Herb Bernhardt Mission Trip to Africa
Olney resident, Herb Bernhardt, will be joining 12 other missionaries in the mission field in Meru, Kenya Jan. 10 through Jan. 27 to build a small house as part of an ongoing project to provide shelter for children orphaned by Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
The mission is sponsored by the United Methodist churches internationally. Bernhardt said he will be joined by Trish Rogers from Graham, an assistant professor at the Wilson School for Nursing at Midwestern State University. Other people traveling with Bernhardt will include: a doctor from Brownwood, a nurse from the Dallas/ Fort Worth area, a Methodist Minister from Latvia Russia and her husband, a pastor from Stephenville, a pastor from Brownwood and another pastor from Iredell.
During the upcoming trip, the missionaries will build one of the shelters for children who were orphaned by the AIDS virus. Bernhardt stated, “The building is a small building because the people that live over there live in half of one room of a house that is generally 10x10. The weather is so nice over there that the people don’t spend a lot of time inside. They have to have an enclosed space to sleep and keep their possessions, which is very little as it is a poor country.”
The program so far exceeded the construction goal of 500 of these little houses. Bernhardt said the population of 35 to 40-year-old adults is almost null because of AIDS, and most of the children end up living with their grandmothers. He said another mission team will travel there in a few weeks to help expand this project.
The Maua Hospital was established by a British missionary in 1928 to offer a healing ministry to the people in Meru. During this mission trip, the mission team that Bernhardt is a part of will help with some of the construction at the hospital. Last year, Bernhardt assisted with building a wall for the hospital.
“One Day we will spend some time in a school and pass out worming pills,” said Bernhard, “They have some health screening, too. Last year we found a child through the screening that had diabetes and was able to get him on a program through the hospital to be treated. I think he was 8-years-old. The hospital does tremendously good work over there.”
For more information about the hospital and some of the missionary projects, visit wwwmckmauahospital.org.