Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Lights...camera....ACTION!


Wearing the new hat...on the road.

October has been a very exciting month for us as we had some golden opportunities to meet with groups of medical students, residents, and doctors/dentists in both Orlando, FL and Greenville, SC.  We survived hurricane Matthew and its 70-80 mph winds but we experienced our first ever curfew in the land of the free on Friday, Oct 7th, due to the dangerous conditions.  Two of the three meetings that we had scheduled were cancelled on that day, but we were so glad that Saturday was a beautiful day and over 60 people came out of their shelters to attend the fall CMDA banquet that evening.  Medical students came from as far as Tampa to hear me speak, which was quite encouraging!  A little over a week later I traveled to Greenville, SC to share with both students and the graduate chapter of CMDA in the Upstate area.  This student group is BIG with nearly 50 out of the 200 first and second year medical students attending weekly Bible studies in this state run medical school. The graduate group and students held their fall banquet on Oct 17th and I was their guest speaker.  It was such a blessing to be a part of motivating, educating, and equipping Christian healthcare professionals to focus on glorifying God in a career in medicine or dentistry or other healthcare related practice (this is the heart of the CMDA mission statement). The President of the student group emailed me after I had shared:
"Dr. Chupp,  we are so grateful for the time that we were able to spend with you yesterday and for the words you shared with us.  It was refreshing and rejuvenating for my faith to remember who we are ultimately serving and the ultimate purpose of medical school.  I am grateful for your prayers, and I hope that our testimony is clear not only to the classmate we told you about but also to many others.....Your words are incredible encouragement in a time when it often feels that I am not serving the Lord much in what I am doing.  In Christ alone,  Ben"

The top two pics below were taken from Greenville banquet and the medical school lunch presentation.  The third pic is Pam and I sharing a duet at the Orlando banquet.




Media training at CMDA National HQ

Dr. Stevens doing mock interview with Mike on "Rights of Conscience" for US healthcare professionals
Twice a year CMDA puts on the "Voice of Christian Doctors Media Training" here in Bristol.  This training has prepared hundreds of Christian doctors and dentists over many years to go before journalists in TV or radio interviews and be better prepared to articulate their views and represent our Lord Jesus well.  Some of you will remember Dr. Kent Brantley, who survived Ebola in 2014,...he went through this training immediately after his recovery from Ebola and it made a difference in his presentations for his nationally televised interviews and presentations.  The training was intense but practical and several of the trainees told me "Hey, you've got a good radio voice, Mike!"  (Maybe they were telling me I should avoid television????)  Dr. David Stevens has done hundreds of these interviews on CNN, Fox News, NPR, etc and is quite gifted in this role.  Dr. Stevens promised the 12 of us attending the training that we would be a whole lot better at the end of the two days than were we started the weekend.   I believe the dozen of us docs and dentists saw his prophecy/promise come true!  I would greatly appreciate your prayers that in God's timing, the right opportunities to go before the Christian and secular media will come AND that I will be willing to step out in faith, depending upon the Holy Spirit to guide my words and presentation.  
Trainers and trainees in the fall 2016 "Voice of Christian doctors" media training weekend

Medical Missions conference next week

Every November over 3,000 health care professionals and mission organizations flock to Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY for the annual Global Missions Health Conference.  In the past, we have had an exhibit booth for both Tenwek Hospital and World Gospel Mission to share with attendees what God is doing in and through medical ministries in Kenya.  Now, we will be attending the three day conference along with a large group of CMDA staff from Bristol and I have been asked to work with Susan Carter at the Center for Medical Missions booth, in the heart of the CMDA exhibit.  Will be an incredible opportunity to share with hundreds of conference goers who are thinking and praying about their response to the Great Commission and to the challenges that dozens of speakers will be giving at the conference.  Speaking of speakers, I'll be giving my first talk at the conference on "Staying Mission True in Changing Times".  This is a topic that has been on my heart and mind for my entire missionary career as I have heard of and seen many a mission hospital become lukewarm in its gospel witness b/c of a drift or shift from its founding vision.  Please join us in prayer that God will call out hundreds of harvest workers during this VERY important call to serve conference from Nov 10th to 12th.

Sharing in devotions here at CMDA on Tuesday as well, right before GMHC.  Will be sharing a message "Do you believe in miracles?"   Since the signature book about Tenwek Hospital and Dr. Steury's life was entitled "Miracle at Tenwek", you know that I DO!    The water tower at Tenwek proclaims the simple but powerful message "We treat - Jesus heals"!  It's a great battle cry!
 
Fanning the flames until He comes to get us and take us home,

Dr. Mike and Pam Chupp
Serving with the Christian Medical and Dental Associations
mike.chupp@cmda.org
cell:  423-366-6005
Box 7500
Bristol, TN. 37621










Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Trying new things....

