Farewell (8/2/17)


Since we started working in Kenya 6 years ago, I’ve learned is that a crucial (and often-overlooked or postponed) part of working through grief and loss is honest processing of difficult situations.  Part of acknowledging the pain of the overwhelming number of sick and dying kids we are seeing during the doctors’ strike is being emotionally honest about the impact.  I find that writing helps me deal with the death and heartache –  the poem below is one of those efforts.


Children we could not save
Your voices sing beyond the grave

Skeletal, weakened heart
Your chances dismal ere the start

An anxious vigil home
A week of fever – far too long

Infected joint and marrow
And though His eye is on the sparrow

A monstrous spreading growth
“First no harm” – the doctors’ oath

Delivered far too soon
You breathed your last next day at noon

Sad staff press on your chest
And then they stop – your time to rest

Children we could not save
Your voices sing beyond the grave



Today is day 66 of the national doctors’ strike.  In January, we had over 20 babies and children die on our peds team – previously we had 2-3 a month.  We will never know how many more have died after we had to (agonisingly) send them away because we had no more beds or nurses.   You can read more about the strike here.

Author: steeres

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  1. I panicked at the title. Maybe you had broken under the sorrow and horror and were giving up, leaving.

    Please, Dear Lord, Give your dear workers YOUR STRENGTH to carry on. Please get through to the government to do what is necessary to end this hideous wrong. Bring miracles of healing and Your Joy into the grieving hearts. Help us to pray fervently so that Your Holy Spirit can bring wonderful, soon answers.

    This is the medical system planned for the new world order. Wake free people up, please, dear Lord.

    Dear Steeres, how much I love you and pray for God’s very best for you. Hold on! Jesus is with you.

    All my heart, Phyllis

  2. Thank you for that, Phyllis

    No, we’ve not given up 🙂 Not even close.

    The nice thing about doing what we do is the realization that we’ve already been called…we don’t ever have to ask that question again 🙂 We know we’re called, and we will keep on serving faithfully as the Lord provides and gives us strength, which he has amply these past six years.

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