Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Preparation for April Kenya trip to Kibera is progressing well!

Here we are again, excitement is growing as we are but a month away from boarding a British Airways Airbus for our first leg to London and then on to Nairobi from Heathrow.  Sunday, we completed our first team orientation ever that was completely conducted by the Redeemer team leadership.  Many of us had lunch right after church at Casa Chapala, Lupe's wonderful Mexican restaurant.  We then gathered from 1 to 5pm for the orientation and training.  Pastor Kevin opened the session with a prayer and then went over the general travel details, the overall schedule for the trip and then described the flow of the vision clinic we will be conducting.  Since we had several volunteers from previous trips, Howard and Martha Faske along with Risa Schroder, on hand to help with specific task training, we next broke into three groups to make wise use of their time.  Risa taught the autorefractor, while Martha instructed some of us on the fine art of lens pulling and Howard provided training on the assembly of distance glasses.  These are the skill positions in the clinic and we have at  least 2 team members ready to go for each of them.  After our trainers left with our heartfelt thanks, Pastor Kevin went over the other three stations of the clinic for the entire group, beginning with the eyechart exam, proceeding on to the reading glasses post and finally leading a discussion on triage techniques which Ralph, Louise and I also contributed to. The triage function is where we direct the clinic traffic and it's also where we have our best opportunity to give the people a "second touch " with the Gospel, finishing by praying over everyone who attends the eye clinic individually. Some very good tips on questions leading to talking about Jesus and gathering prayer requests were shared during this time. I concluded the day by presenting the African cultural context that we will be immersed in to the team.  My talk ranged from the general African culture to the religious history of Africa to finally focusing on an overview of the Islamic faith, since a large percentage of the people we will encounter at the clinic will be Muslim.  Hopefully, this cultural sensitivity training will lead to us being better listeners and better witnesses for Christ in the process.

Tuesday, Pastor Kevin and I completed an inventory of the footlockers that we used during the orientation and got a list together of items that needed to be replenished before the lockers are taken back to Salem.  They will stay there until it's time on April 26th to get them to the airport.  Keep an eye on this space for more details as the trip draws nearer.