Kenya Update 7

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

Before we left Kapsowar, some of the staff of the hospital threw a farewell feast for us. Once again it is just humbling to see the generosity and gratitude in the hearts of the people at the hospital. Instead of blessing them, they continually blessed us.

It was a hard saying our goodbyes to everyone. Even though we were in Kapsowar for only a week, the friendships that were built and the memories were very precious. As we packed the vans and started to drive off, I lifted up one final prayer for the work in the hospital and the church.

Here are some pictures from our last day in Kapsowar:
[WARNING: If you are a vegetarian or an extreme animal lover then please do not read any further!]
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lamb Feast - Before.JPG
 
[Before] – The lamb that was going to be sacrifical participant in the farewell feast
 
 
 
Lamb Feast - After.JPG
 
[After] – watching the whole process, it really made me understand the “lamb/sheep” imagery in the Bible
 
 
 
A Jacque.JPG
 
Jacque had an incredible testimony of being one of the 15 doctors from Sudan that was sent off to Cuba during the Sudanese civil war to get trained as a doctor. He was placed in Kapsowar to get trained and ready to be sent back to Sudan to be one of the handful of doctors to reach millions of people. Now tell me, doesn’t he look like Manute Bol?
 
 
 
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A group picture in front of the hospital
 
 
 
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Last picture with the whole Lee family at the base
 
 
 
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It is not everyday that you get to step on the equator… it was one of those moments for the team

Kenya Update 6

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

 
It was a good feeling to be able to walk to church today. The AIC Kapsowar Church was right next to the hospital. The service lasted for 3 hours! But the time went so quickly. It was a special Sunday because they divided up the church according to various life stages – youth, single adults, young married couples, middle aged couples, widows, single mothers, etc.

Pastor Ben preached to the young married couples, while Kevin spoke to the youth and then, I preached to the middle aged couples (40-60 yr olds). We spent a lot of time in praise and worship. There were a lot of special presentations. In fact, we sang a Christmas medley for the church. I don’t think we can match the musical ability of the Kenyans.

Afterwards, the pastors and leaders of the church invited us to a room to share in fellowship. As we were drinking our sodas, they were sharing how blessed they were to have us in Kapsowar. The irony is that we (the Americans) are the ones who are so blessed. We came to serve the people of Kenya but in fact it was the Kenyans who served us and blessed us.

We also spent part of the afternoon at a nearby area which gave us an incredible view of the valley. We just “hung out.” I am finally getting used to just “hanging out.” It really takes about a week or so to flow with the lifestyle here.

Thank you for praying for us. Everyone on the team is doing well.

We can’t wait to share with you in person all of God’s blessings.

 
Here are some pictures:
 
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We did our best in singing a Christmas song for the congregation
 
 
 
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After preaching, the people responded to a life of leaving a legacy for the next generation
 
 
 
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The view was incredible! It was great getting a bird’s eye view of the area.
 
 
 
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A picture of the four of us – it has been great spending time with Steve and Betty
 

Kenya Update 5

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

It was a little bit weird celebrating Christmas in 70 degree weather without any snow on the ground (I guess this is what Californians go through every Christmas). We participated in a Christmas party for the staff at the hospital. It was a great time of fellowshipping and playing games with the people on the base. Then, we ended up presenting a Christmas song and shared briefly from God’s Word.

Now, we are trying to get ready for Sunday’s ministry. This will be our last ministry opportunity. Then on Sunday evening, the people on the base will be holding a farewell feast for us. The generosity of the Kenyan people has been very humbling.

Dr. Peter left early in the morning today. He will spend some time in Nairobi and then head back to Ann Arbor. The last day and a half has been a bit relaxing. I realized that for Americans it takes awhile to “detox” and get use to this lifestyle. In the States, we are so busy running around that we miss out on opportunities for God to speak to us. It has been good for my soul.

After Sunday, we will be heading down to Nakuru and then Nairobi. We will spend some time reflecting and winding down in order to prepare for our return back to the States. So much has happened in the short amount of time we have been here. It will be a great time to recap and give God the praise for all that He has done.

Here are some pictures from the Christmas party:
 

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Kenya Update 4

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

We spent the last two days in the valley (more rural than Kapsowar). On Wednesday, we took off for the valley in the late morning and spent a day and half ministering to the Pokot people. Before we left, we were warned of some of the dangers in the area. Five years ago, the Pokot people were involved in raiding the cattle of the Marakwet people. Various villages were ransacked and people were massacred. Dr. Steve mentioned that the situation was probably similar to what we see in Detroit. Uh… Detroit was ranked the most violent city in all of the United States. Later, I mentioned this to Dr. Steve and he said, “Oh, I should have said that it is BETTER than Detroit.” Haha!

