Posts filed under Going

What Our Nurses Have To Say About Grace Clinic, Malawi and Our Kids!

Last May, 4 nurses received scholarships from One Nurse at a Time for their trips to Malawi. Thank you so much, ONAAT! We are so thankful for your help and encouragement for our nurses and our children.

Hannah Yoder, Liesel Ratliff and Lindsey Draper work together in the clinic to care for a child.

Hannah Yoder, Liesel Ratliff and Lindsey Draper work together in the clinic to care for a child.

Karly Glibert, Liesel Ratliff, Linsey Draper and Sylvana Paternite, all RNs, traveled to Malawi in May 2018 to do well-check ups on the children. They each experienced Malawi and Grace Clinic in different ways. They’ve shared their stories through the blog of One Nurse at a Time, an organization that helps send nurses around the world to serve. I wanted you to hear their stories!

First, hear from our Board Member, Karly Glibert. Karly has dedicated her time and energy to get the clinic up and running. She was in Malawi in May, September, and she’s going again in January to get everything set up for the Malawi Medical Council Inspection. We could never have moved forward so quickly without her dedication and love for our Malawian children, and the country of Malawi.

From a medical perspective, we saw approximately 675 people.  We most commonly saw malaria, asthma, pneumonia, otitis media, dermatologic conditions, tinea capitis, and wounds.  For the first time, we had an optometrist and a dentist travel with us. We were pleasantly surprised to find that many of the children did not need glasses or dental extractions. While our men would have loved to be constantly busy with work, we are thankful for the population that these services that are very rare and expensive in rural Malawi are not as desperately needed as we had assumed.  One man commented that even though many did not need these “luxurious services,” we provided the community with dignity just by providing the opportunity to be assessed.  This stuck out to me as one of the many intangibles that we as healthcare workers can provide through our care—dignity.  And everyone deserves that. READ MORE…

Click on the link or picture to read Karly’s story on the One Nurse at a Time blog.

Click on the link or picture to read Karly’s story on the One Nurse at a Time blog.

Next hear from Liesel Ratliff. This was Liesel’s first trip to Malawi.

I was a little unsure of how helpful I would be as I tried to provide medical care in a completely different context than the state-of-the-art pediatric hospital I work at here in Chicago. But, my 6 years of experience as a nurse definitely prepared me well for what we saw in the 675 children we treated. Doing a head to toe assessment on an American child and a Malawian child are vastly similar. The young children are skeptical of a stethoscope and penlight. So, I would have them play with the equipment before I used it on them. READ MORE…

Lindsey Draper has sponsored children through Circle of Hope for several years, May 2018 was her first time to go to Malawi.

On May 12, I began my travels to Malawi – after a couple long plane and bus rides, we arrived at our final destination on May 13. Despite my preparations for this trip, we encountered things we never imagined. READ MORE…

Finally, hear from Sylvana Paternite, this was Sylvana’s 5th trip to Malawi. She has given countless days and weeks to the people of Malawi because of her great love for Jesus and for Malawians!

Something else that was really encouraging to us, was that we felt that the overall health of all the kids was significantly better than last year! This means our kids are taking our education to heart, and we are seeing the benefits of that! We also have been encouraged that the Medical Malawian team we have there, have been teaching in the villages! The goal is to always equip the people to care for their own people! READ MORE…

Even grown ups need a doctor or a nurse! Sylvana gives Pastor Lungah a check-up!

Even grown ups need a doctor or a nurse! Sylvana gives Pastor Lungah a check-up!

We are counting down the days, the supplies, the buildings, the renovations, the staff…everything needed to register Grace Clinic! There is a still a LONG way to go, but if you haven’t checked out the registry or the thermometer, today might be a good time to take a look at how things are going and what we still need to open the clinic!

Click on this link for the Clinic Registry:

Click on this link to check out the Thermometer and make a donation! Make your gift COUNT today!

Posted on November 20, 2018 and filed under Going, Sponsor.

Dear My Sponsor...I love you, too!

Sponsor Letter CHALLENGE! Take a picture of your letter when it arrives in the mail. Post it to your favorite social media using #cohcommunity!

Sponsor Letter CHALLENGE! Take a picture of your letter when it arrives in the mail. Post it to your favorite social media using #cohcommunity!

One of the most exciting parts of sponsoring is getting a letter from your child. At first the letters are scribbles, but each year as they grow older, the letters become more complex and fun. Then the day arrives when you receive a letter with legible writing! 

Have you ever wondered how we gather all that information on your sponsor child? Here's a little picture tour of how the process goes.

First, we interview your child!

  • What do you like to play?
  • What do you like to study in school?
  • What do you want to be when you grow up?

Then we take a picture for you! SMILE!

While the children wait to see the doctor, they write their letters to you.

