Today, we share the work of Susan Nagele in Kenya through her recent newsletter.
Mombasa, the slum of Bangladesh. Dr Susan Nagele working in the Bangladesh clinic, examining a patient.
PHOTO BY SEAN SPRAGUE
“Kenya held the rerun of the presidential elections on October 26th. The main opposition candidate boycotted the election calling it a sham and he refuses to accept the election of
President Uhuru Kenyatta for another five year term. Kenyatta received 98% of the vote. Only 38% of those registered voted the second time. The inauguration will be on Nov 28th. This is a very divided country. The political problems are rooted in corruption and negative ethnicity (tribalism). There has been violence in Nairobi, the capital, and the western stronghold of the opposition. Mombasa has been very peaceful and we expect it to remain so. The economy is on its knees and people are hoping that the holidays will bring back the tourists and a way to earn money to pay the bills.
For health care, this whole year has been a struggle. The doctors began striking on December 5th, 2016 and continued for 100 days until the middle of March. The nurses began striking on June 5th and continued until a couple of weeks ago. Next, the clinical officers (physician assistants) and lab technologists also went on strike. When one cadre of health care workers strike all the others stop working because they say they can’t do another’s work. This has meant that our mission facilities have been overstretched with work. Many people can’t afford to go to private doctors and our units will not turn anyone away. For those who cannot afford to pay we must find charity funds or absorb the loss.
None of these problems with strikes will be solved until there is a functioning government. At the moment it is hard to imagine how that will come about. There is poor leadership and little discussion of issues to solve these problems. Both sides have been rigidly declaring their bottom line and refusing to talk to one another.
It’s easy for us to feel hopeless. So I look to Jesus. He was born into an empire governed by a single potentate, Augustus Caesar, who reigned over 100 million people. It was a time fraught with political oppression and moral decay. From that came a little baby born into a loving family and nurtured by a supportive community to grow up and become the person he was meant to be. He had to suffer and pay a price for his faithfulness to God. That is the challenge for each of us too. His life can bring us peace in our hearts and hope for the future. But we must be faithful too.”
We are grateful for your prayers and financial support!
If you would like to know more about Maryknoll Lay Missioners, please visit our website at www.mklm.org or Susan Nagele’s personal fundraising page.
Or you can call toll free at 1-800-867-2980.