Morning breaks. The sunrise steals my breath. Today would be my first day in the CURE hospital. The first rotation that I was to observe was the operation room. As I make my way up the path from the house we were staying at to the hospital I saw men cutting grass by hand on the hospitals land. I could already tell it was slower here. Simpler here. When I reached the hospital we all gathered together in a meeting room. Morning Devotion. This morning devotion was done not only this morning, but every morning before the hospital opened up its doors for patients. This was a first for me. It would be unheard of in the United States for there to be a hospital wide devotion before opening hour. Again I could see God’s presence here in Kijabe.
After the morning devotion, we received a tour of the hospital grounds. As we made our way to our respective observation locations after tea time, which while we’re on the topic is something that should be adopted here in America, I was greeted by everyone that I crossed paths with. People go out of their way to say hello, as I thought back to everyone passing each other by back home. The community aspect of life is top priority in Kenya. Taking tea at 10 and 4, speaking and greeting at every available moment I was taken aback by the welcoming nature and hospitality shown. The people were so different. But I knew what the difference was. I had known as soon as I had arrived. God. God was there. God was in their hearts. They lived for Him. It was intentional. It was genuine. And for the first time I witnessed a people that lived entirely for God. 100%. No distractions. And then finally it hit me. Here they had nothing. But at the same time they had everything. All that they have is God, and that’s enough. Here we have God and everything thing else that we could imagine, it’s in that our relationship dwindles. So that was my prayer from the first night forward, for God to take everything I have and replace it with Him, for Him to literally be all that I have, because that’s not how I boarded the plane. Little did I know that was how I would get off the plane.
Out of the rabbit hole, back to the story. Because of the tour of the hospital, we reached the operating room midway through an operation. As I donned the OR scrubs, surgeons cap, and face mask, I thought to myself of all the operations that I had been in back home, doing so I went through the motions rather rhythmically. I had no idea what I would be walking into. The OR, or theater as they call it there, doors open and I walked in. At first glance I see a leg opened on the table to the right. I looked closer and there wasn’t a body attached to the little leg that appeared to be smaller than half the length of my arm. I realized then that this wasn’t America. This wasn’t a regular operation that I would have seen back home. This was raw. A 3 year old little boy’s leg had been removed at the knee. Amputation. I tried to swallow, but the air in the room was thicker than blood. My heart sank into my stomach and I was sick. But then I looked closer and saw that the little leg that was lying on the table had severe clubfoot. So then the wheels started spinning. After this surgery, this little boy would have a normal life. He would be able to walk with the help of the orthopedic workshop were the men made prosthetics of all shapes and sizes by hand. And there I found rest. What I first took as such a traumatic event, I saw the silver lining. Hear me, it wasn’t easy to stomach. There was sadness, markedly when the little boy awoke from the anesthesia and grabbed at where his leg was prior to falling asleep, or when he tried to get up and walk on the stretcher. I won’t pretend that didn’t rip my heart out. But I had hope. I could see God working for the better of the little boy. He wouldn’t have pain anymore. He would be able to run and play, close to what a normal child could, possibly as well as a normal child as I heard from some. There were stories floating around that the prosthetics that were fitted there at CURE were seemingly flawless, as most patients couldn’t be guessed as having lost limbs.
This was the first operation. Throughout the rest of the day I witnessed multiple more surgeries of healing. Having walked in late to the first operation, I missed one of the most vital aspects of the surgery that took my words and filled my soul. Behind the computers, the anesthesia machine, and the surgery table, there was a large yellow flag with letters that read “STOP. PRAY.” And they did just that. Before every surgery the doctors took time to pray. I had been in numerous operations in the United States. Most “Christian” doctors. None had prayed. They all took the task into their own hands. Just another thing that screamed God’s presence in the lives of the people here in Kijabe. I was overjoyed.
After the day at the hospital was over, we all met at the soccer field and played a pick up game. Doctors, nurses, technicians, children, anyone who wanted to join. Community. After laughing at the lack of skills that the white people had, we came together after the last whistle blew. Then we prayed. There was such a genuine, intentional love for God. A longing to serve Him and be with Him. It was amazing. Day two. Better than the first. And I was on an uphill journey, as the week would keep getting better and better.
Inspiration. The entire day I was inspired and moved by the servant hearts that each person at the hospital had. These were real followers of Christ. Per the book, they weren’t fans, they were followers. 100% committed. All for Him. Everything they were for the kingdom’s cause. Thus is my prayer. For my life to scream God’s presence. To have nothing but Him. In the spiritual leader’s words, “There’s either God, or God.”