Shipping Container Becomes Portable Clinic for Kenyans
At first glance, the rusty, bright orange box on the church parking lot looks a bit out of place. “When you see this long box, it is hard to imagine being able to do something useful with it,” says Colin Wilkinson, chairman of the Global Outreach (GO) Team of Christ United Methodist Church, a church of approximately 3,200 in College Station, “but we have been transforming it into a portable medical clinic and plan to ship it to Nairobi, Africa by year-end.” Having assisted with other shipping-container medical clinic transformations with Chapelwood UMC and Lakewood UMC, among others, Colin knows how much visiting nurses and doctors in Kenya will appreciate this – rather than the make-shift clinics they might otherwise have to use.
Shipping the completed and repurposed unit will cost about $5,000, so the church organizers are thankful for financial donations and supplies that have been provided by church and community members, as well as local medical organizations. “We have painted it reflective white to deflect the African heat, and are fitting it out with rooms, a lab, surgery area and consultation area.”
An article in the local newspaper has generated items ranging from paint to electrical and medical supplies. “We have had the help of about 10 volunteers a day twice a week since September,” adds Colin, “some of whom have visited the unit’s final destination-- the incredibly poor area called Kawangware.”
Colin has taken teams to do mission work in Africa for more than 15 years, and knows that the local Methodist church near Kawangware can barely afford to build a sanctuary –let alone a medical unit. “This summer we had a team of 16 there, all amazed that 750,000 people can live in such abject poverty and crammed into such a small area. By converting this mobile medical unit, we are just doing what God told us to do…helping the needy.”