Nairobi, Kenya. I had this trip circled on my calendar.
Every year, Hand of Hope, Joyce Meyer Ministries World Missions conducts free medical/dental clinics around the world. And as one of their medical outreach coordinators, I’ve gotten a chance to travel far and wide…and watch God work miracles in the lives of people who desperately need help.
But for me, this outreach was going to be special.
You see, Nairobi is my hometown. Well, actually, my family is from Louisiana. But from the time I was young, my parents—Don and Amy Matheny—have been independent missionaries in Kenya. In fact, about twenty-five years ago, they founded Nairobi Lighthouse Church.
The oldest of six children, I returned to the United States when I was 18 to attend Bible school…then eventually nursing school. My heart’s desire was to someday come back to Nairobi with a skill and serve the people there like my parents have for so many years.
Through a series of events, I stayed in the U.S. and began volunteering for Joyce Meyer Ministries’ medical outreaches. That is where I found my calling. One thing led to another, and today I am privileged to work on these medical outreaches full time. And in the summer of 2013, my work led me back to a place very close to my heart…
The Day We Met MosesMy dream of being a nurse in Kenya was fulfilled in a way I could have never imagined. Here I was leading a Hand of Hope medical team, working in partnership with my family and Nairobi Lighthouse Church to help so many people in need.
For five days, we treated more than 5,000 patients in Nairobi’s Huruma Slums. On the fourth day of this outreach, something happened that I will never forget…
One of our first patients was a two-week-old Kenyan baby. A woman found him abandoned in a nearby field. She appropriately named him Moses…then brought him to us because she had run out of diapers and baby formula.
Other than a slight eye infection, Moses was healthy and strong. The woman wanted to continue caring for him, so we connected her with a clinic in the area that will follow up on them. We also introduced her to an orphanage affiliated with Nairobi Lighthouse Church—just in case her situation becomes unmanageable.
But Moses really struck a chord with me…
Eighteen years ago, a German family attended my parents’ church. They held in their arms a baby who was abandoned in these Nairobi slums. They loved and cared for him, but they were returning to Germany and, without the appropriate papers, they couldn’t take the child with them.
That day, my parents made a decision that would affect all of our lives forever. They accepted responsibility for the 7-week-old baby—the child who would eventually become my adopted brother, David.
The day Moses came to the clinic, I ran out to find David and said, “You have got to see this!” David was so touched, and he immediately went out to buy Moses some diapers and formula…then sat and held him in his arms while he fed him.
As his sister, it was such a precious moment. It was like stepping back in time and seeing David rescued all over again. That day we prayed for Moses and spoke blessings over his life. It is something I will always treasure.