Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Nurse drawn to Kenyan mission

ER nurse Shane Kingery must cover his expenses for the three years in Africa.

ER nurse Shane Kingery must cover his expenses for the three years in Africa.

Shane Kingery was a chubby 14-year-old kid from Spring Hill when he first flew overseas to build houses in Iceland.

He was never handy with a hammer but found other talents he could use on later mission trips to the more poverty stricken neighborhoods in Jamaica and Haiti.

Last May, with his nursing degree from Pasco-Hernando Community College and experience working in hospital emergency rooms, Kingery, 26, traveled to the East African country of Kenya on a nine-week missionary internship. If he expected it to be just another mission trip, he was wrong.

He fell in love with Kenya and its people, many of whom lived simple, nomadic lives very different from his own.

This fall, Kingery returns to Kenya on a three-year assignment as part of AfricaHope Kenya's HIV/AIDS outreach in rural areas.

"I've always known that God wanted me for something bigger than just working in a hospital," said Kingery, who works part time at Brooksville Regional so he can devote more time to raising money for his assignment.

As a medical missionary with New Mission Systems International of Fort Myers, Kingery must cover his moving, living and operating expenses for the three years abroad. That's $46,000 to move and $4,400 a month while he's in Kenya.

Over the past few months, he has held fundraising events at local businesses. Last week, he spoke to nursing students at PHCC. Typically, someone hears his story and pledges a modest amount in monthly support. Understandably, some are skeptical. Why should a young person put their life on hold to serve people half a world away when we have our own problems right here?

Why should we care what happens in Kenya?

"It's really about social justice," said Kingery, who added he's undeterred by the recent political violence in Kenya.

Like many of us, Kingery believes it's immoral for people in the richest nation on earth to ignore "the needs of brothers and sisters" in places like Kenya.

And the needs are huge. Kenya is located in sub-Saharan Africa, the epicenter for the global AIDS crisis — 72 percent of all AIDS deaths worldwide and two-thirds of all people infected with HIV live in sub-Saharan Africa. One in 20 Kenyans is infected with the virus that causes AIDS, according to the World Health Organization.

Blame poverty and ignorance. Many Kenyans don't understand biology and what causes disease. They view AIDS as a curse without a cure; the stigma is deadly.

As he prepares for his assignment, Kingery will need more than just good intentions and "abstinence only" slogans. He'll have to learn to work in a culture with very different notions of polygamy and promiscuity. He must learn not to judge Kenyans by American standards.

Before he can help Kenyans heal, though, he must gain their trust. That's something he's really looking forward to.

Andrew Skerritt can be reached at or (813) 909-4602 or toll-free at 1-800-333-7505, ext. 4602.

.fast facts

For information

Kingery can be reached at or (352) 650-8791, or visit

Nurse drawn to Kenyan mission 03/03/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 9:25am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Senate ponders health care bill it doesn't want to be law


    Buoyed by a signal from House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced a pared-down health care bill late Thursday that he hoped would keep alive Republican ambitions to repeal Obamacare.

    Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., left, and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., expressed concerns about passing the “skinny repeal” of Obamacare without assurances of further negotiations.
  2. Arrest made in shooting death of 19-year-old found in lot


    A 20-year-old Tampa man was arrested Thursday night for the shooting death of a 19-year-old whose body was discovered in a vacant lot on Tuesday.

  3. Rays fall to Yankees in 11 on Brett Gardner homer (w/ video)

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — The front office did its part Thursday, making two trades to bolster the roster in a push for the playoffs. But the Rays didn't follow up in a frustrating 6-5 11-inning loss to the Yankees.

    Rays reliever Andrew Kittredge stands on the mound and can only watch as the Yankees’ Brett Gardner starts to circle the bases after his walkoff home run leading off the 11th inning.
  4. Believe it! Rays are buyers, trade for reliever Dan Jennings and 1B/DH Lucas Duda

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — Dan Jennings' ability to render lefty hitters useless with a sinker that gets beaten into the ground and Lucas Duda's power to blast baseballs off and over outfield walls should make the Rays better.

    Lucas Duda
  5. Bucs' direction is decidedly up for first time in several years


    TAMPA — If you want to see a team give the Heisman Trophy stiff-arm to expectations, check out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    Tight end O.J. Howard, left, the Bucs’ first-round draft pick this year, was brought in to give QB Jameis Winston another big-play option.