While on a mission in Nairobi, Kenya, U.S. Navy chaplain and chaplain’s assistant went to Nyumba Ya Wazee, or Home of the Elderly, May, 9, 2016, to provide spiritual support, counsel, and a smiling face to the residents, while receiving blessings themselves.
“We were able to give the residents of the home emotional and spiritual support through friendly interactions and our prayers,” said U.S. Navy Chaplain Capt. Travis Moger, Combined Task Force-Horn of Africa Office of Religious Affairs director. “Humans are tripartite, [composed of three parts]: body, mind and spirit. The health of one part affects the health of the whole person.”
The facility houses 68 residents, some more than 100 years old, who don’t have the means to care for themselves.
“This home is for the elderly who are too poor to care for themselves and have no family who can,” said Sister Helen Creed, who is in charge of the home.
According to Creed, senior members of the family traditionally move in with their children when they become unable to provide food and shelter for themselves. The home provides a residence and support for those who don’t have that option.
“We came to understand the challenges of low-income, elderly Kenyans better,” Moger said. “Maintaining and developing good relations with host nation partners allows CJTF-HOA to better accomplish our mission. Community relations projects, [such as this], are an important way to build good will with our host nation, which in this case is Kenya.”
During the visit Moger and his assistant, U.S. Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer David Arrieta, prayed and conversed with the elders.
“They love visits,” Creed said. “They were very happy that you came here and you can see it on their faces.”
Moger described the feeling from the visit in one word: “blessed.”
“I believe we received an even greater blessing from the elderly than they received from us,” Moger explained. “That said, we were very well received judging from the smiles on the faces of those we visited.”