Threads of Hope

Claiming God’s Plan for a Future and a Hope (Jeremiah 29:11)

Threads of Hope is a vocational training center for vulnerable women living in extreme poverty in the greater Bomet area. It was founded under the direction of Tenwek Community Health and Development in February 2018.  Suzie Vaughan, who travels to Tenwek for service each year with her husband, Read Vaughan, M.D., was instrumental in creating and developing the program.

During an eight-month tailoring apprenticeship, women gain vocational training and life skills, develop business acumen, and receive spiritual mentorship. Their work produces school uniforms for orphans, sanitary pads for use in prisons and schools, purses, aprons and other items for sale to visitors. “As our women find a sense of community, acceptance, and encouragement, we pray that their sense of dignity, self-worth and hope is restored,” says Suzie, who is pictured at left with the second class of sewing apprentices.

At graduation, women have achieved competency and their sewing has “earned” the value of one-third the price of a treadle sewing machine ($50 of the $150 USD total cost). FOT provided the funds to purchase and award each graduate of the first class a new machine, enabling her to return to her village and begin a new business.

The first five graduates have been on their own for seven months. All are using their sewing skills and machines to support themselves and their families. One woman has opened a small shop, another works at a tea factory making bags to carry tea leaves, and three others sew uniforms and do mending for their villages. Every member of that first class recently returned to Tenwek to celebrate the graduation of the second class of six apprentices. Training for a third group of women is underway.

The impact of this effort reaches far beyond the women themselves – the 11 students and two teachers involved so far are mothers of 32 children! Upon seeing Suzie this year, one of the first graduates gave her a warm embrace and said, “Thank you for changing my life. Not a day goes by that I cannot find a way to make some money using my machine.”

You can make a financial gift to support Threads of Hope by using this secure online form.


Your Giving Creates Impact!

Since FOT began to build a network of supporters for Tenwek Hospital in 2012, it has funded numerous projects that enhance the medical and spiritual care extended to hospital patients and their surrounding communities. Every gift supports Tenwek’s mission of providing compassionate health care that reflects the love of Christ for all people. All of FOT’s funding decisions are made in full partnership with Tenwek Hospital leaders – their priorities are our priorities! We also support outreach programs that enhance the health, spiritual life, and well-being of residents in the greater Bomet area.

FOT Sets Fundraising Record in 2018

FOT received $805,972 USD in donations in 2018 – the highest amount raised since inception! With an all-volunteer staff, FOT expenses are kept to a minimum; just 5% of revenue ($40,438) was needed for fundraising, communications, and operational expenses. That means 95% of every dollar raised was available to support the mission and work of Tenwek Hospital.

2018 Highlights:

  • Since 2014, FOT has provided $217,000 USD (50% of the total cost) to renovate and equip the Bomet Annex, with $63,000 donated in 2018. Tenwek’s first outpatient clinic located beyond the main hospital campus opened in August 2018 and over 10,000 patents have been treated there to date!
  • Following a serious fire at Tenwek in February 2017, FOT raised a total $247,000 USD to assist with restoration efforts. Early gifts provided immediate relief for critical needs, which allowed all vital service to become quickly operational. Additional gifts supported rebuilding efforts and safety improvements that continued throughout 2018.
  • FOT provided $50,000 and a $150,000 interest-free loan that enabled Tenwek Hospital to purchase a new, 64-slice Siemens CT Scanner to replace an aging 4-slice scanner installed in 2011.
  • To support a new vision for the Tenwek Hospital College School of Chaplaincy, FOT invested $10,000 USD to help develop a new, three-year curriculum that will train chaplains from throughout Africa for service in hospitals, prisons, and schools; for work with police and the military; and for front-line service in times of natural disaster or national trauma.
  • Donations to support housing for residents training in various medical specialties at Tenwek totaled $37,339 USD.

This is an inspiring record of outstanding support from hundreds of dedicated donors.

Thank you! 


Tenwek and FOT Celebrate Opening of Bomet Annex

Joy – gratitude – excitement. These sentiments and more were on display August 25, 2018 when the Tenwek Hospital Annex – Bomet, a freestanding outpatient clinic – officially opened in Bomet. Hospital and church leaders, government officials, representatives from Friends of Tenwek (FOT), and Bomet residents gathered to celebrate the milestone achievement.

Bomet Country Governor Dr. Joyce Laboso joined African Gospel Bishop Rev. Dr. Robert Lang’at, and Tenwek Hospital CEO Geoffrey Langat in thanking everyone who contributed to the success of the project, which began with the purchase of the land and building in 2014.

FOT Board member and Treasurer Don Hoover represented the scores of donors whose gifts helped fund the project. Since providing an early gift of $40,000 to assist with the purchase of the building, FOT donors have contributed over $217,000 to renovate and furnish the clinic. This includes purchase of x-ray, EKG, and defibrillator equipment, as well as nearly $112,000 in construction costs that were matched by funds from Tenwek Hospital.

