My name is Nancy Kilpatrick, and I am presently serving in a part-time capacity with First Love, and praying for God's provision and guidance to serve as a full-time missionary next year. I am a nurse, and the ministry to which God has called me with First Love combines medical outreach with evangelistic ministry. I have a special interest in working with mothers and babies, and hope to combine health education with women's ministry, as well as bring medical, surgical, and emotional trauma short-term ministry teams to share the true healing and hope found in Jesus Christ with women and children in physical, emotional, and spiritual need.
Besides serving in First Loves' ministry in Kenya, I hope to expand First Love's medical ministry to Malawi and northern Uganda, partnering with two hospitals in those countries in medical, surgical, and emotional trauma ministry, and combining medical outreach with evangelistic outreach in the surrounding communities and villages. While medical ministry serves an important need, my main focus is to use medical ministry as a means to share the love and good news of new life found in Jesus Christ. I am so thankful for the privilege to be part of the First Love family, and for all God has done, is doing, an has yet to do through us as we serve Him in Africa.
May 2014 Newsletter
Dear Friends and Family:
It kind of feels like the "dog days of summer" for me in my time here in Kenya. I have been here for four months, with two months left to go. While I enjoy the work and the people here very much, I am missing my family and friends, and all that is familiar to me. April, May, and June have many days that are special to me - children's and grandchildrens' birthdays, a wedding anniversary, my Mom's birthday, and the upcoming birth of my fourth grandson (yup, all we do in the Kilpatrick family is boys!) on May 30th. I think all these family celebrations serve to turn my heart towards home a bit more than usual, and a bit of homesickness has settled in.
Additionally, as many of you know, I was notified by the nursing staff in my Mom's nursing home two weekends ago that they were concerned about her - enough so that they ordered a hospice evaluation for her. She had been refusing to eat, vomiting occasionally for the last few weeks, and becoming more "detached", and "declining", as they worded it. It took four or five days to get the hospice evaluation done, and to receive the report from my family at home, and during that time, I did not know whether I needed to make plans for an emergency trip home to say goodbye to my Mom, or not - I just did not have enough information on what her actual condition was to make a clear-cut decision. Plus, I was torn about whether to spend the money for the trip, as well as leave the work here, even if for a week or two. It was a difficult time of not knowing what exactly to do - many advised me to go home, so that I could say goodbye to my Mom while there was still time, and I was praying that if God wanted me to do that, He would make the way possible for me to go. In fact, a dear friend in MI offered to pay for my plane ticket home - a gesture of incredible generosity and kindness that I will never forget. It seemed that God was making the way clear for me to go home - all I needed was the hospice evaluation stating that she was indeed dying, and I was ready to come home.
But, it's a funny thing how God works! The hospice team found that my Mom, to all of our amazement, was not as ill as they had feared, and, in fact, was quite the opposite! The team felt that Mom's refusal to eat had more of an emotional and/or cognitive cause, and that she was not a candidate for hospice care at this time. She did have what the nursing home staff called a "mini stroke" episode a few days after that, but she has seemed to weather that with no iff effects. This time has forced my family to make some decisions about my Mom's care, however, and the decision was made to move her from the nursing home she has felt comfortable in, which is too far away from any of our family to visit her very often, to a nursing home near my youngest brother and his family. The move was made very easily and quickly, and has enabled my brother to visit her several times a week, which will hopefully improve her mental and emotional well-being. In fact, the first night in the new nursing home, my brother and sister-in-law shared a pizza and birthday cake with her for his birthday, and she ate 3 pieces of pizza, plus cake and ice cream! Unbelievable!
A recent devotional by Oswald Chambers held special meaning for me as I dealt with the situation with my Mom. In it, Chambers discusses the passage in Luke 14:28, about counting the cost of being His disciple. I have said, in my objective mind, that I have been willing to sacrifice all that is dear to me to serve Him in Africa - but, in the reality of only these few months away, I have realized that the separation from those I love is proving more difficult than I expected. Chambers says:
"Our Lord implies that the only men and women He will use in His building enterprises are those who love Him personally, passionately, and devotedly beyond any of the closest ties on earth. The conditions are stern, but they are glorious. ... These are days of tremendous enterprises, days when we are trying to work for God, and therein is the snare. Profoundly speaking, we can never work for God. Jesus takes us over for His enterprises, His building schemes entirely, and no soul has any right to claim where he shall be put."
Yeah, so, boy, do I have a lot to learn regarding the cost of discipleship - of being completely and unreservedly taken over for His work and His interests, no matter what it may cost me. I praise Him for His incredible mercy and patience with me! And, as always, I thank you for your prayers for me, and for your generosity. I am humbled and blessed beyond what I can adequately express in words.
Here are my praises and prayer requests for this month:
1. For the truly amazing turn-around in my Mom's condition, and the love of many of you who wrote me words of encouragement during that time. I know that your prayers made the difference in this situation.
2. For continued blessing on my ministry here. I have started a Bible study with boys 11-16 years old, and it has proved to be a delightful surprise! There are some real "thinkers" in this group, and we have had some great discussions on some pretty deep topics. It has been a great blessing and privilege for me to be involved in the lives of these boys, some of whom have come from very tragic and difficult backgrounds.
3. For two leads for a place to live when I return in July - still waiting for definite direction, but they look promising.
4. For an invitation from a dear friend and her husband who is a pastor to speak in their church in the fall and possible consideration to be supported as one of their church's missionaries. They have also offered to speak to other pastors in their area to see if I may do presentations in their churches as well. This invitation came at a time when I was tempted to despair that I have run out of options for more financial support, but God used this invitation that seemed to come "out of the blue" to show me that He is in control, and is faithful - even when I am not.
5. For the provision of a Christian brother in Lira, Uganda, who has his own film production company, and has consented to help with a video I would like to make to introduce the ministry I hope to establish there in the coming months. Who knew that there was a man, right in Lira, who is talented and experienced enough to do this for us? Yes, my Jehovah Jireh knew!
1. For my daughter-in-law Stacey, and son Joel, as they prepare for the birth of their third son (scheduled Cesarean birth) on May 30th - that all will go well, the baby will be healthy, and that Stacey's recovery will be as easy as possible.
2. For wisdom beyond my own as I minister here, and prepare for the ministry in Lira.
3. For wisdom in choosing the right house to rent, housekeeper and security guard to employ, and all the other details of establishing my life in Lira soon. I will go to Lira for a week after I leave Kenya to look for a house, etc.
4. For continued blessing for the Baraka woman who is being treated for infertility. We are praying that she will be pregnant by the time I leave in July!
5. For peace in Kenya, and an end to the violence that plagues Nairobi, and many other cities in Kenya - as well as many other African countries.
With my love and deepest gratitude always -