But we went down with faith and in prayer, expecting God to do some great things. We were prepared to do a mobile clinic and some youth rallies. We opened up our first clinic in Liter (pronounce le-taire). There were so many people that we had to turn some away and told them to come back tomorrow. Then the non-medical team led a portion of a youth camp. We shared a song and I preached from God’s Word. We had a great response from the youth – the hope for the next generation.
 
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The next day we were planning on having another mobile clinic in 3 different places but due to the heavy rains we had to alter our plans. The roads were too slippery and dangerous for us to drive on. But then by the late morning it began to clear up and we started our journey again. As we were driving on the road, people came up to us right on the street and asking for medical help. There was this one time when a girl with a 105 degree temperature needed some medical assistance and we ministered to her right there on the spot.
 
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Once we arrived in the heart of the Pokot territory, people started to line up for the mobile medical clinic. Since the town of Colowa had no medical resources, we were welcomed with open arms. We ended up meeting the “chief” who traveled with us and gave us access to a school where we could do the mobile clinic. It was so busy that everyone had to get involved in passing out the medicine and even assisting with the crowd control.
 
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It was truly a blessing to see so many people getting physically ministered unto. In fact, the pastor in that area wanted Dr. Steve to bring future teams down in the area. After our time in Colowa, we drove to another mobile clinic location. As the patients got diagnosed and were waiting for their medicine, the rest of us prayed one-on-one with them for the ultimate healing, which was for our spiritual souls.

We drove up back to Kapsowar in the evening, but our work was not done because a lady stopped us for help. She was carrying her pre-mature baby which she delivered about 5 days ago. The baby was dehydrated and would not latch on to the mother in order to receive the milk. If we just left the baby there, he would have died. Therefore, we decided to take the mother and the baby back with us to the Kapsowar hospital which was 2.5 hours away. It is amazing to see all the needs in this area. God needs to raise up more people who will go and administer His love.

The next few days, we will be ministering at a few Christmas gatherings. We will then have one final youth gathering on Saturday and then we will be helping out with the Sunday Celebration. We are coming to the end our ministry time here in Kapsowar, therefore please keep us in your prayers.

Here are some more pictures:
 
 
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The mangos here are incredible – you have to taste it to understand what I mean
 
 
 
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The Pokot kids rarely have an opportunity to taste mangos therefore they were so blessed when we handed it out to them – for FREE
 
 
 
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You would not believe how many people were in this truck – 19 in total! I counted them as they all came out at the next town.
 

Kenya Update 3

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

There is a saying that people use quite often – “It is like riding a bike.” It means that once you have learned how to ride a bike you will always know how to ride one, even though you have not been on one for a long time. This principle applies for a lot of things.

I told the team before we left for Kenya that we have to remember the triple A’s when it comes to missions – Availability, Attitude, and Actions. I emphasized the importance of “availability” and that we have to be willing to do anything and everything. The hardest part of being a leader is living out the very thing you teach/preach to people.

Therefore, when we learned that we needed to do a Christmas VBS for the children on the base, we needed someone to lead the songs with motions. Since we were limited in our options, we I had no choice… haha! I had to dig deep into the earlier years of ministering in VBS’s. Even though it took me some time to remember all the motions to “Making Melodies,” we were able to have a great time with the children on the base.

The other team members were at the hospital again doing some rounds as well as doing some teaching with the staff members. One of our engineers, John has been working on the computer network system at the hospital. Therefore, we have all been very busy.

Then in the afternoon, we continued to meet with the youths. We finished off our series, “Becoming a Person of Influence.” We talked about Daniel and Hannah and how they made a difference through their lives.

We are now getting ready for our ministry in the Keiro Valley. There are some hesitations due to the fact that there was some tribal warfare in the past, but we are going in faith and believing that God will protect us as we share the love of God. We will be doing a mobile clinic, as well as ministering to people with God’s Word. We really need your prayers.

Here are some pictures:
 
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Dr. Peter helping out with a surgery
 
 
 
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Kevin and Liz working with a Sudanese medical resident who is expected to be one of the top doctors in Sudan in the future.
 
 
 
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Pastor Ben helping out with crafts at the children’s VBS.
 
 
 
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Digging deep to my inner VBS passion – I think the kids thought I was crazy!
 
 
 
kenya_same_bday.jpg
 
What is the probability of having 3 people with the same birthdays in a group of 20 people? We are all June 15th b-days – we bonded instantly!

Kenya Update 2

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

It was a beautiful morning. I realized that in the States we miss out on the beauty of God’s creation because we are just too busy to stop and notice. After our morning devotions and breakfast, we got a tour of the hospital.

It is just amazing to see how much they can do with so little. As we visited the various wards, we had opportunities to meet various staff workers, as well as some of the patients. In the middle of our tour, Dr. Peter was rushed to the operating room because he was needed for a C-section.

