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Family Life at Tenwek Hospital: A Photo Essay

Family Life at Tenwek Hospital: A Photo Essay

Meet Julie Ganey—wife, mom, and WGM missionary at Tenwek Hospital in Kenya. Julie and her husband, Mike, have been living in Kenya for five years. In that time, they’ve learned what it looks like to live as a family of four in a culture they love.

Homeschooling is the name of the game every morning in our house. Each year is different at Tenwek, as families come and go. Last year, our daughter, Eden, was one of six third graders in a small homeschool co-op. This year, she is the only student in fourth grade. Next year will be different again!


Our son, Caleb, is in preschool. He is the only missionary kid (MK) his age in the American school system at Tenwek. It makes for a really small class—and very short role call!

Caleb is in preschool

Every single day of the year, even in the rainy season, the kids are outside. Good “clean” fun and fresh air!

muddy feet

Eden participates in co-op classes, like physical education and art, with the other MKs at Tenwek. (Both of these photos were taken at the end of the last school year.)

Co-op Classes with other MKs

We returned to Kenya for our second term when Caleb was 16 months old. We like to say that he is a Kenyan boy trapped in an American boy’s body. He loves chai and greeting everyone we meet. And if there are plastic bags bunched up to make a soccer ball—he’s game!

Caleb playing with Kenyan kids.

One immeasurable benefit to life overseas is the relationships that grow deeper over time for every member of our family. We are so indebted to those who join with us in the work we are doing here.


We don’t have to get in the car often, which is just fine, being so remote in the Kenyan countryside. But when we do, it’s usually not a smooth nor a short trip. We travel four hours to Nairobi for groceries and other errands about once every couple of months.

Travel by car

In addition to homeschooling, I get to work with a women’s Bible study called Tabitha Ministry, which was started over 12 years ago. A lot of the women have been leaders in the Bible study groups for much longer than I’ve been here. We meet together once a month to study the Word together, catch up with the progress of groups in the villages surrounding Tenwek, and give testimonies of God’s faithfulness.

Tabitha Ministry, a women's Bible Study

One arm of the Tabitha ministry is coming alongside the local churches in building and mudding houses for widows. The church builds the frame, Tabitha provides the roofing, and we all get to mix mud with our feet to build the walls.

Building and mudding a house for a widow

A mudding usually draws a crowd. Some carry water or dig up the dirt, and others mix the mud or pack it into the frames. And when it’s all done, we have chai together.

After a mudding, we have chai together.

Mike and I lived at Tenwek Hospital for two years before we had kids. Then we went back to the States to be trained in pediatric surgery. Mike now spends most of his time at the hospital, where the motto is ‘We Treat, Jesus Heals.’

Signs at Tenwek Hospital

Outside the surgical clinic, patients start lining up early in the morning.

Patients lining up outside the surgical clinic

Before each surgery, the entire room stops—confirming patient information, surgical procedure, instrument count, and, most importantly, to pray.

Prayer before surgery

One of the things we love about being at Tenwek, is the surgical training program here. Mike is not only able to do surgery with excellence, but he can teach African doctors to do the same.

Teaching in the surgical training program

In the U.S., when a baby is born with gastroschisis, the survival rate is over 95%. The current survival rate in Sub-Saharan Africa is said to be less than 25% in areas where it was possible to collect data. This beauty was the fourth baby to recover from and survive this diagnosis since we came back to Tenwek in 2015. We had a party when he went home with his mom!

A gastroschisis survivor

Some things about Kenya seem so different from life in the U.S., but some things are exactly the same!

Taking a selfie

There is a lot of good on the mission field in Kenya, but there is also some hard. Through being here, we get to see what the Lord does through our obedience to His call. We wouldn’t change it for anything.

World Gospel Mission has families serving all over the world. Join us in praying for these moms, dads, and kids, as they live life in a unique way, bringing the hope of the Gospel to the far corners of the earth.

All photos by Julie Ganey.

You can find more stories and see photos from the Ganey family on Facebook and on their blog at

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