Baby Tamara: An Intersection

Written by margaret. Posted in Children, Education, Women's Community

Margaret shares a story of the way God used a visitor to intersect and detour the life of a family in an amazing and wonderful way!

Mary was one of our summer visitors.  A highlight of her trip was to visit her sponsored child, Francis. Mary was all smiles for sure when she met Francis and he kept grinning as well.  We first visited the Mary and Francishome of Francis’s uncle, where we learned that the child goes back and forth between 2 homes.  We decided to change our afternoon plans and also go visit Francis’s other home with his grandmother.  At the grandmother’s compound, John (another member of the visiting group) was curious about other homes on the compound and did some walking around.  At one home he noticed a baby that had something terribly wrong.  After checking out the child and talking to the mother, Davis learned that the child had been seriously burned about 10 days earlier. Davis immediately said, “Margaret, we need to change our plans for tomorrow.  We need to take this baby to the hospital.”  Sometimes I think I have seen everything in the village and then there is something more distressing.  I had the feeling that this mother was holding her infant child, just waiting for the child to die. 

The next day, we took the mother, dad, and baby to see a doctor in Eldoret that we trust, Dr. Koesch.  The baby cried most of the trip and so did I.  We waited for hours to see the doctor.  When he was finally able to examine the baby, I thought he was going to cry as well.  This is a city doctor and there is such a gap in healthcare between the city and our village.  After examining the baby, Dr. Koesch looked out the window for a while trying to decide what he should do.  Finally he turned to me and said, “This child has been covered with herbs that are not sterilized.  The child will get a terrible infection if this is not cleaned off and proper medication given.  It will be very painful to clean the child.  She must be hospitalized.”  Even now as I am writing to you, I have tears thinking back on this moment.  I said to him, “Dr. Koesch, we are prepared to do whatever you think is necessary to save this child.”  We agreed to put the child, Tamara, in the private hospital in Eldoret.   Davis and I took the little family to the private hospital and left them there for the night.

The next day we sent Pastor Joseph to pay the hospital bill and bring them home. He learned how to take care of the baby, helped teach the mother, and agreed to keep a close watch on the situation over the coming weeks.  Pastor Joseph spent quite a bit of time with the baby’s mother Faith, and during this time learned that Faith had graduated from high school with a fairly good grade—AND she dreamed of becoming a teacher. 

Oh my, when Pastor Joseph told me this I was astounded.  We believed that God had detoured us from our original plans so that we could learn about baby Tamara and help the family get proper care for her, and now it looked like there was more to the story!  This is where my friend Lois comes into the picture.  She had visited us in the village earlier in the summer. Before leaving, Lois felt called to “help two women have a chance to change their lives,” and provided funds to send two women to Heritage College to become teachers.  When I learned about Faith’s dream to become a teacher, I immediately remembered Lois’s words and gift. We were able to tell Faith that we had a place for her in Heritage College and that someone had paid for her training.  Can you imagine the smile on her face, the joy in her heart?  First of all, her baby Tamara would live and not die as she had thought, and now even another miracle might happen in her life—her dream of becoming a teacher could become a reality.  We had a heart-to-heart, head on talk with Anthony, her husband.  He and the family on the compound agreed that they fully supported Faith to go to college for this two- year commitment.

Tamara and FamilyWhat has been done for this family will change their lives forever.  FOREVER!!  They are a testimony in the village and many are watching.  Yes, one life, one family at a time.  We aren’t changing the world, but through God’s grace and wisdom, through His
guidance and love, we are seeing lives change. 
They are a testimony.  You are a testimony because
of your giving!

May God be glorified in all these things!

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Although school is out, we are staying busy in the village. We continue to feed local children who are hungry, and many of our projects are still moving forward. Janet's posho mill is now installed and working. Posho mills are important in everyday village life - villagers use these mills to grind corn into the food they eat. We are so thankful to be able to provide the posho mill for Janet, who in turn can serve her neighborhood. Work on the apartment building to house our teachers continues, as does construction of mud homes for widows. Our goal is to get most of the outside construction work completed before the rains come.

In the midst of continued progress on our projects, this is still a very difficult time for our children and families and teachers. Many are feeling discouraged and depressed as the future seems so uncertain right now, yet we know we are in God's loving hands and we will get through. We know, too, that we are not alone in our experiences. It is a difficult time for most everyone everywhere. You are all in our hearts and prayers, and we ask for your continued prayers through this time.
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We hope this message finds you and your families well. The world has certainly changed, and we are feeling it in Kenya too. Many of you have asked what is happening here, and we are so thankful for your care and your prayers.

While Kenya so far has only a small number of coronavirus cases compared to other countries and there are no reported cases in our region, the Kenyan government is being proactive and ordered all schools in the country to close. As you know, many of our children get most or all of their meals at our school - so our biggest concern has been ensuring that they still have food to eat. While we are not holding classes for an indefinite period of time, we are continuing to provide meals to our students. We are so grateful to be able to do this, and the children are grateful too! Thank you!

Please know that our hearts are with you all through this shared experience.
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Wishing a wonderful birthday to our Director - Happy Birthday, Davis Otieno! ... See MoreSee Less

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We are preparing Heritage graduates for successful futures!!

Our recent high school graduates just completed a computer class through the Kenya Institute of Management. When asked what they thought about the class, the students said “WOW!” They loved learning computer skills! Nixon, the KIM teacher, presented certificates to the students and a mug to symbolize Heritage Secondary School’s partnership with KIM. He will return to speak to current students about career opportunities. We are so thankful to a VPA donor for making this program possible!
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Cabbage!! We have cabbage!! Our first harvest from the greenhouse and irrigated land. We have plenty of cabbage to feed our 1,000+ students at the elementary and high schools, and we are thankful! ... See MoreSee Less

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