We ended up dividing up to our various specialties and working with the local Kenyan hospital staff. Kevin and Liz paired up together to do some hospital rounds. Pastor Ben and Susan paired up together, while Christina and I paired up to help the chaplain visit various wards to share God’s Word and to pray with the patients. It was encouraging to see the couples working together as a team.

Christina and I went into the Women’s Ward and saw a lot of women who were in pain. Dr. Steve mentioned that some of the women were in the hospital due to physical abuse from their husbands. Christina was able to share her testimony and some of the experiences that she went through with her parents. Then we ended up praying for them. It was a powerful moment. It keeps on reminding me – “through our great miseries comes our greatest ministry.”

In the late afternoon, we ended up doing ministry with the youth. In Kenya, like many other countries in the world consider those people who are not married as, “youth.” We did some praise, icebreakers and bible study. It was encouraging to see the hunger in the Kenyan youths.

Please continue to pray for us as we minister to the youths as well as to the people in the hospital. God has truly been good.

Here are some pictures:
 
 
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Dr. Steve giving us a hospital tour
 
 
 
 
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The Kenyan kids love taking pictures
 
 
 
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The maternity ward in the hospital – as you can tell, things are very basic
 
 
 
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The mortuary that many of you gave sacrifically to is making progress
 
 
 
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A group picture in front of the future mortuary
 
 
 
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Our youth meeting with the youth from the neighborhood

Kenya Update 1

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

We arrived in Nairobi safely in the evening after a long day of travel. We had a hard time trying to get all of our luggage from the baggage claim. In fact, there was one bag that did not come on the plane. We ended filing a lost luggage claim.

We stay the night at a guest house in Nairobi and then the next morning we made the long trek to Kapsowar. From my recollection, I remember the roads being very bumpy and a little difficult. Therefore, I told the men who got into the matatu (Kenyan mini-van) – “after this ride, we will either be bitter at God or we will learn to love Him more.” We were praying for the latter.

When we arrived in Kapsowar, we were warmly welcomed by Betty and the rest of the family and also by the AIM hospital staff. We had a traditional Kenyan dinner with all the fixings. It was a great time of fellowship as we got to know some of the people that we were going to work with at the hospital.

After dinner, we had a time of briefing with Dr. Steve and Betty about the “do’s” and “don’ts” of the area. One of the “don’ts” was no PDA’s (public display of affection) on the compound – Christina was disappointed… haha!

We closed out the night by praying together and then went to bed early to be fully charged for tomorrow’s ministry.

Here are some pictures:
 
 
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Bus ride to Kapsowar
 
 
 
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Loading up the matatu with our luggage
 
 
 
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Overlooking the Rift Valley
 
 
 
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A classical Kenyan meal was graciously and lovingly prepared for us
 
 
 
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We fellowshipped with some of the hospital staff members

Africa Team at the Airport

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

Wow! Transporting 9 people and checking in 18 bags (this is minus the carry-on’s) was quite the experience. We are now just waiting for our flight to Nairobi via Amsterdam. It was truly God’s grace that allowed us to get so much medicine at a low cost. I think 75% of the bags were filled with medicines that Dr. Steve will be able to use.

As we are waiting for the plane there are a couple of things making this missions trip different:

1) Sitting next to the love of my life – this is our first missions trip together
2) Seeing other married couples sitting together preparing for the trip
3) Realizing that this is HMCC’s first medical missions team

Even though I love going on missions trip with college students, this trip really has a good feeling – going with other married couples, who love God and love one another.
 
 
 
Kevin and Liz.jpg
 
One of our couples – the dynamic doctor duo, Dr. Kevin and Dr. Liz Oh

Saying Bye to the Kids

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

This morning, Christina and I said bye to the kids as they headed out to school. After dropping the boys off, I think the reality of being separated from them really hit me hard.

Can I trust God to take care of the kids while Christina and I are gone for 12 days?

Do I believe that God is Sovereign in all that He does?

Am I prepared for anything that might happen (good or bad)?

As I am getting a bit older, I am coming to the conclusion that the Christian life is really about faith and trust. As in the words of the well known hymn,

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

[Refrain]
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.

Refrain

Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,
But is blessed if we trust and obey.

Refrain

But we never can prove the delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.

Refrain

Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet.
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way.
What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.

Boys in the Kitchen?

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values

Now that my parents are here there are a lot of “stuff” that might be potential landmines. One thing that my mom had strong views about was the fact that my brother and I should not be in the kitchen. I know what some of you are thinking… “man, is that sexism and male chauvinism or WHAT?!” Trust me… I do not espouse that view (at least not anymore… ha!). Christina has broken me down :-)

But recently my mom got a rude awakening when she found out that my boys like to be in the kitchen baking things. Yes, you have heard me correctly. This is true discipleship at work by a woman who refuses to allow her boys to continue in the generational “curse”… haha!

