Not Easily Discouraged

Posted by  
May 30, 2012

When I first met Jane Mwihaki, she was applying for a place at Rafiki Girls’ Center. I asked her to tell me something special about herself that would help me remember her. Few of the girls could answer that question.

Jane’s immediate response: “I am not easily discouraged.”

Jane has faced family tragedies and overwhelming disappointments in her life, and yet her sweet smile and confident testimony bear witness to the trust that defines her life, that God will enable her to overcome, no matter what comes.

Jane is now a student at A.I.C. Kijabe School of Nursing. She is one of several Faith House girls who discovered nursing as a true caring profession while working with American Christian nurses during community clinics at Rafiki Village in Kenya between 2002 and 2008.

Observing visiting nurses like Mary Reeve and Susan Hegel and Lizzy Hill (among many others) our girls saw patients treated with kindness and respect and encouragement. They watched nursing practiced as a ministry to seriously ill patients who desperately needed compassionate care, and they discovered nursing as God’s calling, not just as a career.

Jane is one of the girls who saw the opportunity to serve God by serving as a nurse. Through high school, she concentrated on her studies, giving up some leadership opportunities to focus on the sciences required for admission into a Kenyan nursing program. Her efforts were rewarded with a high place in her graduating class and admission to nursing school.

Kijabe Nursing School is a Christian school associated with the renowned Kijabe Mission Hospital. Located on a ledge overlooking the beautiful Rift Valley in central Kenya, it is a truly breathtaking location for a school.

The 3 1/2 year program produces nurses, well-trained in a variety of clinical skills and able to work in hospitals, or even to manage clinics in remote areas of the country.

Spending an afternoon with Jane was one of the special treats we received on our recent visit to Kenya. She gave us the grand tour of her school, the adjoining hospital, and even her 4-person dorm room. Graciously, she put on her uniform for my pictorial record of the visit.

She and Dan talked medicine, and, because she is currently on a pediatric rotation, Dan was able to share with her his love for pediatrics. I watched and listened and marveled at the way that God has privileged Faith House to offer opportunities to such precious young women.

Ending our afternoon with snacks and quiet conversation in the dining hall, I asked about her family, particularly her mother, and marveled that her mother must be so very proud of her. She answered that her mother did not really want her to study nursing. Why? Their family had been in hospitals and had many whom they love in hospitals and had seen the way nurses in Kenya treat their patients–not always with kindness and compassion, often very harshly. “But,” said Jane, “I told her–someone has to change things!”

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