Luke grew up in northwest Kenya, among the Pokot people. He attended Rift Valley Academy in Kijabe and boarded there from fifth grade through his high school graduation. He loves Kenyan culture and is fluent in Swahili. Amanda grew up in southwest Michigan, in the country. They met at Trinity Christian College outside of Chicago, and were married between their 4th and 5th years there. Amanda graduated with a BA in elementary education and Luke graduated with a BA in church and ministry leadership.
After their schooling was completed they moved to Florida, where Luke earned his Masters in occupational therapy from Nova Southeastern University. Luke accepted a position at an outpatient pediatric rehab facility in northwest Indiana, and they lived in the Valparaiso area for nearly seven years. Now they’ve made the big move to Kenya. Luke and Amanda love to travel together, go on bike rides with the kids, and take on projects together.
"I am the clinical and rehab supervisor for BethanyKids. In this role, I am responsible for mentoring and training all of the therapists and rehab-related staff for BethanyKids. This includes working at Joytown Special Primary school where we provide therapy to all 350 students, and also working towards fulfilling a new contract that will provide therapy for the high school children at the same facility (an additional 250 students). The work at this site not only allows me to do direct care with the students but also mentorship with the staff. This setting is very unique as before each therapy session for the children we do a devotional for the class which provides a good opportunity to ask questions and engages the children on a spiritual level. BethanyKids also has a child mentor/chaplain that works at the school which really solidifies and provides yet another avenue to spread the gospel to these special needs children. I find that this portion of my job has one of the largest impacts on the community as a whole. I see this because the parents see the great value and worth that their children have when they come to get their children for school breaks. We then have an opportunity to share with them the great value and worth that each of their children holds in the eyes of our maker! This then directly translates to how our parents treat them in their home communities and our children often report that they are treated differently in their home communities. It is such a pleasure to start seeing communities transform the way that they see and understand the value of special needs children (culturally they are often seen as a curse). Another aspect of my work is with the mobile clinic team. Our team treats nearly 4,000 patients per year. Each of our families that come to bring their children to receive nursing care, therapy, social services, and parent-to-parent mentorship. This is another area where we see tremendous change not only in the children's physical well-being as we are better able to help them maintain their health, and improve their skills through therapy, but also are able to show the love of Christ and share it with them as we interact. One of the unique things about therapy is that often we require a significant number of return visits and with this, we can create a strong relationship with our families. This relationship allows us to be able to share on a deeper level with these families." ~Luke