In the Face of the Storm


written by Lauren and Derek Webber, serving in Chogoria, Kenya (shared from their blog, Webbers in Africa)



MedSend grant recipient Derek Webber is a Physician Assistant serving in Chogoria, Kenya. He and his wife, Lauren have served in Kenya since 2016. In his role at PCEA Chogoria Hospital, Derek (back row, far left) serves alongside several other MedSend grant recipients, including Dr. Eli Horn (back row, center), and Dr. Haley Combs (back row, second from right). 


Do you see these people right here? They are my heroes, along with the throngs of workers who stand behind them at the PCEA Chogoria Mission Hospital. In the wake of the tsunami whose full weight will smash upon our shores over the next few months, they stand ready. In the face of immense challenges– corruption, limited resources, anxiety amongst staff, fear in the community, they stand at the gates prepared.

Preparedness. An ideal that we like to hold tightly to when crisis approaches. What does that mean, anyway? Having enough physical resources? Having enough human resources? Doing enough training? Here in rural Kenya (which is far better than some other places), we live every day with the reality of limited resources. We grapple all the time with the ethical dilemma of who gets life-saving treatment and who doesn’t.  Each day we face immense financial challenges that threaten the livelihood of many in our community and the realization that today’s troubles far exceed our physical capacity to carry. And yet, these people press on. Why? Because they are courageous and prepared in their heart. In the face of a global pandemic, they stand firm in their resolve to care for the vulnerable, whatever the cost.

So, do we negate preparedness altogether, knowing that the resources we have will never be enough? Of course not. These people have been tirelessly leading education efforts across the hospital for weeks now. They have been courageously meeting with county officers who publicly announce an abundance of supplies and then give nothing to our institution, their frontline soldiers. They have been fighting for justice and for the protection of their workers. They have begun manufacturing their own PPE, equipping their own isolation ward, and still managing to see patients that walk through the doors of the hospital. They are pushing back fear and refusing to relinquish faith. Like David walking to the stream, they are picking five smooth stones and heading out to fight Goliath. Their hearts are prepared because they know that the battle is not their own. They see Pharaoh’s chariots approaching from the rear, the Red Sea in front of them, and they are courageously heading toward the water, knowing that God will show up. He always has, He always will. Therefore, they press on with the assurance that He is a strong anchor in the midst of the storm. With the psalmist they say…

“God is our refuge and strength, 
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, 
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns. 
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Come, behold the works of the Lord,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
‘Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted month the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!’
The Lord of hosts is with us; 
the God of Jacob is our fortress.”
Psalm 46


Will you please pray for the faces that you see here, 
and for the many more they represent? 
Will you pray that their hearts would be encouraged?
Will you pray that they would be agents of light pushing back the crippling grip of fear?
Will you pray for justice to reign and promised resources to be supplied?
Will you pray for wisdom in navigating complex scenarios?
Will you pray that when hard-pressed, these souls would shine with grace?
Will you pray that this storm would strengthen our resolve to care for the vulnerable?
Will you pray that in the eye of the storm, we would find the calm, steady voice of our Savior? Indeed, no amount of preparedness is enough. But, He is enough to sustain us.
Indeed, He is enough
to sustain us.
This is Life.
{in the face of the storm}

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