Michael under the Mango Tree

Reflections From Under The Mango Tree

Greetings from Kenya!  I’m currently sitting under a mango tree reflecting on my experiences over the last few days.  

Mzungu Michael, under the Mango Tree

The countryside is beautiful with different varieties of palm trees and fields of sugar cane.  The people here are very kind, humble and appreciative of every little thing. There is no sense of danger in this culture except riding on the roads.  There are trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, tuk-tuks (three wheeled motor carts) cows, goats, chickens and pedestrians crowding the roads.  They tend to drive on the left side of the road most the time.  However, avoiding potholes and other traffic they drive wherever there’s space available. There’s this cultural rhythm on the road where nobody gets upset.  They are courteous to each other.  In our country it would be massive road rage.  I call it functional chaos.  I took a piki-piki (motorcycle) to the store today to pick up a fan for our office.  The driver, an African friend and myself all on one piki-piki.  It must’ve been quite a sight to see a Mzungu riding through town holding onto a fan. I can see why Pamela loves this culture.

“Functional Chaos”…driving in Kenya     
Literally anything can be carried on a Piki-Piki! 
 Cows resting on a median island

We visit villages and the slums helping people that have very little to eat, are sick and many times very hopeless.  HIV/AIDS has a devastating affect on these communities.  It is estimated about 80% of the people in the slums are HIV positive.  We provide the ones we can with food, ARV’s(Anti-retro viral medication) and medical treatment as needed.  Some are so sick we put them in the hospital.  There’s a stigma associated with their HIV status and they tend to refuse treatment until they are very sick.  Then opportunistic infections set in and they suffer greatly. 

A patient’s home in a village where we work.
Life in the Slums      
A typical village home
The people in the slums take pride in how they dress.  They wear clothes that have been donated from overseas and continue the routine of life. However, there is terrible poverty here.  The homes consist of rusted corrugated tin and mud walls crowded together in a congested area with young men loitering around with nothing to do because jobs are scarce.  There are little dilapidated shops and vegetable stands lining the road with the basic necessities of life.  There is constantly the smell of smoke in the air.  There is no trash service so they rake up little piles of trash and burn it wherever they can.  It was very overwhelming and sad to see human beings in this suffering condition.  I’ve been struggling with my emotions and trying to get my head around all this.  I was praying about what I had seen and a verse came to mind.  It was John 11:35. “ Jesus wept”.  It’s like the story of the starfish on the beach and throwing one back at a time.  We’re making a difference one soul at a time.
Thank you all for supporting this life-saving ministry.
Michael McClanahan, on behalf of the entire Love Matters Most Team

4 thoughts on “Michael under the Mango Tree”

  1. Oh Michael, what a lovely post. We are holding you all very close in our hearts. Life changing doesn’t explain it very well….
    thank you for sharing your thoughts! Cindy and Tom

    1. Thank you for your reflections Michael and God Bless you and Pamela and the rest of your team and, especially, all whom the Lord crosses your paths with.
      Dick and Ann

  2. I pray for you daily. Keep safe, and keep healthy. God blessings to both of you and your whole staff. Vivienne

    Thank you for your blog Michael. I remember when I was in Kenya on my safari trip the road conditions and the different types of vehicles. It was quite interesting seeing the cows walk along the side of the road and seeing the very very poor huts that you mentioned. Yes, it is very sad, but it seems like the people themselves always have a beautiful smile on their faces. I am so proud and thankful of all the wonderful things that you and Pamela are accomplishing. I pray for you daily. Keep safe, and keep healthy. God’s blessings to both of you and your whole staff. Vivienne

  3. Patrick McClanahan

    Well written experience, Michael. You, Pam and the others with you are a blessing from God for those people.

    Keep up the good work, warm hearts and endless love for those that need help!

    Amen Brother!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *