Update on Fire at Tenwek Hospital

A message from FOT President J. David Hoover:

Dear Friend of Tenwek,

Since the evening of February 9 – when a fire at Tenwek Hospital disrupted operations and threatened lives – your support has been a source of encouragement and joy for everyone engaged with FOT and ministering at Tenwek.

The fire, which began around 8 p.m., engulfed the building at Tenwek that housed the Wound Ward, kitchen and canteen, laundry and sterilization facilities, and several critical support offices. While some witness reports suggested the fire started in the hospital kitchen area, the exact cause remains under investigation.

 By the grace of God, all patients were safely evacuated and the fire was contained to that building. There were no injuries as staff members and area residents bravely battled the blaze using buckets of water from on-site fountains.

However, as dawn broke, it was apparent the fire would have both immediate and long-term impacts.

The building is uninhabitable; an engineering assessment will determine if and how the building can be restored for optimal use.

FOT immediately established an emergency fund for fire-related needs and sent an email alert about the fire to the 763 supporters on our electronic mailing list.

Within days, we received $65,000 to the designated fund. We are overwhelmed and deeply grateful for the generosity and faithfulness of these “first responders!”  This support, coming so soon after reaching our fundraising goal for the Bomet Annex Outpatient Clinic, is a truly inspiring expression of the place Tenwek holds in the hearts of our FOT community.

In consultation with Tenwek Hospital leaders, the FOT Board of Directors has decided to make these emergency funds available for immediate needs the hospital is facing in order to maintain operations and continue its ministry to the people of Kenya. This includes funding solutions for the services that have been displaced from the damaged building.

In the Spring issue of Tenwek Today, we will include an update about how the damaged building and services are being restored. Tenwek’s CEO, Geoffrey Langat, and Medical Superintendent Dr. Stephen Burgert, have advised us that the hospital also is assessing its fire protection system and will incorporate changes designed to significantly improve the safety of the entire hospital campus.

While other partners with Tenwek Hospital (i.e. World Gospel Mission and Samaritan’s Purse, government officials, insurance coverage, etc.) will provide support for the rebuilding efforts, we believe FOT is fulfilling a unique role with these immediate gifts from our community of medical professionals who have served at Tenwek and are personally committed to its mission of teaching and healing in the name of Jesus Christ.

Given the time and expense involved in any rebuilding project, we believe the FOT emergency funds are critically needed and will be wisely disbursed to meet vital immediate needs.

Sincere thanks again, to each of you who have contributed to FOT’s Emergency Fire Fund. Your gifts are already being put to excellent use!

You can still make a gift to the Emergency Fire Fund using the secure, online form at: http://weblink.donorperfect.com/FIRETENWEK.

To send a check by mail, please designate Emergency Fire Fund in the memo line and send it to:
Friends of Tenwek, Inc.
6277-600 Carolina Common
Box 191
Indian Land, SC 29707