A loan of courage to make the leap.....

Most people don't know that I (Mike) am a bit anxious about heights (mild acrophobia).  So when new friends (Dr. Lisle and Lauren Whitman) took us by boat on nearby South Holston Lake to "cliff island", I wasn't thinking that my fear would be confronted.   It was a flat lake, right?  That's when "D-Dad" told me to strap on my life jacket because we were going to make the jump off of cliff island.  ("D-Dad" is Lisle's 70-something father who is over 6 feet tall and very robust.)   I looked up to the top of cliff island and noticed that the side of a vertical rock wall in front of us was marked every five feet. By those markings, the top of the cliff was right around 30 feet from the water surface  as the summer heat usually drops the water level precipitously by September.  I wanted to politely tell D-Dad that I wasn't interested but something about having a 70 something man figure out that I was afraid of jumping from that height kept me silent and agreeable. (especially with my two daughters watching me).  So, I jumped out of the pontoon boat with D-Dad, his son Dr. Lisle, and three young ladies (our daughters) and swam for the island.  Climbing up the side of the cliff face, up to the top, was a little nerve racking to say the least.  At the top, the six of us gathered near the cliff edge, with our life jackets on and, before I knew it, D-Dad went running off the cliff, feet first, down to the lake below.   He bobbed up and swam for the boat like nothing had happened.  What happened next, surprised Pam and me big time:   I held my life jacket close and leaped in right after D-Dad with a shout!  As I went over the cliff edge, I had the split second feeling that I had just made the biggest mistake of my life!!  Not since I was 14 years old had I jumped from so high and that experience was terrifying.  The fall ended quickly with a big splash, an acute pain in my bum, and huge relief that it was over as I swam to the pontoon boat.  Pam had told Lauren that I would chicken out and she couldn't believe that I made the jump.  All I could say to her was that having D-Dad go first and show me that it wasn't a big deal was an incredible boost for my courage.   If he could jump, I could jump.  He gave me a huge loan of courage, enough for me to do something I would not have attempted otherwise.  I was feeling pretty good about myself until Dr. Lisle, still up on the cliff, threw his life jacket over the cliff and dove in, from 30 feet, HEAD FIRST!  Gulp!
Image result for cliff jumping
Not me...but I DID take the leap and it felt like this!
As I am preparing for an October with many meetings with doctors, residents, and students and their spouses,  D-Dad's example is on my mind.   I am praying that the "leap" which Pam and I took 20 years ago to go to Africa to volunteer as career medical missionaries at Tenwek Hospital will give courage to young health care professionals considering such a calling.   I remember the uncertainties in 1996 about our future financial status, my professional competency as a surgeon, how my wife and kids would handle growing up in Africa, and many other concerns.  After two decades my whole family will agree with me... we wouldn't have wanted it any other way! The leap was worth it and the ride, an amazing, blessed adventure with Jesus Christ as our life jacket.  Yep, we suffered some bruises along the way and others probably handled the jump in more graceful fashion, but we did it .....and God has blessed us over and over again.  As we serve with CMDA-USA in coming months and years, we could have the opportunity to encourage thousands of Christian healthcare trainees and practicing doctors/dentists/PA's/podiatrists/others.   We will ask them to consider a career of medical ministry and we want to hand out courage loans, with no interest, to all we meet.  The mission of CMDA is to "motivate, educate, and equip Christian healthcare professionals to glorify God by serving with professional excellence as witnesses of Christ's love and compassion to all people".  Please pray with us that God will bless our efforts, especially in a busy October and November, to accomplish that mission, to the glory of God.  Our schedule is below:

October 5th to 9th: Trip to Orlando to share at Surgery Grand Rounds, lunch with Orlando medical students,  and speak at CMDA Orlando chapter fall banquet.
October 12th to 14th:  Friends of Tenwek Board meeting and planning, Charlotte, NC
October 17th:  Lunch with Greenville medical students and evening banquet with Upstate SC CMDA chapter
Oct 21st/22nd:  Media training at CMDA headquarters
Nov 9th - 12th:  Global Missions Health Conference,  Louisville (giving talk on Mission Drift)

Between now and the first week of January, Dr. Gene Rudd and I will be working closely together so that I learn well to take on the many responsibilities that Gene has.  Gene is currently in Israel, leading a team of doctors and dentists and CMDA friends on a tour of the Holy Land so I am "minding the fort", getting to know the ~50 staff who work full or part time here in Bristol.

News from Tenwek is encouraging these days.  Several returning and new missionary families have arrived to reinforce the "remnant" that we left in July.   The new house construction that many of you donated to is progressing well.  Dr. Mike Ganey sent us a picture this week which we want to share with you....thanks for giving so generously.  We believe this house could be the first of three or even four houses that your generous giving kick-started!
Roof nearly finished on Ganey family house at Tenwek


Your generous giving and regular prayers ALSO serve as a loan of courage to our family.  Thank you, thank you.

