Community Achiever, Margo Malone, on a Mission to Kenya
By Dianne Anderson
Between here and Kenya, there’s a lot less space for the work of a missionary and Margo Malone’s regular day job as a mortician than most would imagine. On its face, about the only commonality is the letter “M.”
But from her vantage point, there’s enough time to reflect on the real
connections – like the daily reminders of death and the gift of life.
“Once you’re on the table where I begin to do work, you’re done. It’s the release of this life,” she said.
Malone knows that hanging out in both worlds, whether a mortician or a missionary, is not for everybody. Then again, she said she’s always gravitated to things that most people can’t or don’t want to do.
For most people, it’s just not their thing. Usually, it’s a hard vacation. There’s no hot water, or running water for that matter.
“The travel will beat you; you do a 25-hour trip. You get out to the countryside, you deal with the elements, there’s no public facilities, or the only facility for bathroom is a hole in the ground,” she said.
As Kenya continues under an oppressive decade-long drought, this year her church is looking to get their milling machines up and functional.
“No rain, no crops, no crops, no food,” she says simply.
There is much to do, and it is overwhelming. Her first goal is to buy four milling machines, along with getting another well water project underway in a nearby village. The first was developed three years ago. The church group, Second Baptist in Santa Ana, is also working with an organization in Nairobi, called Living Waters, where they are waiting for the results of a geological study to find out exactly where to drill the well.
They are also working with medical clinics in four Kenyan villages, collaborating with young student doctors and dentists from the University of Nairobi. They will come out to the four villages, dispense medication, and provide tooth extractions.
Ms. Malone is calling for donations; she hopes to raise $18,000 for the milling machines by August 31, which will help the four villages grind their own corn, a commodity that can be grown with little water.
Over the years, she said they have transported clothes and other types of goods, but it’s hard because of the weight and rising fuel and freight costs. The money is needed on the ground.
Next trip, she will also visit the Cancer Treatment Center at Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi, where they are partnering with a doctor there, visiting terminally ill children, and will bring them toys from America.
“It just really lights up your heart when you see these kids, and kids are just kids. You take them a little toy and for a brief moment they get a chance to not think about medication or feeling sick,” she said.
Malone, who has always loved to travel, found her way abroad as a young girl when she learned to raise her own money to take her first mission to Brazil where she participated in vacation bible school. Since 2005, she has visited Kenya several times, as well as Rwanda, Burundi and parts of Mexico. She tries to go every year.
Compared to the rest of the world, she said that the level of need in the United States seems miniscule. At least people here can access basic provisions.
“I can find need here in California, but the fact is that on the global level, it’s so monumental in comparison,” she said.
Last year, out of the four villages, she tested about 50 or more for HIV/AIDS. She said that many people do not want to know that they are positive, and the she will go back this year to administer more testing.
On the table where she works back home, most likely she's always planning her next trip, drawing congruences.
“I realize that it’s just a short time that we have here on Earth, we are not put here just for ourselves. We are entreated to love one another and to take care of one another.”
To donate to the cause, contact Ms. Malone at 714-404-0023 or Ron Nash, Adopt a Ministry president at 310-375-1203