The story of "Bethany House" in Lodwar Kenya

Lodwar is small town in the Turkana District of Kenya on the African continent. It is severely economically deprived. Many inhabitants are terribly under nourished. The lack of health and education opportunities cannot be comprehended by a resident of the developed world.

Many facilities which are taken for granted even in Third World countries are totally absent in this remote and impoverished region of Kenya. Since establishing a Turkana presence over 40 years ago, Catholic Church missionaries and a group of over 50 volunteer Catholic Missioners are now working to improve the physical and spiritual lives of the Lodwar people. These dedicated Missioners hail from numerous different countries but they are all driven by a common purpose. To serve the local people who they have come to love.

The Turkana people make up most of Lodwar's population

Lodwar may lack for physical facilities and amenities but the local people are another story altogether. They are mostly hard working and caring people who have no choice other to accept life as it comes. They share what little possessions they have and take joy from experiencing nature, the company of each other and even the most elementary tiny piece of good fortune.

But the Turkana climate is incredibly harsh and life is extremely hard.

The many Kenyan and expatriate missioners working for the Lodwar Diocese are scattered throughout remote regions of Turkana province. Bethany House came into being to provide both meeting and guest house facilities for times when missioners need to come to Lodwar for consultations or conferences. This website came into being because the Australian Catholic Mercy Sister who looks after Bethany House was an old friend of the webmaster who developed this website. He was so intrigued by the story he learned from Sister Yvonne Channells that he felt compelled to make the Lodwar story available to a wider audience via the internet.

This website is not really about Sr. Yvonne Channells. However, as she is this Webmaster's primary informant, she will appear from time to time throughout these web pages. Take the opportunity to read Sister Yvonne's Newsletters for a year by year summary of the joys and disappointments of working in the Lodwar Diocese in Kenya. There are also many Lodwar and Turkana Province photos to be viewed within this website.

Sr. Yvonne with the Bishop at opening of Bethany House

Settle back and explore Lodwar and Bethany House via the wonders of the internet. Although this site is primarily a salute to the Kenyan inhabitants of Lodwar in Turkana, it is also a salute to the dedicated Missioners who have left the comforts of their own homes, families, colleagues and friends  to serve an under privileged community in a harsh and inhospitable climate.

At the conclusion of your visit you may feel motivated to help the Lodwar Missioners with your prayers, a donation or in some other helpful manner. Communications with Lodwar are extremely difficult but we have provided some contacts you might use to obtain additional information.

Brian Tonkin




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