Dawn Masai Mara

Dawn Masai Mara

Saturday, July 26, 2014

We left Philadelphia on Thursday, July 3 and arrived safely at Kijabe, Kenya on July 5; we will be here for just over 2 months.  While we are here Rodger is filling in for Dr. Mark Newton - the only Anesthesiologist at Kijabe Hospital - and Ginny is working with the Infection Control nurse, helping her review and revise the Infection Control Policy Manual. Though we are scheduled to leave Africa in early September, we will return in the summer of 2015 to begin a 5-year commitment at the AIC Kijabe Hospital, where Rodger will partner with Dr. Newton, and teach and practice Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine.

In the 3 weeks that we have been at Kijabe Hospital we have seen that the needs are great and the resources limited. It is frustrating to see patients die when you know they would have survived in the US.  However, it is a privilege to work alongside so many dedicated professionals; and to realize that there are many patients who do survive because of the efforts of these physicians and nurses.

We are here at Kijabe without a car – and that means most of our travel - to the hospital or duka (store) or friends’ houses - is by foot on dirt roads or paths.  These roads and paths are incredibly uneven and rocky, and since Kijabe is located 7,500 feet above sea level, on the escarpment overlooking the Rift Valley, you are almost always traveling either uphill or downhill.  We would never have guessed how much work is involved in traveling in this manner! You must constantly be aware of where you are placing your feet in order to avoid twisting your ankle on a rock or in a rut or ditch.  And this significantly slows the speed at which you travel.  When we do come to an infrequent level stretch it is pleasant to be able to walk easily and turn your attention from the path to the beautiful surroundings.

These experiences made us think of Isaiah 42:16 - "I will turn the rough places into level ground....".  The prophet Isaiah (informed by the Spirit) looks forward to a time when God fulfills His promise to redeem this broken world.  We have in the past viewed this as being strictly metaphorical – but being at Kijabe has given us new insight into this passage.  In the culture in which Isaiah lived having to walk and transport goods on uneven ground was difficult, dangerous, and a daily reminder of struggle.

We are thankful there is a time coming when the brokenness we see in this world will be in the past and all will be made whole.  We have this assurance from the Word (Romans 8:18 – 23).  We know that the restoration of the creation will follow the revealing of the children of God; that the creation in fact “waits with eager longing” for this to occur. And all of this will take place because of Christ’s finished work on the cross.  As we share in resurrection with Christ and the transformation of our bodies - all of creation will be restored. The healing of the creation will be all encompassing; it will mean no more sick, severely injured and dying patients, and the end of our mundane daily struggles. God will indeed turn all of the rough places into level ground.