Ashley and Mike McCurry's Kenya Medical Mission
Editor’s note: Ashley and Mike McCurry are 2002graduates of Clarion-Goldfield High School. They and their three children are currently spending 2014 and 2015 on a medical mission in Kapsowar, Kenya. Ashley maintains a blog about the family’s experiences, especially the minutia of hospital life, and generously accepted the Monitor’s offer to introduce their project to their hometown audience. Below is a piece they wrote for the paper and excerpts from their blog, available in its entirety online at McCurrysInMissions.wordpress.com.
A Message from Ashley:
Where you were raised shapes who you are. Mike and I spent our adolescent years in Iowa, and our current address in Kapsowar Kenya could not be further from home.
Mike and I are serving with Samaritan’s Purse World Medical Mission Post Residency Program; the goal of this program is to send young physicians to mission hospitals to meet both the physical and spiritual needs of people who would otherwise be without care. (...he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and heal the sick. Luke 9:2). I completed my family medicine residency training in June 2013 and Mike and I, along with our three children, landed in Kenya in January 2014.
Being raised and trained in rural Iowa has prepared us in many ways for what we are doing today. There are even many similarities between rural Iowa and rural Kenya.
I trained in Iowa at a county hospital that stereotypically cares for an underserved population; the people most needing quality medical care. The same is true in rural Kenya, Kapsowar hospital cares for people who otherwise would have no accessible health care. In many ways, training in a hospital without multiple specialty teams readily available prepared me for working in rural Africa. Much like in rural Iowa, here being a family doctor means caring for all ages from the premature babies to the elderly.
While attending high school in Clarion, Mike enjoyed working on the farm, doing construction projects, and riding four-wheelers. Life in Kenya requires a strong work ethic as does working on a farm. The skills Mike learned while working construction are invaluable here, and driving the roads in Kenya is much like a motocross race in terms of terrain and aggressive drivers around you!
The sense of community here in Kenya strongly resembles the community in Iowa. The difference is that Kenyans call communities tribes and the mayors are called chiefs. Even so, the community members are loyal to each other, everybody knows everybody, and when one community member is needing help, they all step up to assist.
Much like Clarion, Kapsowar is a farming community. Just like back home, this is planting season and corn is a staple crop. The farmers have just planted their crops, by hand, and will now wait to see what the weather brings. Just like the farmers in Iowa they will hope for the right amount of rain and shine to bring a bountiful harvest.
As teenagers in rural Iowa, Mike and I would never have guessed that we would be where we are today. Even so, we are very thankful for our roots in Iowa that have given us the ability to serve half way around the world.
If you want to know more details about our ministry check out our blog: McCurrysInMissions.wordpress.com.
Ashley McCurry, D.O.
Read more from the McCurry’s on their blog and in the May 1 issue of the Wright County Monitor!