Our doctors and nurses check every child over carefully. Check-ups sometimes bring tears, but we want our kids to be healthy!

After all the info is gathered, the check-ups are done, and the letters are written, we bring all the cards and letters back here to our US office. We enter the info in the database, translate the letters and send them to you!

When your letter arrives in the mail, don't forget to post a selfie with it to your favorite social media using #cohcommunity! 

You haven't started sponsoring yet? Now is the perfect time to begin! Here are a bunch of children who still need sponsors:


Patricia's Home Girls Say YES to Jesus!

Written by: Kayla Stine 

Sydney with girls from Patricia's Home

Sydney with girls from Patricia's Home

Prior to going to Malawi, myself and two other team members had prepared to lead a Bible study with the girls at Patricia’s Home.  We had prayed about this and were excited for the opportunity to share our faith with these girls we love so dearly.  Once we got to Malawi it felt like obstacle after obstacle was preventing us from getting started.  Whether it was other projects getting in the way, not having a translator, and so on, it just kept getting pushed back.  

But one beautiful Thursday afternoon, we were finally able to start our Bible study.  

The Bible study began with the 13 Patricia’s Home girls, 4 of us American girls, and Clara, our Malawian translator sitting in a circle on the floor in one of the preschool classrooms.  It was quite hot in the room with very little breeze, and there was a lot of noise from the Grace Center flooding the room. Some of the younger ones were trying to come in, laughing hysterically knowing they were interrupting.  I moved so I could sit in front of the door to help keep some of the distractions out, but inside I was becoming worried that this wasn’t going to go as planned. 

Kayla with Gladys from Patricia's Home

Kayla with Gladys from Patricia's Home

The girls began by singing Malawian praise and worship songs.  It was so beautiful; I didn’t want it to end.  When they were finished singing, we opened up our time together by asking if any of the girls had a favorite Bible story or verse they wanted to share with us.  Right off the bat one of the girls, Gladys, told us one of her favorite verses.  She then asked us to explain another verse to her, a verse that led us right into the gospel message.  We taught the girls about the good news of the gospel and of Jesus’ love for them.  We taught them that Jesus died on the cross to pay the price for their sins. And we taught them that if they confess with their mouth and believe in their heart that God raised Him from the dead, they will be saved. 

These girls live in a Christian orphanage.  They have heard the gospel message before and I assumed many of them already had a personal relationship with Christ.  So at the end of our first Bible study I asked if anyone who had not yet accepted Christ into her life wanted to receive him today. I did not expect every single girl to raise her hand.  We even had Clara ask a second time to make sure it was translated right.  Every single girl made the decision to accept Christ.  And there was no hesitation.  They raised their hands in unison, there was no looking around to see who else was raising their hand, each girl made that decision on her own. 

We were blown away.

We then prayed with the girls and they all together accepted Christ into their lives.  There were tears, hugs, laughter, and celebration.  Trying to put it into words will never do it justice, but knowing 13 girls get to have a personal relationship with Jesus AND get to spend eternity with Him is such a miracle.  

Mickenzie with some of the girls from Patricia's Home

Mickenzie with some of the girls from Patricia's Home

While praying with each of the girls the presence of the Holy Spirit was so evident in the room. I could personally see the genuine desire and hunger on each of the girls’ faces. They wanted to know Christ personally.
— Mickenzie Brownlow

In the days following their decision, we noticed a change in the girls.  They were seeking Him, they were asking questions, they were reading their Bibles… they showed a true desire to know Him more.  Their attitudes and the way they treated one another was different. One of the girls, Karolini, confessed the next day that she had stolen a pencil at school the day before. After giving her heart to Jesus, she was convicted of her sin and returned the pencil to her classmate.

Other team members continued the Bible studies with the girls after I left and I am so thankful there were team members willing to pour into these girl’s lives like that.  I am so excited to see how God is going to use these girls to bring Him glory.  Having the opportunity to pray with 13 girls whom I love deeply as they made the decision to accept Christ was hands down the best part of my summer. 

As we followed up with them the next day they were already sharing of testimonies and breakthroughs that they had experienced within the last 24 hours. They wanted to change and become all that God has created them to be, and it all happened with 13 hungry hearts and souls, seeking love that can only be fulfilled through Christ.
— Mickenzie Brownlow

Home is Where Your Heart is

Mickenzie's Call into Missions 

Mickenzie, summer of 2014 with Boniface outside of Patricia's Home. You would never guess by that smile that he once was a child in the background with little to no emotion. 

Mickenzie, summer of 2014 with Boniface outside of Patricia's Home. You would never guess by that smile that he once was a child in the background with little to no emotion. 

In the summer of 2013 I was richly blessed with the opportunity to go on my first trip to Malawi, Africa.The moment my feet touched Malawian soil I thought, "I'm home." I was captured by the love and servanthood that was so rampant and evident. I fell in love with a culture that is so hungry by worldly measures but abundantly satisfied by spiritual means. 