Mike and Pam
2 Tim 1: 6,7

Friday, August 5, 2016

Climbing a new hill

We Made it!

     Yes, I climbed a new hill this morning to come to a new office from a new home in a new town, called Bristol, in eastern Tennessee.  CMDA (Christian Medical and Dental Associations) headquarters is at the top of a hill and we live in a CMDA rental house down the hill a few hundred yards.  Walking up the hill reminded me of my morning routine at Tenwek Hospital for most of the past two decades, only the road is nicely paved and I didn't dodge any cows or motorcycles!  I am writing this Chupplink from my new office in the Campus and Community Ministry section of the building where another new VP, Mr. Bill Reichart, will also be taking up residence soon.  Dr. David Stevens (CEO) and Dr. Gene Rudd (Executive VP) have been remarkably hospitable with Gene doubling as maintenance man on the side to help us with various repairs in our new home.  While I don't officially begin with CMDA until Sept 1st, there is much to do before that date so that we hit the ground running in the new position of Executive Vice-President, overlapping with Gene until January 1st when he plans to leave the position that he has held for the last 20 years with Dr. Stevens. 
Our new ministry base in Bristol, TN...CMDA headquarters
     Our family is adjusting very well given all the rapid changes and transition we have experienced in moving from Kenya.  Ashley started her freshman year at Tennessee High School (THS) this past Monday, Aug 1st,  only 20 days after her final day at RVA in Kenya.  Kayla began her senior year also at THS but enrolled in the on-line program.  Melody returns to the Upstate campus of the University of South Carolina in ten days in Spartanburg, while our oldest, Steven, awaits word any day now, of acceptance into the Air Force again, his second round of attempting to enter the special forces as a combat controller.   God has been so good to us in many different ways these past three weeks since we landed in Chicago and St. Joseph, MI.   Our renters officially closed on our house on Maiden Lane in St. Joseph this past Monday and we had smiles all around the title company table.  Mine was due to the fact that for the first time in 35 years, we are totally debt free.  PTL!

Ministry transition: WGM to CMDA

We have already shared in three supporting churches in the last three weeks and the most common questions we are asked by many including family members:  Mike and Pam, how do we transfer support from WGM to CMDA and when should we do that?  The answer to the "when" question is simply.....THIS MONTH (ie. August) as our last official date with World Gospel Mission is August 31st.   The "how" answer depends upon the way individuals have been supporting our ministry through WGM.   If it is by mail and check, then the same route can be used but simply mail the check (made out to "CMDA" or "Christian Medical and Dental Associations") with a note attached "Mike and Pam Chupp ministry" to this address:

Christian Medical and Dental Associations 
Donor services
Box 7500
Bristol, TN 37621

CMDA will give our ministry credit for the gift and send you a tax deductible gift receipt, just as WGM has done.

If you have been giving on-line or prefer to transition to electronic gifts, click on the hyperlink below (or copy and paste https://give.cornerstone.cc/cmda-donate/checkout?memo=Mike+and+Pam+Chupp  into your browser) and fill out the electronic gift form with CMDA which will then set up regular giving to our ministry with many options for gift amount and frequency.  The e-giving link is:


I have talked with Mrs. Cheryl Bishir who heads up Donor services at WGM and she assured me that all current electronic gifts to our WGM will be stopped as of August 31st.   For any questions or concerns about your WGM support moving forward, Cheryl told me that you could call her direct line Monday to Friday at 765-671-7258.  (This would include if preferred to transfer your support to another WGM missionary.)

Our new contacts:

Home address:   490 Old Jonesboro Road   Bristol, TN 37620
Work address:  Christian Medical and Dental Associations,   Box 7500  Bristol, TN 37621

Our phone contacts:  Mike's cell:  423-366-6005      Pam's cell:  423-366-0881
                                     Work phone:  423-844-1045

Email:   (Ministry)  mike.chupp@cmda.org    (Personal)  kenyachupps@yahoo.com

Blog: kenyachupps.blogspot.com


Since our landing in the US, three weeks ago today, I have been sharing with friends and family the 1st verse of the most recent chapter in the Psalms that I have memorized, Psalm 111 (the only scripture reference with four ones!)  "Praise the Lord!  I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with His godly people."   I have met with many of those godly people over the last three weeks and our hearts are truly overflowing with gratitude.  We are thankful for a faithful group of brothers and sisters who have stood with us for the last 20 years of ministry in Kenya.   We are also humbled and encouraged by many who have made it clear that they want to continue to help us recruit and train and equip future harvest workers among Christian healthcare workers through CMDA where our new vision is Transformed Doctors Transforming the World.   

Serving Jesus, the greatest privilege available!

Mike and Pam Chupp