Last year, we announced that one of the key focus of GoWithChrist mission would be increasing the level of education of ministers in the already existing churches on Mount Elgon.
We are glad that we can launch the project “Libraries”. In a very short time, literally in a couple of months, we had more than 300 good books at our disposal. Surly, half of them already found their readers this year. The craving to read and receive knowledge was from every reader. Students and adults, housewives and bishops of church associations, all got access to books. We were and remain open to all comers, but with one important requirement: books must be returned clean, not torn, so that others have the opportunity to form and grow spiritually.
Also, within the framework of the initiated educational project for Sunday school teachers, we were able to give to participated churches books and booklets that will definitely help them to learn new things and become more effective in serving people and God.
Even before my arrival in Africa, I treated this country like most of us. Who is going to be interested in a poor and forgotten country? Well, first of all- God. His children live there, the same as we are with you, and of course their fate is not indifferent to Him. God began to talk with me and change my thinking. He needs hands on this earth to do His work. I understand that it is a great privilege to be the hands of God. That’s how my project in Kenya started.
I am an artist. Got my education in Belarus, and now I continue my studies in America. The idea to conduct drawing lessons in Africa was from the Lord. Then I did not quite understand why children that do not know the alphabet need to learn to draw. When I arrived to Africa and saw these kids, everything fell into place. They turned out to be capable and talented for art more than I had supposed. We had a week of classes with children from Nakhosi who do not attend school. About 60 children of different ages participated, even mothers came to learn to draw. As I thought, many did not even know the name of the colors and saw the paint for the first time. We brought with us all the necessary material and began our classes. Most of the time we worked with paints, they learned colors, mixed them, and then they tried to copy the works of different masters. The week was very colorful and rich, in the end, I received many children’s masterpieces. Their creative thinking is different from the thinking of our children. I can say that; their imagination is richer and their desire to study is stronger. After all, they are devoid of any civilization, they do not have the Internet and various gadgets, and things of great importance in our civilized world. Children who are equipped with all these are too lazy for creative thinking.
I plan to continue go back and teach African children, as well as to train adults so that they can work with children independently. We also plan to hold an exhibition of children’s works. I appeal to all those involved in the education projects of the African nation. I want to inspire and encourage you, because the money invested in education will bring huge changes in Africa. Today, people of this continent need books and schools much more than humanitarian aid. If you give them an education now, they can help themselves in the future. Educated people will be able to change their lives and the lives of their children, which means they will be able to change the future of their country.
The problem with medicine on Elgon is that it’s non existent. There are practically no hospitals or medical clinics in the vast territory, which is 150 km long and about 50 km deep. The lack of medication is Prevalent in this area. People die from diseases that modern medicine easily resolves with vaccines or simple medication. The malaria occurs with severe complications and deaths. Dementia, loss of vision, and death would not occur if you give people the medicine for only $5.
Another huge problem is sand fleas. They lay its eggs under the skin of a human and grow into a big worm there. People do not have basic soap, water and shoes to protect themselves. Infected person simply have no knowledge of how to protect themselves and fight insects. Infection with sand fleas lead to loss of fingers and toes, severe fungal disease development, people lose the ability to walk and work, and they become disabled. This is a terrible sight. Children and adults suffer.
This year, we have been able to aid more than 2,000 people with on-site clinics. Most of them are children and elderly people. Together with medical care, we distributed over 2000 pairs of shoe, had visited 6 villages of Mount Elgon and provided medical assistance to everyone who came to recover from the sand flea. We also taught local church volunteers how to fight the insect and provided them with necessary materials and medicine.
Together with the pediatrician from Ukraine, Olga Gritsik, field clinics were organized. Olga was with us on Elgon for 20 days. During this time, we conducted 16 outpatient clinics in 6 villages. We provided medical assistance to more than 1,500 people. People received medical exam, medications, vitamins, and wound dressings. According to local pastors and elders, there has never been such a large scale of progress in their location. Good reports didn’t take long to come in. News of recovery from previously visited places began to reach us. People thanked God and us for returning them back to health or easing their sickness.
Next year we plan to expand this area, and create a platform for greater influence on the lives of people through medicine. After all, Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew 25: 31-46 teaches us that we shouldn’t be selfish but notice the pain of others. God takes care of those who are sick, and tells us to take care of them. If it matters to Him, it should be important to us. And this is another way to show God’s love for people.
Of course, the list of necessary for such projects is not small. We need medications, good doctors, translators, volunteers, an army tent for protection of doctors from the wind, scorching sun and sand. To reach distant points of Elgon, where there are practically no roads, we need a strong 4×4 car. So far, with the vehicle that we have, we can safely advance on Elgon only a maximum of 10 km, when the depth of the mountain range is 50 km. A good car is more than half the success of such medical trips.