Sunday, November 04, 2007

Lutherans are Making a Difference for AIDS Orphans in Kenya

Our Faith & Mercy Expedition in October with most of the Kibera Slums in the background.

Pastor Dennis Meeker and Wife, Deaconess Lorna Meeker Walk the Walk

Pastor Dennis Meeker's first call is to Springs of Life Lutheran Church in Kibera, Kenya. This isn't the typical call right out of the seminary. His wife, Deaconess Lorna, is awaiting her call to a deaconess position.

Springs of Life is in the Kibera Slums (left) of Kenya. An estimated 1 million plus people (some estimate the population as high as 1.8 million) live in the slums (recent pics here). It is the largest slum on the continent of Africa. It is about 2.5 sq. km. or 630 acres.It is estimated that 1/5 of the 2.2 million Kenyans living with HIV live in Kibera.

Pastor Meeker and his wife work closely with the people who live in Kibera. In October
, Springs of Life held a medical clinic at the church that saw over 800 people in 5 days. As Pastor and some of his members took us through the slums, Pastor met up with these two women (right) and began witnessing to them and offering assistance with the one girl who was near the due date of her baby. He invited them to confirmation classes and church. After we returned to the states, he reported that the ladies attended church and the Saturday confirmation classes.

Dcns. Lorna works with the women and young girls by counseling them about HIV\AIDS. She also helps young mothers and visits them in their homes and assists with getting them medical help. For example, Dcns. Lorna visited the young pregnant girl when she went to the hospital to give birth. Both Pastor and Dcns. followed up with this girl. The sad news was that only hours after birth, her child died. They are working together to minister to this girl and her family in this time of sorrow with the hope and comfort of Christ's mercy and hope in the resurrection.