Good news is so often just ordinary people who find themselves doing extraordinary things in this world – things they never even planned on. Steve James is one of those – a true testament to unplanned goodness. He never foresaw this purpose, this calling, the mission that would take him halfway across the world to empower, heal, and change lives. Steve started his journey of change, of hope, of love – with terrible loss. He was a nurse anesthetist in Alabama, passionate about his job and raising a beautiful family. He says he felt like he was living the American dream. When Steve suddenly lost his daughter Brittney in 2001, he says it shattered his world. He wasn’t quite sure how he could move forward. Nothing could be the same. Nothing was the same from that day on – but in a way Steve never could have envisioned.
You see, for 3 years before she died, Steve’s daughter had been sponsoring a Kenyan child, and had hoped to meet him one day. To find some sense of closure, Steve decided to journey to Kenya, to meet this little boy where Brittney couldn’t, and connect with a life that she had touched. Meeting Newton felt like one of greatest days of his life, but he couldn’t overlook what he saw all around him in Kenya. He was overwhelmed by the unending medical needs, and by the fact that so many were easily treatable. The people just could not get access to adequate healthcare. Steve briefly used his skills to work in a local hospital and says he was shocked by how many people were needlessly suffering and dying from preventable ailments. When he arrived back in Alabama, he couldn’t easily forget the people he had met and the suffering they were enduring. There was no question – he knew he had to go back. And the dream of Kenya Relief was born.
Steve has inspired thousands of medical professionals to volunteer their time and skills in Kenya since 2001. Every year, 22 teams of surgeons, doctors, and nurses travel across the world to serve in the Brase Clinic and Vision Center. These medical volunteers have treated some 110, 000 people to date. They provide healthcare and hope, and they change lives. The clinic continues to grow. Kenyan staff are empowered, trained, and inspired to lead into the future. The dream is to one day build a hospital that can serve the millions of people in Migori County, Kenya.
This incredible feat is only a small part of the legacy of hope – of healing, of education, of opportunity. Watch The Good News to learn more about how Kenya Relief is empowering, educating, planning and partnering to change lives now and for generations to come.
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Photo credit: Screenshot from video