of Kijabe Hospital’s Bethany Kids Program through Cure International. They were to be in Meru on December 3rd!, in two days time. We took Faith and her father to the Bethany kids clinic. The orthopedic surgeon who saw Faith (at no cost) told us her leg could be repaired and Faith's walking ability restored! They would schedule the surgery as soon as payment was received for the surgery and the week’s hospital stay. The surgery and hospital stay would cost $1100, which I made arrangements to pay, as it was impossible for Faith’s family who barely gets by to pay for this. Faith's surgery is scheduled for the week of January 12th.
|Lateral view of right, injured leg|
The look of hope and thankfulness on all their faces confirms in my heart my faith in the decision I made to pay for her surgery. However, there are continuing associated costs to make Faith's family's dream come true.
My appeal to you is to have that same faith and please contribute what you can to finish this journey of Faith. We still need funds for transportation, meals and incidentals for Faith’s mother while Faith is in the hospital. Would you consider your own leap of faith to help Faith walk again? God calls, we listen and answer His call.
Above all, God is faithful to those who follow Him. My heart had been touched and warmed by Faith, her determination and her family’s faithfulness. Her exercises were painful but she kept on. She went to school everyday, on crutches across rocky hills and valleys. She did not give up. I had covered the costs of her clinic appointments, her new shoes, her xrays. Fridah had donated her physiotherapy services, the general surgeon at MMH had seen her and reviewed her xrays at no cost. We could not stop now. Faith would be able to walk again, live a normal, productive life if WE all had the faith to follow through.
Please contact Stanley Gitari to make your donations. We need a total of $3000 to make it so Faith can walk again. It’s a “faith “ walk. Will you join us on this amazing journey?
Stanley G Imunya
C/O maua methodist hospital
Po box 63 Maua, Meru North Kenya
Tell; 21003 ext 2076/2011
God bless you now and always.
Galatians 6:9-10 (NLT)
9 So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. 10 Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.
Beth Tracey, Individual Volunteer with General Board of Global Ministries
Maua Methodist Hospital, Community Health Department