When Warren Smith and Anne Marie Werner-Smith visited the Coastal Province of Kenya in 2005, an instant connection between St. Thomas of Canterbury and the Bishops of the Mombasa and Malindi Dioceses began. Over the years, not only members of Canterbury, but people all across the Diocese of the Rio Grande have supported our work at the Mombasa Bible School, now known as Bishop Hannington Theological Institute, through expanding the library and teaching (Linda Hixon, another Canterburian once joined us to hold a two-day dental clinic at the school) and St. Luke’s Hospital. Situated in the hills north of Mombasa, the hospital is the only source of medical care in this poverty-stricken Muslim area.
In 2011 we helped purchase a new 33-seater bus for the nursing program there, enabling students to do required hours in different medical facilities up and down the coast. As a result, the nursing program became an accredited national program which trains and sends out hundreds of nurses to villages all over Kenya. Recently, we have been helping the Malindi Diocese purchase small motorcycles for new priests who go to remote provinces in the Malindi Province of the Anglican church.
We fund this through the sale of Kenyan and other cloth and jewelry, and Anne Marie’s pottery. At a recent Christmas sale we raised over $700 for this cause. In November of 2018 Anne Marie and Warren were inducted, in absentia, as Lay Canons of the Anglican church of Kenya at a service in Mtwapa. This is an honor which recognizes us as benefactors and consultants to that church.