There is perhaps nothing more frustrating than being portrayed as you are not. Tenwek (We Treat, Jesus Heals) and Kijabe (Health Care for God's Glory) are forthcoming in their Christian underpinnings. But I was shocked, angry, and saddened to find out what others assumed about how a Christian Mission hospital actually functions.
Let me share with you an excerpt from a book written by a volunteer NGO physician in Africa...
"When the work was done, many of them would smile, grab my arm, and say, "God bless you." People often asked if we are affiliated with any denomination. Our answer is, "No, we will work on you for free even in if you don't believe in Jesus." ....Our work does not trade (healthcare) for a commitment to attend revival indoctrination services. It is not necessarily to manipulate or reflect a dogma, but rather we demonstrate our love for human beings, by helping when needed. We do not pretend our culture is superior."
Please let me correct these misconceptions. And if you still have doubts you are welcome to visit.
1) We treat all patient regardless of race, religion, culture, citizenship, or ability to pay. We do not require a patient to have Christian name, carry a Bible, or claim membership to a Christian Church. In fact many of our patients do not believe in or have never heard of Jesus.
2) Our surgeries, medicine, and care comes with no strings attached. "Revival Indoctrination services" are not required. In fact I don't think I've ever seen a Tent Indoctrination service. We have a chaplaincy service that is available, not mandatory for any patient in need of prayer or counseling.
3) We do not manipulate or coerce our patients into death-bed confession. We do not withhold care or medicine until a decision or conversion occurs. On the contrary we seek to give them a high standard of compassionate healthcare such that patients get better.
4) We as a Christian Mission Hospital have set of beliefs that is anything but dogmatic. We have a sympathetic and humble attitude that you come broken, sick, hurting and in need of compassion, love, and healing.
5) We do not demand that our culture is superior. We respect our Maasai, Kikuyu, Kaligen, Kamba, Somali, Sudanese, Luo, Luya, Wahindi and all other other tribes and nations of patients. We do not try to make you into middle class Americans.
I hope these misconceptions about Christian Mission Hospitals are rare and quickly disappearing. And above all I pray these misconceptions are never true. Instead lets us be known as Christ has commanded us.
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me. (Matthew 25:34-40)