Retired Clergy Couple Follow Their Heart to Kenya


What started at occasional trips to Africa has triggered a passion for mission and now a long-term commitment by two United Methodist Ministers. Clergy Couple Jim Monroe and Sue Owen have agreed to a 2-3 year position as volunteers in residence at the Maua Methodist Hospital in Kenya.

Jim and Sue, who married in 2001, have lead six trips to the Maua hospital in the past. 2012 will be the seventh trip. This time Jim will go early in June and Sue will come with the team later in the month, but stay on for the start of their commitment.

While serving in Kenya they will be working in the areas of VIM team hosting, recruiting, coordinating, publicity, public relations, fund raising, and chaplaincy. Jim also hopes to explore the possibility of teaching at Kenya Methodist University. Sue, who has a Master of Social Work degree, will be looking into options for working with the community outreach programs at the hospital.

Though retired, both Jim and Sue currently have full time appointments. Jim has been serving in Woodburn, Oregon since 2004 and Sue has been serving in Lebanon, Oregon since 2009. Both have a long history with the Oregon-Idaho Conference. Jim was originally ordained in 1973 and Sue in 1984. Both have served churches in many districts and both have served as District Superintendants.

Maua Methodist Hospital is a ministry of the Kenya Methodist Church. Kenya Methodist is not part of The United Methodist church, but it is a member of the World Methodist Church and shares the Wesleyan traditions of The United Methodist Church. The hospital provides critically needed care in the country. Recently they were able to install modern x-ray equipment, which also required improvements to the electrical systems on the hospital campus.

Famine in Somalia, east of Kenya, is beginning to affect the hospital as more refugees move further west into Kenya. According to Jim, “Maua is in north central Kenya, but the population has grown over the last few years from 15,000 to 115,000 - primarily because of the drought. The hospital does a lot of work with drought ravaged villages and refugees - and the drought is moving into Kenya as well, and encroaching on Maua and that part of Kenya.“ Maua Methodist Hospital is also a partner in the United Methodist Church’s fight against AID’s. Recently a container of medical equipment was shipped to Maua with the support of the Center for the Church and Global AIDS.

You can contact Jim and Sue for more information about their new chapter of service to Christ at sujimo@mac.com.

You can learn more about Maua Methodist Hospital at www.mckmauahospital.org or mauamethodisthospital.xanga.com.