I returned the following summer for three weeks and couldn't get enough of the children at the Grace Center. I worked specifically with the kids in Timothy's home and Patricia's home, playing, holding, praying, and conducting Bible lesson skits. I was able to connect with each child and understand their story, as well as encourage them with God's purpose for their lives.

On my first trip a specific boy stood out to me. Boniface. He is a boy who tended to hide in the background, never showing any emotion. One of my main goals when I returned for my second summer was to bring a smile to his face. I spent every moment possible with him until I finally received the most beautiful smile imaginable.

My piece of the puzzle is to GO and engage with the children. To love on, pray for, and be loved on by them. As I return each year I am able to see lives transformed, grow in my relationships with them, and love on every child that crosses my path. When I first arrived I had no idea that the people of Malawi would grab my heart in such a way that "returning home" no longer felt like home.

What Piece of the Puzzle is in your Hands? 

 

Are you feeling the urge to travel to Malawi? Have you been dreaming of visiting the child you sponsor? If you have gone before, have you ever closed your eyes and began to hear the voices of kids singing in Chichewa? Maybe it is time for you to GO!!!

Come join MicKenzie in Malawi, it is not too late to travel with us next summer! The first step in your journey to Malawi is filling out the online team member application form. Or, if you have more questions about travelling to Malawi, email info@cohcommunity.org or call our office 859-858-4535 


Posted on December 8, 2014 and filed under Going.

"I didn't realize I would spend my days in America longing to be back in Malawi"

Karly Glibert's Story 

I first stepped onto the Grace Center June of 2012, and I had no idea what I was in for.  I did not know that a place and a group of people could capture my heart in the way that they did, and I had no idea that I would be returning again the following year. More importantly, I didn't realize I would spend my days in America longing to be back in Malawi.  When I look back, I see that my perspective my first summer was that I was “brave” to go. Yet, my second summer, I was desperate to get back!

Karly working in the clinic at our Chipoka Project. 

Karly working in the clinic at our Chipoka Project. 

Teaching in the clinic at the Grace Center. 

Teaching in the clinic at the Grace Center. 

During both summers I served as a Student Nurse Intern. I spent my time in Malawi teaching lessons to the Community Health Evangelism team (CHE), helping with wellness check-ups, bandaging wounds, and teaching health lessons to people in nearby villages. My first day of lessons with the CHE were in a preschool classroom... by the end of my first summer we were able to work out of the clinic building! The clinic progressed dramatically in the two summers I was in Malawi, and this past summer as the Grace Center staff were first aid certified!  I am looking forward to the future as God continues to grow healthcare at the Grace Center through the Clinic and Maternal Care Center. 

Although I love nursing and being apart of the clinic at the Grace Center, it is not what has captured my heart. Seeing the people and relationships that have developed through working together toward a common mission... Malawian or American, Chichewa or English, we all learn from each other.  We are seeking to restore, transform, and empower as we share the love of Jesus Christ.  For this reason, my piece of the puzzle is going.  I am now a registered nurse and am eager to return!  I have loved being a part of the puzzle God is piecing together in Malawi, and watching the beautiful picture unfold!

What piece of the puzzle is in your hands? 


Posted on October 24, 2014 and filed under Going.

"I Cannot Wait Until the Day I Return" Kayla Stine's Story

Kayla Stine 1.JPG

Just a little over 3 years ago I stepped onto Malawi soil for the very first time and I instantly fell in love.  I fell in love with the culture, the scenery, the colors, the smiles, and oddly enough, even the smell.  But most of all, I fell in love with the people.  The people of Malawi captured my heart from day one.  In a short amount of time, complete strangers half way around the world became like family to me.  

Kayla with the women who worked at the Hands of Grace Textile Center. 

Kayla with the women who worked at the Hands of Grace Textile Center. 

My piece of the puzzle has been serving in Malawi for the summers of 2011 and 2012.  On my first trip to Malawi I spent my days putting on Backyard Bible Schools with my team in nearby villages.  I also got to spend time with the kids in Timothy’s Home and with various members of the Grace Center staff, hearing their stories and getting to know them.  I think I knew before I even left Malawi that summer that I’d be back.  The following summer I returned as an intern.  That summer I worked with four women in the textile center and twenty-five kiddos in Timothy’s Home, teaching them English with the help of my translator Charles.   I got the opportunity to share the gospel, visit people in their villages, and lead Sunday school at church.  And I continued to develop relationships and form friendships with the people of Malawi.

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Going to Malawi changed my life and I will be forever grateful for the opportunities I have had to go and serve.  I absolutely cannot wait until the day I get to return.

My piece to the puzzle... Going. 

 

 

What piece is in your hands? 

 

 


Posted on October 3, 2014 and filed under Going.