Pastor Geddings serves at Cross-Pointe Lutheran in Fargo. I took this from his blogspot – http://www.crosspointefargo.blogspot.com/search/label/Kenya%202012 you can rad more there. The picture is from Candice Bicondoa of a home visit.
One of the highlights of the trip and again something I hope I never forget throughout my pastoral career. We met some deaconesses that serve various parishes of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Kenya in order to accompany them on home visits. In Kenya, deaconesses go through two years of training (for which they pay) and then often serve without any compensation. These are truly remarkable women who love the Lord and love the people around them with much mercy and compassion and sacrifice. They make home visits; care for orphans, widows, the sick, and the poor; they teach Sunday School; they set up the altar area for Sunday morning worship; and they probably do countless other tasks that further the work of God through the ministry of His church. On Tuesday, we made three home visits that were each extremely special and simultaneously heart-breaking and up-lifting. We walked between each home as the three were all within what we would consider a couple blocks, but there were no sidewalks or manicured yards or curbs so we had to wind our way through muddy paths, puddles, and plots of corn.
At the first house we met Pemina. She was laying on a bed in the back of the house unable to get up. her eyes were glazed over and she could only speak in whispers and yet she expended great energy to get up on an elbow and greet each of us Americans. We were struck by the amount of flies buzzing around the room and pestering Pemina who didn’t have the strength to wave them off. The deaconesses spoke with her for a while in Swahili so I don’t know the specific words they used to comfort her. I had envisioned that as a guest on the visit I would stand in the corner well out of the way in order to watch and observe the deaconesses so I was surprised when I was asked to pray for Pemina. It was truly a humbling moment to hold her frail hand and pray that God would give her strength of body and faith and to express a trust in Him that spans cultures and remains even in times of hardship. At each of the three visits I would have the opportunity to pray for each home and family as my words were translated.