Blog Archives: June 2014

Just One Touch

June 30, 2014
Bryan Smith
This blog post was written by Lisa DeGroot, one of the team members on Kenyan soil today with Rev. Bryan Smith of Geneva Presbyterian Church in Canton, MI. As we walked to the Allamano school today, we had an addition to our team.  His name is Jim and he’s 4 years old. We met Jim a few nights ago when he came to our porch.  If there are people at the guesthouse, the children who live in the Nazareth compound come to the porch of the guesthouse to color, do puzzles, and play games. Jim comes as soon as he’s able and stays until it’s almost ...

Hands and Feet

June 29, 2014
Bryan Smith
This blog post was written by Lisa DeGroot, one of the team members on Kenyan soil today with Rev. Bryan Smith of Geneva Presbyterian Church in Canton, MI. In my few days here in Kenya, as I’ve been walking alongside the Tree of Lives staff,  I’ve  witnessed the “hands and feet” of Christ in action.  From our group conversation with Michael, Director of Holy Family Clinic, I saw his pride and joy of sharing that a large percentage of HIV+ mothers delivered HIV- babies.  This pride and passion continues with Mary and Eric, Social Workers, ...

Born (HIV) Free

June 29, 2014
Bryan Smith
This blog post was written by Beth McCain, one of the team members on Kenyan soil today with Rev. Bryan Smith of Geneva Presbyterian Church in Canton, MI. Briskly driving through rolling hills, on county roads that find themselves reduced to two tracks, we spotted the client’s homestead with no road to enter. Our community health worker, Winnie, and the social worker, Maureen, hopped out of the car and started walking across the rolling hills. We quickly followed. A woman came out to proudly greet us and welcomed us in to the large area ...

Masai Community Road Trip

June 27, 2014
Bryan Smith
I had the amazing privilege to visit the Masai community with social workers from the Holy Family Center.  The social workers go out into the towns and villages to visit clients in their homes.  The clients who receive these home visits have shown some difficulty in complying with the treatment regimen given to those with HIV. Getting to the Masai community was quite a hike, taking two hours in a Toyota Land Cruiser.  Eric, the social worker from Holy Family, had been making visits to this community for about eight months.  He explained ...

July 2014 Tree of Lives Newsletter

June 27, 2014
Becky Lyle Pinkard
The latest Tree of Lives newsletter is hot off the press. Read about the fall Pilgrimage to Kenya deadlines, the newest member of the Joy Village family - Bernadette (pictured with her new mom Peninah), fundraising ideas and more. Read the July 2014 newletter here. Enjoy!

Joy's Turning Points

June 26, 2014
Nicole Lock
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.” – Philippians 4:4 On Wednesday, our team took a road trip to Kiserian in the beautiful Masai region of Kenya.  After visiting the Nazareth clinic there, we divided into two teams to visit homes in the surrounding area.  Our team’s first stop was the home of a beautiful three-day-old baby girl, along with her mother and grandmother – the mother’s mother-in-law – and other extended family. The new grandmother was so proud of her new granddaughter – and rightly so.  Her joy was ...

Beads and Friendship

June 25, 2014
Bryan Smith
This blog post was written by one of the team members on Kenyan soil today with Rev. Bryan Smith of Geneva Presbyterian Church in Canton, MI. Today we ventured into Masai land to do home visits with HIV patients.  Health workers funded by Tree of Lives go to the homes of patients to ensure that they are taking their medications properly. HIV medications need to be taken on a very strict schedule which may be a difficult task for someone not used to thinking about the time of day on a regular basis. Since anti-retroviral drugs need to be ...

There Is No Place Like Home

June 24, 2014
Bryan Smith
This blog was written by one of the members of Rev. Bryan Smith's team on Kenyan soil now. We had an opportunity to accompany Mary on four Holy Family Clinic patients' home visits today.   To say it was overwhelming is an understatement.  The living conditions were very different than that with which we are accustom.  However, our purpose wasn't to note the conditions.  We were there to ensure the patients were well and they were keeping up with their medications. Each person we visited welcomed us into their home to talk about their ...

Carried by the Grand Mercy, Grace, and Love of God

June 23, 2014
Bryan Smith
Saints, We've arrived safely in Kenya. Our flight was a couple hours late leaving Detroit, but fortunately we had a three hour layover in Amsterdam so we were able to make our flight to Nairobi. When we arrived, we had a welcome team who had arrived at 7:30 pm to pick us up.  While our plane landed on time at 8 pm, it took about 2 1/2 hours for us to acquire a visa and get our luggage, so those poor folks waited patiently for 3 hours for us to emerge from the terminal. After getting to our rooms a little after 11 pm, we had a good ...

Tree of Lives Salon and Barber Opens in Nairobi

June 22, 2014
Becky Lyle Pinkard
Perhaps you read about the Korogocho Cosmetology School project. This is an initiative of Tree of Lives to bring young men and women out of the slums of Korogocho, on the outskirts of Nairobi, by teaching them a trade. To date, six women and two men have completed the 9-month training and gone on to successfully find jobs in high-end salons in Nairobi. As miraculous is the fact that these young people now hold decent, legitimate jobs, even more so is the fact that they are no longer among the 200,000 people who call that one-square-mile ...

Let's Be a Role Model to the World

June 10, 2014
Becky Lyle Pinkard
We want to introduce you to George Odalo. George is such an awesome guy that we want to share with our Tree of Lives friends a little of George’s story. George was raised in the slums of Nairobi. Dirt poor. Little hope for any life other than poverty. Through education, determination and the grace of God, George has overcome his past. He continues to further his education and he is married with a beautiful daughter. Life is good. George is thankful for the ways God has worked in his life and he wants to pay it forward. For the past two ...

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