Philip Levin - Testimonial - Keumbu Rehema Children’s Home
page-template-default,page,page-id-515,bridge-core-2.8.3,qodef-qi--no-touch,qi-addons-for-elementor-1.5.7,qode-page-transition-enabled,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,qode_grid_1300,footer_responsive_adv,qode-theme-ver-26.7,qode-theme-bridge,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-6.6.0,vc_responsive,elementor-default,elementor-kit-5

Philip Levin – Testimonial

We all know of renowned heroes, such as Mother Teresa, Florence Nightingale, and Albert Schweitzer. Yet there are many, many more unknowns devoted to helping others. While we all have a bit of altruism, those with huge golden hearts are few.

In 2010 I traveled to Kenya with a bit of altruism of my own. Recruited by a local pastor through an organization out of New Zealand. I journeyed sixty hours to the small town of Keumbu, set in the rolling hills of Western Kenya.

There I volunteered my medical service for four weeks. This yellow stoned building, built in the late 1980s, had never had a physician, being run by “providers,” nurses with two years of training and one year of internship.

This isn’t a story about my work, but rather about a true humanitarian. Here in the small village, population maybe 2,000, I met Pastor Robert Nyamwange. A fortyish, mildly plump, broad-browed man with ever-present wide-open eyes. He owned a single acre of land where he grew bananas, corn, tomatoes, mangos, and breadfruit. Two cows provided milk, chickens gave eggs. Well-offered water, brought up bucket by bucket, and that water was taken by hand up a ladder to fill a tank for a cold-water shower. No electricity, a smoky kerosene lamp provided only after dusk lighting. There he lived in relative comfort with his wife and teenage son.

This narrative describes most of the little farms around Keumbu – one – or two-acre plots where the residents struggle to make a subsistence living, selling bananas to tourists passing by or bringing mangos by bus to the bigger city markets. What made the pastor so special was the orphanage he ran.

Pastor’s church consisted of sheets over a small plaza on a hill overlooking the main street. Every Sunday morning, he strung up sheets around poles, set out chairs, and welcomed anyone willing to come to listen to his Christian preaching. Two years before my arrival, a young orphan girl wandered into the pastor’s church. Dressed in rags, the pitiful child hadn’t eaten in a week. Hopeless and helpless, she came to the beckon of the preaching and collapsed on the floor.

The pastor and his wife made room for the waif, and word spread that they would house orphans. By the time I made my first visit in 2010, they had seven orphans. Their little mud-covered three-room building had neither electricity nor running water. They had built a cabin on their land for the orphans, filled with bunk beds.

I returned in 2011 for another month of volunteer work in their hospital. Now Pastor had 13 children under his care. That year I paid for water and electricity to be installed on their property. Quite an improvement to be able to take a hot shower and use an indoor toilet!

Over the next few years, Robert and his wife continued their policy of never turning away a needy orphan. This year, 2021, he’s up to 61 orphans on his little one-acre plot of land. They continue their subsistence living, counting on the food they can grow and on charity to sustain their lives.

I’ve done a lot of good things in my life – I’m sure we all have. But Pastor’s devotion to needy children is extraordinary. He has a website where one can learn more about the orphanage and contribute. If you have a spare five or ten dollars, it will go a long way.  Visit their website by clicking the link Keumbu Rehema Children’s Home (KRCH)

For my book about my medical mission work, click here:

Philip L. Levin, MD
(228) 596-7217