At leftLeaders from Tenwek Hospital, Africa Gospel Church, local government, and FOT gather for a dedication prayer.

In a dedication prayer, Don expressed the hopes of all FOT donors. “Dr. Ernie Steury, the first doctor of Tenwek Hospital was known for his compassionate hands. So I pray that patients coming to this clinic will experience the compassionate hands that make ‘We Treat… Jesus Heals’ a reality.”

Extensive renovations transformed the former nursing home structure into a modern, attractive, accessible facility that will serve the residents of Bomet for years to come.  A new roof, floors, walls, plumbing, and windows were installed. The interior provides a spacious waiting area, private exam and treatment rooms, and areas for diagnostic x-ray and laboratory services. Exterior improvements include the widening of the access ramp, a new parking area, stone paths, entrance portico, and landscaping.

At left: Tenwek CEO Geoffrey Langat (right) touring the pharmacy with the Bomet County Governor Dr. Joyce Laboso and regional health officials.


Outpatient services are available Monday through Saturday with on-site care offered by a Medical or Clinical Officer. The clinic offers laboratory, ultrasound, x-ray, and pharmacy services. Counseling and Chaplain resources also are available.

The projected need for a satellite outpatient clinic available to working people unable to visit the main Tenwek campus has been immediately confirmed.  By the end of September, the new clinic had already served over 1,800 patients, with September clinic visits averaging 36 patients per day.

Tenwek Hospital’s enduring message – We Treat, Jesus Heals – is resonating in a new way throughout Bomet. As word spreads about the compassion and care available from Tenwek staff at the clinic, the hospital’s medical and spiritual mission will impact thousands of new patients.

Thank you to every FOT donor who helped make the Bomet Annex a reality! Your generosity is a true blessing to the people of Kenya!


FOT’s Impact: From Fire Recovery to Fire Prevention

The immediate and overwhelming generosity of FOT donors in response to the February 2018 fire at Tenwek Hospital has accelerated the hospital’s recovery from the devastating event. FOT quickly raised funds to meet immediate needs in the aftermath of the fire, including the relocation of essential services and repairs to the damaged building and surrounding areas. Gift totaling more than $231,000, received from over 200 donors worldwide, continue to support Tenwek’s recovery and rebuilding efforts.

In addition to damage in the hospital’s kitchen, laundry, sterilization, Wound Care, and statistics areas, the fire revealed other vulnerabilities. These included the absence of a fire-fighting system on the hospital campus and lack of mobile transport to move patients safely across campus. If not for the quick and courageous work of volunteers, the fire could have spread rapidly.

With recovery efforts underway, additional FOT funds have helped rebuild the hospital kitchen, supported repairs and construction in other key areas, enabled the purchase of an ambulance, and aided with the installation of an on-site fire suppression system.  The new system includes a hose reel system and emergency pump designed to activate 18 high-pressure water hydrants located on the main hospital campus.

tenwek-today-fall-2019At left: The restored kitchen.

The damaged building was dedicated in 1997 to Sue Steury, who served at Tenwek for 38 years alongside her husband, Dr. Ernie Steury, the hospital’s first physician. The redesigned facility, which is being strategically reconstructed to house additional clinical and support services, will be called the Sue Steury Building.

According to Tenwek Hospital CEO Geoffrey Langat, the fire “could have been a disaster, but it was a blessing. “I see God’s blessing to Tenwek through FOT. They are true friends and true partners who are there in times of need.”


New Priority Projects for Funding

In collaboration with Tenwek Hospital leaders, the Board of Directors of FOT has identified three new priorities for funding. These projects address specific medical, spiritual, and academic aspects of Tenwek Hospital that will improve patient care, enhance the academic environment for students in the Hospital’s College of Health Sciences, and prepare future chaplains.

Renal & Oncology Unit

There is an increasing demand for oncology and dialysis care at Tenwek Hospital. The establishment of a dedicated unit, with more treatment rooms and new equipment, will allow Tenwek to retain its designation as a teaching and referral hospital at the highest level.  The expansion is strengthened by two other initiatives: Kenya’s National Insurance Fund covers the cost for twice-weekly dialysis treatment, and training for personnel to deliver these medical services is available within Kenya.

At Left: Plans for the Renal & Oncology Unit in the former chaplain students’ hostel.

