Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Life in all its fullness

The Methodist Church in Kenya engages with society in many ways in order to enable people to enjoy life in all its fullness. I have written in previous blogs about the school in Kawagware and the Bio-Agriculture Training Scheme in Kaaga. Here are some more examples that I saw during my visit.

The Kenya Methodist University (KeMU) received its first 11 students in 1997 having been established in Meru. This year, over 10,000 students graduated from the University which has several other campuses, the biggest in Nairobi. I visited the Meru campus last week and met Prof. Jotham Micheni, Deputy Vice Chancellor. After a delicious lunch we toured the beautiful site including the newly established Medicine and Health Sciences School. The University has an excellent reputation and student ministers are either trained here or in the ecumenical St Paul's College in Nairobi. The Methodist Church in Kenya is rightly proud of this university. Here are some photographs.
The Administration block
Chapel window

The Chapel

Ruth with Prof, Jotham Michene Njue and Dr P. E. Opakas

I visited Maua Methodist Hospital at 7.30 am on Friday morning and joined the staff for their daily prayers in the chapel. The first thing you see as you drive into the hospital grounds is the chapel which is a reminder of the focus for the work here. I met two Mission Partners from the Methodist Church in Britain; Sister Barbara Dickinson and Dr Claire Smithson, both of whom have served here for many years. Sister Barbara showed me around the hospital and told me about the developing work here, the hospital is changing and adapting to meet current needs. We visited several wards but it would have been inappropriate to take photographs.
Dr Claire told me about the palliative care unit in the hospital. This unit provides a complete package of palliative care, mostly to children and adults with HIVAIDS. You can read about this on the hospital website and I encourage you to do so. The care is offered in the community as well as in the hospital and includes a kitchen garden initiative, training mothers to grow good food. The unit has just been decorated and, as you can see, it offers a warm and friendly welcome to the children who come here for treatment.

The Miathene Methodist Synod, along with other Synods in the Kenya Methodist Church is concerned about the continuing practice of FGM (female genital mutilation), especially in some rural areas. The Women's Fellowship has run an alternative rite of passage programme for a number of years and 3 years ago the Darlington District Methodist Women in Britain supported this work financially. When I visited Kianjai I met a number of the girls who had attended the programme which lasts for 1 week and focuses on healthy living and respect for the body. This photograph of part of the certificate awarded shows the content of the course.
This year 200 girls attended the course and they go back to their communities and educate others. As the Bishop of the Miathene Synod said, 'it takes time to change a culture' but real progress is being made.

The Methodist Church in Kenya has many other programmes which aim to enable people to enjoy life in all its fullness.

To God be the glory!

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