Do you ever think about the ways the world will be shaped because of your life?
What change do you seek to make?
What do you hope to accomplish either personally and professionally, through your friends and your family?
I want to impress upon you that wherever you are, and whatever you are doing your life will have far and wide, oftentimes in the smallest and most unexpected, miraculous places.
Below are then and now pictures with several founders who left an indelible legacy on Kijabe. And at the end, a tribute to Elizabeth Richter.
Justy Stoesz, who started lab training at Kijabe hospital and worked here for nearly 40 years. Still a Friend of Kijabe, we communicate just about every month! Below is the lab today, greatly developed in terms of technology.
Brothers, Dr. Bill and Dr. Arthur Barnett, carried the work from mid-century until the 1980’s. They built the hospital in its current location, and still have family working both in East Africa and in leadership roles with AIM. Dr. Bill recently celebrated his hundredth birthday!
In the pictures of the hospital below, the white roofed, cross shaped buildings are the ones the Barnett brothers oversaw, in addition to building the Heron house. The theatre complex, maternity, outpatient, surgery/physio clinic space, Bethany Kids building, Dental, ENT clinic, palliative care, and chapel came later.
Dr. Dick Bransford continues to provide surgical care for special needs children in East Africa, particularly hydrocephalus and spina bifida patients – as he has for half-a-century. Dr. Bransford founded what is now Bethany Kids. Our children’s hospital and pediatric surgery & neurosurgery programs are result of his tireless work.
Nettie Sinclair worked for several decades to launch nurse training at Kijabe Hospital, what is now known as Kijabe College of Health Sciences, training hundreds of students each year.
This message is in honor of Elizabeth Richter, who died this week at age 93.
Elizabeth Richter, or Grandma Betty, as I know her lived a beautiful, faithful life. And I want to share just small story of legacy as a tribute, because it affects the very words you are reading.
Betty’s son John was instrumental to launching Friends of Kijabe, and is now serving as our first board chair. Her granddaughter, Arianna is my wife; pediatrician at Kijabe. Without Arianna’s bold dream, strengthened by the prayers of her grandmother, I would never have come to Africa certainly would not have found this leadership role in fundraising and storytelling. Betty’s other children and grandchildren have been instrumental to us in providing advice, funding projects, mailing thank you and Christmas cards, housing supplies until they are ready to be shipped to Kenya, and always holding our hospital up in prayer.
Grandma Betty is making an impact on a continent she never even visited, something I find beautiful and amazing.