and without a doubt, August 1, 2012 is one of those days for all of us at Passion Partners. On this sun-drenched Wednesday, deep in Western Kenya, the Ashburn Ohuru Clinic opened its doors for the first time.
What had once been the God-given dream of a 94 year-old Kenyan widow (who, by the way, has lived almost twice as long as the average life span of a Kenyan woman!) became a God-ordained reality for a young widow from Nashville, TN, whose late husband, himself, was a physician.
Walk back with us through this unforgettable day…
Before our team even arrived that morning, hundreds of residents from the surrounding community had already gathered to celebrate the opening of this long-anticipated clinic and to receive treatment at the free medical camp.
The clinic is fully staffed by Kenyan medical professionals & support staff. Visiting medical clinicians and nurses from Nairobi served along side the staff during the free medical camp. Working from morning till night, this amazing group treated over 500 patients. (The Clinic is financially supported by Passion Partners with the goal of it becoming self-sustaining.)
Grandmother Joan (pronounced Joanne) had the original vision to build a clinic after her son died 3 years ago of malaria, a common, but otherwise treatable disease. She was compelled to donate the land on which is built, and on August 1 she officially commemorated the opening by cutting the ribbon with Candice Ashburn, Founder & Executive Director of Her Passion ministries & Passion Partners, the young widow from Nashville, TN. (How they met is another story for another day.)
The day continued with a dedication ceremony which involved the entire community…because that is how we celebrate in Africa…with community. Local school children performed songs and eloquently recited poems. Government officials expressed their appreciation and support and affirmed the hope that something as concrete as a medical clinic brings to Siaya.
Everyone, young and old, seemingly enjoyed the day as much as we did. We all took in this moment in time, as a reminder, much like the trees that had been planted at the perimeter of the property, that God, Himself had not forgotten about His precious eternal people who have temporal, tangible needs.
While the celebration continued under tents outside, the staff was busy providing care inside the clinic. Throughout the course of the day, there was a range of sicknesses being treated including water-borne illnesses, malaria, respiratory diseases, jiggers, and malnutrition, among others.
Praise God for the hundreds who left the clinic that day with smiles!
Yet, I doubt anyone left the clinic that day smiling bigger than we did…tired from the travel (which pales in comparison to the travel many Africans endure every day just to get water or medical care), but overjoyed and overwhelmed at how this God-sized dream had become such a tangible reality.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…” (Eph 3:20)
More than grandmother Joan could have dreamed…
More than Candice could have imagined…
Only because He is indeed at work within us. We are humbled and honored to serve the people of Siaya…perhaps you can join us there one day, or better yet, ask God to give you your own “Ephesians 3:20.”
To see more pictures from this amazing day, as well as others of the clinic, visit our page on Facebook.