Posted on May 9, 2016 · Posted in News, Share Your Story, Special Needs Clinic
Hague Family for WebDr. Marvin Hage and his wife Miriam first visited Tenwek Hospital in 1997 – and have returned annually since 2009. A retired Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) specialist, he is passionate about sharing his knowledge and expertise with Tenwek’s Kenyan interns, residents, nurses, and ultrasound technicians.

Each year, Miriam devotes a significant part of her time at Tenwek feeding premature infants in the NICU and bonding with and supporting their mothers, as well as the nursing staff who care for them.  And over the years, all of the Hage’s three children, and two daughters-in-law have served in medical or pastoral roles at Tenwek.

Most recently, son Bill, an orthopedic surgeon and his wife, Penny, an occupational therapist, traveled to Tenwek for the first time, accompanied by their children, Mimi and Preston. Together, they served alongside Marvin and Miriam – an “intergenerational mission that was transformative and can only be characterized as a ‘worthy adventure,’” according to Marvin.

Bill and Penny are confident that God “orchestrated our journey and the work of our hands,” says Penny. Upon arrival their hearts were moved as they began helping in Tenwek’s emerging Special Needs Clinic.

They worked alongside Solomon Rop, a dedicated physical therapist at Tenwek who feels particularly called to minister to underserved children with special needs. Working together with a skilled local carpenter, they created a custom-made chair that enabled a little boy diagnosed with Athetoid Cerebral Palsy to sit independently for the first time in his seven years of life. A whole new world of school, play, and socialization opened for Enoch!

Though the Hages were first-time, short-term missionaries, they quickly found a way to get involved at Tenwek and make a significant impact at the hospital and in the community. They were instrumental in establishing the Faith Fund for Special Needs, which pays for special needs clinic visits, hospitalizations, and the wheelchairs, crutches, braces, and other equipment that make a dramatic improvement in the lives of children and families. (Read more about the Faith Fund here.)

“Words cannot express the dimensionality of our experience at Tenwek,” says Penny. “Individually, it was professionally rewarding to serve and support the Tenwek community and staff. The professional relationships were highly enriching. Bill and I were very busy in Orthopedics and PhysioTherapy.

“It was such a blessing to be able to join my husband in service at Tenwek. To work as husband and wife alongside each other was so meaningful for our marriage and family.

“As a family, it was a rich educational experience that challenged our views of the world and how we can fit into God’s plans at Tenwek. Our children formed deep friendships with the mission children at Tenwek and the mission families were so warm and welcoming. Our family enjoyed Christian fellowship and service opportunities both at Tenwek and in the community.”

The multi-generational mission at Tenwek was equally meaningful to Marvin and Miriam. “Tenwek has always been great; this year it was a bigger experience,” explains Marvin. “The opportunity to share Tenwek with my son, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren was a new dimension that expanded our experience.”

Like Marvin and Miriam, Bill and Penny are committed to supporting Tenwek Hospital through future professional service, involvement with Friends of Tenwek, and financial support. “We believe that God paved the way for us to Tenwek,” affirms Penny. “Ephesians 2:10 kept coming to my mind each day as I pondered just how great God’s plans are. ‘For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.’”

U.S. physicians and their families are encouraged to consider sharing the love of Christ through service at Tenwek Hospital. Proper planning and preparation to secure housing and ministry activities is essential; this usually occurs 12-15 months in advance. Most importantly, come with open eyes and hearts ready to embrace what each day brings. FOT would be pleased to connect you with colleagues who have served at Tenwek for further information and insights. Contact Don Hoover at donaldg.hoover@gmail.com.

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