Phase 1 projected total cost: $181,955
FOT Fundraising Goal: $91,000 (50% of cost in partnership with Tenwek Hospital)

International School of Chaplaincy

Tenwek has offered chaplaincy training since 1991, educating more than 200 students from 11 African countries. The curriculum was restructured in 2016-17 to include higher-level academic and practical training, consistent with the specialized chaplaincy requirements at an international level. Training equips graduates for ministry in healthcare, military, police, prison, education, refugee, disaster relief, corporate, and sports settings. Current classroom and housing facilities for students and staff are inadequate for an accredited program. New construction on land adjacent to the hospital campus will address administrative, classroom, and residence needs for 100 students and lay a strong foundation for future growth.
At Left: Campus concept drawing
Projected total cost: $2,800,000
FOT’s Director of Development will take the lead in soliciting and coordinating support for this project from various funding organizations, churches, and individual donors, including FOT members.

 College of Health Sciences Library

Tenwek’s College of Health Sciences (formerly the Nursing School) has grown dramatically since its founding in 1987. Forty new nurse trainees now enroll annually. In September 2018, 13 students began training as Clinical Officers (equivalent to Physician Assistant) and the College is increasing its capacity by 77%. The current library can accommodate only 36 students studying print materials and 15 students using computers.  The existing building that houses the library and classrooms will be renovated and expanded to incorporate a new, modern library, additional classroom space, a computer lab, and small group study rooms.
At Left: site for the library at the end of the building
Projected total cost: $182,666
FOT Fundraising Goal: $137,000 (75% of cost in partnership with Tenwek Hospital)

These are admittedly ambitious fundraising goals. But each need reflects Tenwek’s steadfast commitment to fulfill its unique healing, teaching, and spiritual mission. We see this as an opportunity to broaden and deepen FOT’s partnership with Tenwek by providing meaningful support for these essential initiatives. We are deeply grateful for your past gifts and prayers and hope we can count on your continuing support.

Additional details and updates will be provided as the projects unfold next year. To make a year-end gift to one of these projects, please  use this secure online form where you can direct your donation. Thank You!


Don Hoover Named FOT’s Director of Development

Don Hoover, a founding FOT Board member and current treasurer, has been appointed as FOT’s first Director of Development.  In his new volunteer role, Don will personally connect with donors, work to expand the FOT community of supporters, and deepen philanthropic support for FOT’s funding priorities.

Don’s career specialty included sales and sales management roles with IBM. He also served as CEO of Sunrise Software, a company he co-managed with his wife Pat to provide job cost accounting solutions to construction companies. He is an active member of Carmel Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC, where he has served as an elder, deacon, and Bible study teacher.

Don and Pat have been married for 56 years. They have three children and 13 grandchildren and have been true “friends” of Tenwek Hospital for many years. Don’s passion for Tenwek’s mission and his expertise will guide FOT to a new stage of growth and impact.

Bomet Annex

Bomet Annex Will Transform Medical Care in County Capital

Tenwek Hospital leaders are poised to open the Bomet Annex early this summer, expanding outpatient care and compassion to the city’s more than 110,000 residents. Tenwek CEO Mr. Geoffrey Langat is excited by this new opportunity to transform how people receive urgent and routine care in a new setting. “We are bringing health care closer to the people who need it,” he explains. “And we are expanding the ministry of Tenwek Hospital.”

The Bomet Annex property was purchased by Tenwek Hospital in late 2014 with assistance from Friends of Tenwek. It is the ideal location for an outpatient clinic, close to government and private industry offices, a teacher’s college, and several banks. The main goal of the new service is to attract and serve area business and professional workers who want to benefit from Tenwek’s expertise in patient care but are unable to utilize the hospital’s existing clinic because of the lengthy wait times.

The hospital’s current outpatient clinic treats an average of 430 patients each day, with treatment times from registration to discharge often spanning five to six hours or more. This makes it difficult for people who cannot leave work, school, and business activities to be seen by a doctor.

The new clinic will help relieve congestion and improve efficiency at the hospital clinic. It also will attract new patients who will receive both excellent medical care and the opportunity to hear the Gospel message. In much the same way that Tenwek’s regional network of dispensaries has brought medical care and spiritual hope to people where they live, the Bomet Annex will embody Tenwek’s mission and work in the city in an exciting new way.

“Excellent workmanship” evident in renovations

The former nursing home facility has been completely restored to meet the requirements of a hospital-managed outpatient clinic. Building renovations have included the installation of a new roof, floors, walls, plumbing, and windows. The interior was redesigned to provide a spacious waiting area, private exam and treatment rooms, and areas for diagnostic x-ray and laboratory services. Exterior improvements include the widening of the access ramp, a new parking area, stone paths, entrance portico, and landscaping.

“It has been a lot of work to renovate an old building and do the work necessary to get it to this new condition,” observes Mr. Langat. “The workmanship has been excellent.” Medical Superintendent Dr. Steve Burgert agrees, adding, “The Bomet Annex is a very beautiful and inviting facility for our patients and their families.”

