Storymakers

I have been taking a deep-dive into the needy patient situation at Kijabe and want to share a story with you:

Patient M came to Kijabe for orthopaedic surgery following a traffic accident.  He struggled with severe depression during the time of his hospitalization after a brother told him, “we have nothing to help you, it is better for us if you die.”

  1. Why would the brother behave like this?  It turns out his father had multiple wives, his siblings are not alive, and this is a brother by a different wife.  So M’s existence could jeopardize the sibling’s claim on inheritance.
  2. What would M do when he left the hospital? His bill and inability to raise funds are his primary issue today, but what will become reality when he is discharged?   He points to his burns on his hands and legs, saying that he not will do anything.

John, Kijabe Needy Patient manager, translated my encouragement to M, “your problem is not your hands and legs, it is your head.  If you believe you are crippled then you are. . .but you are young, the surgeons have done their work well, and you can be whole – if you believe that you can.”

M’s eyes brightened, as if he had never considered this.  In his depression, he has imagined his life to be worthless, but watching him process the idea of hope was encouraging.

As I relayed this story to my insightful friend Tony (spouse of Kijabe OB Catherine Chen), he had a remarkable observation.  “Today, you were not just a storyteller, you were a story maker.  You went into the room to hear M’s story, but in fact, you were shaping his.”

The goal of Friends of Kijabe is to give you – whether you are in Nashville, Adelaide, London, or Alberta – the opportunity to be a story maker in Kenya.  To connect real people with real hope.  And in turn, to have your story changed.

Even today, a urologist from Florida visited the hospital and was amazed to realize that his unique skill set could be so useful in a mission hospital.  Absolutely, we need sub-specialist surgeons! Just like that, a two-hour visit to Kijabe could change both his story and ours in coming years.  So very exciting!

What about you, would you share your story?
If you have worked at Kijabe, did you have a moment of being a storymaker?

Or, how has your encounter with Kijabe changed your story?
“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jer. 29:31

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