I know that it will be my parents temptation to do things “their way” while Christina and I are gone for 13 days. But sometimes God can use little children to teach even grandparents a thing or two.
 
 
 
 
Boys in the Kitchen.jpg
 
I had to take a picture of the boys in the kitchen baking some brownies under the watchful eye of grandma. The brownies were surprisingly very good!

To Stay or To Go

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

I don’t know if you have heard of the recent news about James Kim, a senior editor of CNET. I really enjoyed some of his reviews on various gadgets, therefore it was a bit sad to hear that he passed away.

It really made me think about the dilemma he was in. What would I do?

His car was stranded with his wife and 2 daughters, one was 4 years old and the other was only 7 months old. The family was coming back home to San Francisco after a trip out to Portland when they got lost and their car got stuck in the snow on the remote road.

They were running out of food and they tried to keep warm with the car running on the remaining tank of gasoline. There was no help to be found.

The old adage is “remain where you are and people will find you.”

But would any guy (father and husband) just sit there while his family is hungry and freezing? If I was in that situation, I think I would have done the same thing. This story just broke my heart.

In digression, I think every car should have a GPS. It should not be an option for only the rich. It is kind of like the ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) that came with only the high end cars, but now most cars come with it. Also, when the airbag first came out, it was only for the expensive cars but now every car has it built in for safety.

I don’t know if he was a believer or not, but I pray that his two daughter will grow up knowing that their father did everything that he could to find help for them and that he was motivated by love.

Finished Packing

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

I just came back from our last Africa Missions team meeting. We spent some time in prayer and then finished off on our packing. Time has gone by so quickly in the last 2 months. It is hard to believe that we will be taking off for Kenya in about 2 days.

Whenever I pack for a trip, it brings a unique feeling that is hard to describe… it brings a sense excitement for the trip but yet a sense of melancholy because I am leaving the family behind. In this particular trip it is a bit harder because Christina and I will be both leaving our children behind.

Even though we are excited about going on a missions trip together (first time), the thought of being separated from the kids is a bit daunting. This is when I realized that we need to get everything in order since we do not know what will happen to us. We finished writing our wills and we are trying to spend as much time with them as possible before we take off.

The more I think about it, I realized that it is sometimes easier to make sacrifices and take more risk when you are all by yourself. But as soon as you add a spouse and kids, the stakes get higher. This is why we need to learn how to love God and do His will now as we are young(er). The fact of the matter is that the older we get the more comfort and security we seek for ourselves as well as for our family.

It has been Christina’s and my prayer that we will learn to trust in God on this trip – no matter what happens to us!

Picked Up the Grandparents

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

Today, I flew out to Chicago (one way) and then picked up my car (I left it here from the Friday fiasco) and I went to pick up my parents to go to Ann Arbor with me. They have graciously volunteered to help watch our kids while we will be going to Kenya, Africa.

It was a great ride back to Ann Arbor – we talked the WHOLE time! Can you believe it? I was just thinking back to my high school days when I did not want to talk with my parents at all. But now that I have gained some perspective and built up some gratitude in my heart for my parents. My dad is in his early 70’s while my mom is in her late 60’s. It just dawn on me that they are getting older.

But they are also young at heart when they see the kids. You should have seen the look on the kids’ faces when we opened the door. The kids love their grandparents, especially KiKi.

Now we will need to spend the next 2 days showing my parents the ropes around the Kim family’s life cycle. It should be interesting.

A Book that Expresses the Heart

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values

One of my favorite things to do is to read – believe it or not! My perfect vacation would be staying at a hotel on a beach somewhere and then I have the freedom to watch ESPN and to read a good book with the ocean air blowing on my face.

I try to read at least a 2-3 books a month (if not more) just so that I can keep my mind sharp and also to get inspiration on various subjects.

Once in awhile there comes a book that literally speaks your heart. Everything that you were thinking about, praying about and even saying to the people around you is placed in a 200-page book.

I just finished Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch’s book, “The Shaping of Things to Come: Innovation and Mission for the 21st Century Church.” This book really did 3 things for me – it challenged, confirmed, and capsulized various thoughts that were running through my mind about the missional church in this generation. Pretty much this book expressed in words my philosophy of the future of the church, and also some creative and innovate ways to think about the purpose and mission of the church.

In the beginning of the new year, we are going to have a Board of Directors’ meeting and I am going to have every one of them read it. Then we will be able to have some good discussions and even great ideas for the future of our churches.
 
 
Book Image - Shaping of Thgs to Come.jpg
 
 
 
After this book, there are many more books on my list… I can’t wait. Hopefully, during the Christmas break many of you will be able to pick up a good book to read.