Sunday, January 29, 2017

Transformed Doctors, Transforming the World!

Getting behind a great vision

"Transformed Doctors, transforming the world!"

     We are approaching the five month mark here in Bristol as of February 1st and wow, are we working with some great folks at CMDA headquarters!   53 staff serve in the Bristol facility, supporting over 40 distinct ministries of this 18,000+ member organization.  As of January 3rd, I (Mike) moved into Dr. Gene Rudd's office and officially took the mantle of the Executive VP of CMDA.  Gene has graciously moved into a different office and continues as my coach and mentor in providing training and encouragement in my new position of leadership. Gene was honored in early December by our VP for Communications, Margie Shealy (see pic below) with the Kindness award, given each month to the CMDA staff who shows Christ-like kind behavior to our other staff in a remarkable way.  Gene's daily life is filled with examples of acts of service and kindness to all of us who serve with him.  He is an incredible role model and challenge to me!
Dr. Gene Rudd (my coach) receives the December "Kindness award" from VP for Communications, Margie Shealy

The last 10 days were very busy and important for the governance of CMDA as the annual winter Board of Trustees meeting took place in St. Petersburg, FL on January 20th/21st. During the two days of meetings, we heard some encouraging statements made by Board members:
"CMDA is about raising the flag of Jesus Christ first and foremost, not our own flag."
"CMDA is looking for the key result of instilling righteousness in medical students and residents across the United States."
"We are about discipleship in this organization.  Any key measurement that indicates that we are doing this better should be of great importance to all of us."

     Stories of transformation....they abound at CMDA.   Medical students and residents making commitments to serve Christ in their careers.   The estimate is that approximately 30,000 health care professionals and their spouses/families are touched regularly by this ministry and then get involved in touching a lost and dying world through compassionate care in Jesus' name through the various CMDA outreach ministries like Global Health Outreach teams,  Medical Education International teaching teams, domestic inner city clinics for the poor and uninsured, and many others.  And the organization's reach continues to increase.  Already national groups of Christian Physician Assistants and Christian Pharmacists have come under the CMDA umbrella and tomorrow a delegation of Nurse Practitioners are visiting with Dave Stevens and myself to explore a collaborative effort of our two organizations.  Please pray with us as we consider this joining of efforts with US NP's.

I wasn't the only newbie to join this 85 year old organization last year.  Also joining the Class of 2016 was a new VP for Campus and Community ministries, Rev. Bill Reichart, formerly the Atlanta area CMDA director.  Bill and I have become prayer partners at HQ for 2017 and we both have young adult daughters to pray over together. Bill has already been of great encouragement to me as well as a seasoned trainer on fully utilizing social media to get out our important messages from CMDA. (He formerly worked for CRU with university students) The CMDA Board was thrilled over the new strategic plan Bill has generated to grow the campus and community ministries across the USA on medical and dental campuses and in dozens of communities across the country, under our four Regional Directors.  The other leader new to the team is Mr. Scott Rimell, new VP for Digital Media and Marketing.  Scott came from Precept Ministries and prior to that had worked for medical publishing giant, Elsevier.  I joked in CMDA chapel the other day that the three new VP's would start a Christian singing group called the "Newboys"!

Praising God for generous friends and answered prayers

In our Christmas Chuppdate we asked you to pray with us and consider helping us erase our first ministry financial deficit in our ministry career, associated with the move to CMDA from WGM.  We are so grateful to Jehovah Jireh that He remained faithful to His character of "meeting all our needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus" (Phil 4:19).   We had set a goal of year end donations of $25,000 for December to help erase our deficit and we saw God's people give $24,698, just $302 shy of our hoped for goal.  As a result we are now slightly ahead of our monthly goal for support and entering 2017 encouraged by the generosity of so many who have trusted us to be following God's leading in our lives in this move to a Stateside ministry of raising up the next generation of Jesus' followers in medicine and dentistry. If any of you did not receive our hard copy Chuppdate in December, please drop us a short note at with your mailing address and we will add you to our list for the next Chuppdate. 
Dr. David Stevens showing Mike the TV interview "ropes"

Family Update

December was a rather remarkable month for our family as just 5 days after moving into a new home here in Bristol, Pam slipped and fell and broke her left (dominant) wrist.   This required an anesthetic in the Bristol Regional Medical Center for reduction and pinning by our new friend and CMDA Board member, Dr. Lisle Whitman.  For my very independent and self-sufficient wife and friend, being out of commission for the holidays was a bit of a bummer.  Christmas in a cast....these memories will be with us for some time!  She and we survived the ordeal and she is now minus the pins and cast and well on her way to getting normal function back again in her left wrist.  All three of our daughters are now together here in our home in Bristol with Kayla (senior) and Ashley (freshman) attending Tennessee on-line school and Melody having moved up from Spartanburg, SC with plans to transfer this year to ETSU in Johnson City, TN, continuing her exercise science major.  Our son Steven continues to live outside of Indy and is working nearly full time at O'Charley's restaurant, not far from his girlfriend's family in Greenfield, IN.  
Our family the week after Christmas with amazing mild temps!

Prayer with Praise

We celebrate an incredible year in 2016 with successful transition to ministry with CMDA in August and now I have fully moved into the role that Dr. Stevens invited me to consider in May 2015.  The CMDA staff are great encouragers who are passionate about being part of a ministry to Christian healthcare providers positioned all over the world.  We thank the Father for a successful winter Board meeting last weekend in St. Petersburg and then a very fun opportunity to talk about medical missions this week (Tuesday) at Quillen Medical School in Johnson City, TN, with the 20+ students in the CMDA student chapter there. They listened and thanked us repeatedly afterward for giving them a fresh perspective from the field on what it looks like to serve Jesus Christ as a cross-cultural health care missionary. Many of the students are very interested in serving in mission overseas in coming years.

Please pray with us over the following opportunities to serve:
1. Mike travels to southeast Asia on Feb 9th for about 10 days to represent CMDA at the biannual CMDE event for missionary continuing medical and dental education.  He has two talks he is preparing for leaders and missionary managers on "Leadership from the Second Cultural Chair" and "Burnout Prevention and Management for Team Leaders".  
2. This is the time of year for budget preparation at CMDA.  Our experienced auditors report that the organization is either the most or second-most complicated not for profit they work for in America.  Please pray for patience for Gene Rudd as he trains Mike and for Mike to be a quick financial study!
3. Just finished course #6 (Strategic Planning) of 14 total toward an MBA at Crown University.  With many travels in the next two months have decided to delay my next class til May.  I still have a ways to go but have received many encouragements from friends, Dave and Gene, and CMDA Board members that this is "the right thing to do at the right time."
4. Meetings this week with Christian nurse practitioners reps, leaders at Samaritan's Purse in Boone, NC, and leadership of Project MedSend here in Bristol about future projects and priorities.

Thanks so much for standing with us! We covet your prayers dear friends!

Fanning the flame until He comes to get us,

Mike for Pam, Melody, Kayla, and Ashley.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016!

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
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