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  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)    (Personal)


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

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Lessons while Leaving because of His Leading

Farewells and Blessings....

It would be very difficult for us to fully describe the last 10 days of our ministry lives here at Tenwek Hospital in Kenya.   We are rapidly approaching our launch date of July 14th (immediately after attending the high school graduation ceremony of four Tenwek missionary kids from Rift Valley Academy).   Since June 30th, we have taken part in many small and big parties, teas, celebrations, porch encounters in our honor to tell us goodbye and grant us God's greatest blessings as we move to Bristol, TN before the end of July.   We will be joining the Christian Medical and Dental Associations (CMDA) in leadership with two of our heroes, Dr. David Stevens and Dr. Gene Rudd, as well as nearly 70 national and regional staff members.  We have had a series of significant "lasts" at Tenwek including Mike's final surgery of his Tenwek career, his first ever bilateral femur nailing under one anesthetic using his favorite technique called a Russell Taylor nailing procedure.  This was a less invasive procedure on an 18 year old scout leader who was hit as a pedestrian by a passing car.  The young man was up and walking with crutches within a couple of days after surgery, PTL!

Assisting Ortho resident Watson and intern Brian
with bilateral femoral nailing, my last case at Tenwek

Patient Richard after bilateral femur nails.

Tenwek leadership held a wonderful farewell celebration dinner for an entire evening, June 30th, Mike's last official working day as Medical Superintendent.  It was attended by several board members, including the Board Chairman, Rev. Dr. Robert Langat, Bishop of the Africa Gospel Church,  the Tenwek Management team, and many department heads as well as the long term physician staff.  Over 20 speeches were made during the evening and gifts were exchanged between Tenwek and the Chupp family.  Pam and our daughter Melody were in attendance for this special evening, celebrating our 20 years of service for Tenwek Mission Hospital.  The Tenwek leadership very clearly expressed many heartfelt thanks and appreciation for the time of service to the staff and patients.  It was an evening to be remembered and cherished, without question, for the rest of our lives.  Some pics from our final weeks and farewells are below....
Tenwek Board Chairman, Rev/Dr. Robert Langat and Tenwek CEO, Mr. Geoffrey Langat, give farewell gift to us.

Hospital Board and Management members pray for us a prayer of dedication in our new role at CMDA-USA
Leading Doctors' devotions using CMDA course, Grace Prescriptions
Prayer of commissioning at Bethesda church

Mike with Radiology staff at Tenwek after farewell party
Final Tenwek ad team meeting with Dr. Steve Burgert, my successor, attending

It's easy, Dr. Steve!


July 12th:  Departure from Tenwek Hospital
July 14th:  Attend Rift Valley Academy Graduation in AM,  fly out of Nairobi in PM
July 15th:  Arrival in Chicago and St. Joseph, MI
July 16th to 19th:  St. Joseph, MI
July 21st to 24th: Central Indiana to visit family and friends
July 25th:  Move to Bristol, TN into CMDA rental house
Aug 1st:  Ashley and Kayla begin high school classes 
Sept 1st:  Mike starts as co-Senior Vice-President with Dr. Gene Rudd at CMDA

We request your prayers, friends, as we say goodbye to our beloved Kenya and our wonderful team of missionary and Kenyan co-workers for all these years.  Our two daughters, Kayla and Ashley, will have an especially hard time over the next couple of days saying goodbye to classmates and friends at Rift Valley Academy in Kijabe, Kenya.  We also ask for your prayers as we travel to Nairobi and then the USA this Thursday, July 14th.  

Farewell picture today at famous Tenwek sign

I'll close with a wonderful verse, shared with us by some dear friends who serve in Burundi at another mission hospital,  Psalm 40:5  "O Lord my God, you have performed many wonders for us.  Your plans for us are too numerous to list.  You have no equal.  If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds, I would never come to the end of them."  God has been so good to our family during these years at Tenwek.   Many Kenyan staff have told us "Dr. Chupp, you have been faithful in many small things, now God is going to give you responsibility for even bigger things....please be our Tenwek ambassador in the US."   

We could NOT have made it through these two decades of service without YOUR prayers, YOUR financial support, and YOUR encouragement time and time again. THANK YOU!  As we transition to CMDA leadership, we covet your prayers and your ongoing support as we expand our ministry territory to raise up Christian doctors whose hearts beat to be faithful servants of Jesus Christ, using medicine as a tool.   

More to follow.......

Mike and Pam

Our contacts:
Mike and Pam Chupp
Phone after July 15th:  423-366-2286
Address after July 25th:  490 Old Jonesboro Rd., Bristol, TN 37620

Support through Aug 31st:  WGM  Box 948 Marion, IN 46952
After August 31st:  CMDA,  Box 7500  Bristol, TN 37620 (note attached "Mike and Pam Chupp ministry")