The Bomet Annex will open with a staff of 10-11 medical professionals, including physicians, nurses, laboratory technicians, and receptionists. As the service expands in numbers and scope, the hospital expects staffing to grow as well. At the time of this writing, there are several more administrative steps with the local government that need to be taken prior to opening. This includes a tie-in to the city’s wastewater system and issuing a license for the facility. The hospital is awaiting delivery and installation of the x-ray equipment and also needs to integrate with the hospital’s electronic medical records system.

The cost to purchase, renovate, and equip the Bomet Annex has been approximately $300,000.  FOT donors have provided more than half of the funds needed for the project. “We are so grateful to all of the Friends of Tenwek,” says Mr. Langat as he reflects on the partnership that made the project possible. “They have stood with us both in times of expansion and progress and in times of need. God is using them to bless Tenwek.”

Thank you for partnering with Tenwek Hospital to make this vital extension of outpatient services possible!

Tenwek Fire

FOT Donors Lead Fire Recovery Efforts

On the evening of February 9, 2018, a fast-spreading fire destroyed a multi-purpose building at Tenwek Hospital. By God’s grace, the patients sleeping in the building’s Wound Ward were safely evacuated while Tenwek staff and community members heroically fought and contained the blaze. There were no serious injuries but the building was destroyed and all of the ancillary services housed in the building were displaced.

FOT quickly sprang into action, raising $65,000 to support immediate needs within days of sending an email appeal. That support has since grown to more than $231,000, representing gifts from 214 donors worldwide. Included in these gifts was some $26,000 donated by 29 South Korean medical students and professors from Yonsei University Health System, many of whom had served at Tenwek Hospital. As one student who is now a doctor reported, “My experience at Tenwek was precious and taught me what kind of doctor I should be. The role of doctors is to treat physical problems, of course. I learned that doctors should be able to not only treat physical illnesses but also comfort and help with spiritual illnesses. And I have been thinking intensively about how to become such a doctor since my time at Tenwek. I have decided to pray with my patients when I enter my hospital clerkship in Korea.”

“True friends” of Tenwek in a time of need

Following the fire, Tenwek Hospital leaders developed a plan to maintain essential services that were displaced by the fire and promptly begin recovery efforts. The infusion of FOT’s “first responder” funds have helped administrators immediately and efficiently manage the crisis and thoughtfully assess and address both temporary and long-term needs.

FOT funds have enabled the hospital to maintain key services that were disrupted by the fire, including operations for patient food services, sterilization, and laundry. Other operations related to statistics, cancer registry, research coordination, social work, and visiting staff have been relocated and restored. (See “Before and After” photos at the end of this post.)

Specifically, FOT funds are being used to rebuild the roof of the burned building and repair those on adjacent structures that sustained damage, relocate displaced offices, repair steam pipes, rewire sterile supply rooms, clear rubble, screed and waterproof facilities, and establish a temporary kitchen to serve patients. The only service that has not been restored yet is the canteen/restaurant that was used by staff and visitors.

The rebuilding effort will focus on locating support services in areas that are separate from patient care wards. The fire prompted a thorough review of the hospital’s emergency plans and administrators are evaluating how to install a fire loop hydrant system that would improve safety throughout the hospital campus.

Even in the midst of the fire and its continuing impact, Tenwek CEO Mr. Geoffrey Langat has seen God’s hand at work. “I saw some people kneeling and praying while others did everything they could to keep the fire from spreading,” he recalls. “It was a sign of great community. People see this place as a gift God has given us and that we must protect. I learned that there are friends of this place that respond. It could have been a disaster, but it was a blessing.”

Mr. Langat continues, “I see God’s blessing to Tenwek through FOT. We have walked a long way together and have accomplished a lot. And in this moment they came through. They are true friends and true partners who are there in times of need. I thank God for them from my heart.”

Thank you to everyone who made a donation to the fire recovery fund for Tenwek Hospital!
Your generosity is making a difference!

The following “Before and After” photos were provided by Dr. Stephen Burgert, Medical Superintendent, Tenwek Hospital

Staff Entrance

Roofing By Sterilization




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:

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

Tenwek Fire

Fire at Tenwek Hospital!

A fire on February 9 at Tenwek Hospital destroyed the building that housed Wound Ward patients, as well as the hospital’s food service, laundry, and equipment sterilization facilities.

Thankfully, with God’s provision and the quick action of Tenwek staff, no lives were lost. However, the building is unusable. Wound patients have been relocated to the former Eye Ward, but services critical to hospital operations have been destroyed. These early photos show the fire and its impact.

Please pray for Tenwek’s leadership and staff as they seek short and long-term solutions to effectively manage this challenge and bring glory to God through the hardship. FOT has established an emergency fund to support Tenwek’s recovery from the fire’s impact. Make a secure donation here.

We will continue to provide updates on the reconstruction decisions and process. Thank you for your support of Tenwek Hospital! Please share this news and opportunity with family and friends who may want to support Tenwek’s mission – We Treat-Jesus Heals – during this challenging time.