Impact of Tenwek’s Chaplains Comes Full Circle

Emmanuel Kirui

The last thing six-year-old Emmanuel Kirui remembers was knocking on the front door of a stranger’s house, desperate for help. When he regained consciousness, Emmanuel was fighting for his life in the Tenwek Hospital ICU, the victim of a brutal knife attack. Doctors doubted that the young boy would survive. “They said there was nothing they could do,” recalls Emmanuel. “We would have to rely on God for healing.”

During his two-month stay in the hospital, physicians worked around-the-clock to treat Emmanuel’s body. At the same time, Tenwek chaplains provided peace and comfort by visiting his bedside and praying with him often. Emmanuel made a miraculous recovery and as he progressed through school, he felt God’s call to a life of service.

 

Deeply shaped by his time as a patient at Tenwek, Emmanuel decided he wanted to become a hospital chaplain to provide the same pastoral care he had once received. He enrolled in the Tenwek Hospital College School of Chaplaincy, receiving scholarships for school fees, and graduating in 2018. Emmanuel now serves as a chaplain at the Bomet Annex, Tenwek’s outpatient clinic.

“We want to receive people who are passionate about other people and who have experienced the love of Christ themselves,” Rev. Paul Lokol, Principal of the School of Chaplaincy, notes. “Emmanuel was one of the first volunteers to say, ‘Yes, here I am. I want to go serve in Bomet.’”

And when Emmanuel tells injured or despairing patients that he knows how they feel, it comes from his heart. He is living proof that while Tenwek offers life-saving resources to treat patients, it is truly Jesus who heals.

School of Chaplaincy Update

The Tenwek College School of Chaplaincy is growing! Classes are underway; the School is preparing for its next admissions drive; and an architectural firm has been selected to develop plans and blueprints for the new campus. With funds provided by FOT, the School is recruiting at workshops in several regions of Kenya sponsored by the National Association of Christian Chaplains. This is designed to generate interest among new students, as well as with current chaplains who want to further their studies.

The School also has been approved as a Chaplaincy assessment center and qualified to administer the National Chaplaincy exams. Rev. Paul Lokol, Principal of the School, has been named an authorized trainer in the country for Chaplaincy curriculum assessment. These approvals recognize the School as a key stakeholder and effective trainer in Chaplaincy studies.

During a recent Holiness Emphasis week, Rev. David Kilel, the founder of Tenwek’s original Chaplaincy School, returned as the main speaker. “The moments were refreshing to seek the cleansing of our hearts and recommit to serve God as He has called us,” notes Rev. Lokol. “It was a blessing to hear the passion of the founding Principal and his heart for Chaplaincy studies and the great need in Kenya.”