APU alumna Juli McGowan-Boit shared her story with a small group of students and faculty last Wednesday in the Duke Lobby. Recognized as APU’s 2016 Alumna of the Year, Boit explained her journey to Kenya where she now has a ministry dedicated to hospice care called Living Room Ministries International.
In 2001, Boit graduated from APU as a nursing student. While at APU, she went on a short-term mission trip to Kenya. After graduating with her BSN, Boit spent a few years working with AIDS patients at the Infectious Disease Unit at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. There, she became more passionate about caring for people with HIV and AIDs. After taking two more mission trips to Kenya, she realized that she was being called back permanently to make good use of her nursing skills.
She spent the first five years into her excursion as a nurse practitioner with Empowering Lives International. She eventually transitioned into manifesting a vision of her own. To date, she has spent the last 5 years caring for Kenyans suffering from life-threatening illnesses. Though her work is done on the other side of the world, she believes that it can be accomplished here in the States too.
“I believe in making a difference everywhere,” Boit said.
Living Room, located in the rural area of the surrounding village of Kipkaren, was created to support those afflicted with life-limiting diseases. With a full-time staff of 45 Kenyans, their time is spent ensuring that individuals and families achieve the best quality of life through the treatment of diseases and caring for their patients physically, psychologically and spiritually. Their belief is that everyone is created in the image of God and should be treated accordingly. As a result, Living Room creates a space where no one has to die alone and trains other care providers to help spread their mission throughout Kenya.
“It’s encouraging to see how helping others has transformed her life,” senior graphic design major Taylor Allen said. “Her love for God is so apparent and her selfless nature is so admirable that I walked away inspired to fully submit myself unto Him in hopes of being a disciple, too. I want to be used in similar ways.”
Like Allen, other students were encouraged to trace her footsteps.
“I think the fact that she dropped her whole life here and moved to a completely different continent is crazy but I’ll do whatever God calls me to do to too. I would definitely go to Kenya,” sophomore allied health major Kelly Herbig said.
Boit spends 10 months out of the year in Kenya. She dedicates the other two months to fundraising in the States and elsewhere. As Living Room gears up to expand to a second site in Eldoret, Boit and the rest of her team anticipate reaching more individuals in need of hospice care.
She said she is grateful to have come as far as she has in her ministry and recognizes that all things are possible with God.
“If I would have seen the whole picture when I started, I think it would have been too much,” Boit said. “But whatever God invites you into is a step-by-step following and He will be there with you.”
On Friday, Oct. 28, Boit was presented a plaque by President Jon Wallace, DBA in recognition of her hard work. She was also given a check on behalf of the university to support her fundraising efforts for her ministry.
For more information on Living Room Ministries and how to donate, visit www.livingroominternational.org.