Sunday, June 20, 2010

Transition Time

We have successfully moved out of our home in Michigan and after only two showings, have also rented the house to a family who moves in July 1st! Things are moving quickly, and after packing 20 trunks and 4 suitcases, we spent two nights in our good friend’s comfortable home (thanks Dave and Amy!). It is Saturday and we have just dropped off Mike’s work car to his brother Brian who bought it from us. We are all piled in our remaining vehicle, which is still for sale, and we will leave it with my dad for him to sell. We will spend the next few days visiting with extended family members before we head back to Michigan on July 7th.
“Letting go” of material possessions, especially the house for me, has been a lesson in holding things loosely. We moved into our home just 13 months ago, and it has been just the perfect house for our family. I have enjoyed it so much, and packing it up, taking things off the walls, and then cleaning it for our new renters was definitely sad for me. I can definitely say however, that I have felt overwhelming peace in this whole process, and have felt the Lord’s hand on my shoulder as I have packed boxes, trunks, and said good-bye to this home in America. It is not easy to leave what is familiar, begin living out of suitcases again, and saying good-bye to friends and family. Please pray for our family as the next two weeks will be full of making many memories with our families, but also saying good-bye to them for 2 years.
I feel maybe a little bit like Peter might have felt when he “stepped out of the boat”, as we have stepped out in faith, renting our home, selling our vehicles, and going to Kenya, while we are still waiting for a positive confirmation on Steven’s acceptance to RVA. The admissions director told us last week that she was “very hopeful” that a place would open up for him. We know that God is never late, seldom early, but always on time!

(From Mike)

I thought I would jump in and add some updates from Tenwek that impact me and my work at Tenwek Hospital. The Board of Management for the hospital asked me to take on the position of Medical Superintendent in early August shortly after our arrival next month. The current Med Sup, Dr. Russ White, leaves on home ministry assignment in late July so a doctor was needed to jump in the role in his absence. Since I have done the job for over four years in the past, the Board felt that I could best fill this vacancy in Russ' absence for nearly a year. The position is the equivalent of a Medical Director or Chief of Staff in US medical institutions. There are a wide variety of responsibilities and many meetings to attend on behalf of the medical staff which continues to grow at Tenwek yearly. The challenge for me in the past has always been balancing clinical responsibilities with administrative needs of the hospital. I am excited by the fact that we will have fairly balanced coverage in both general surgery AND orthopedic surgery for at least the first six months we return. There are to be two orthopedic surgeons and three general surgeons during those six months (not including me!) plus a urologist/general surgeon. I have had peace in my heart about saying "yes" to the Board's invitation given this kind of surgical coverage at Tenwek. I will definitely, however, request your prayers for wisdom, patience, grace, and a sense of humor as I take over Russ' responsibilities in early August. The CEO, Mr. Geoffrey Langat, has been a dear friend and co-worker in Tenwek administration for several years. His encouragement in years past has helped me get through some challenging times at the hospital. (another reason I said "yes"!)

A recent answer to prayer was the amazing way that God helped Tenwek orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Dan Galat, to find special parts for our essential C-arm xray unit at Tenwek. This xray machine provides real time, video type, xray images that make a huge difference in fixing fractures. The unit broke down in late May just before Dr. Galat came home to the US. This caused a great deal of stress for the orthopedic and GI service which both depend on the C-arm for many procedures. The C-arm had worked faithfully for over 5 years with very heavy, daily use by Mike, Dan, and many visiting orthopedic surgeons over those years. With contacts in the xray equipment industry Dan was able to obtain parts to replace the hard drive on the C-arm and get them to Tenwek with visiting doctors. Just yesterday an email came from Tenwek that the unit was operational again and within 20 minutes assisted in the care of a 12 year old girl who fell from a tree and broke her wrists, elbow, and femur! Praise the Lord for providing for such specialized equipment through the hard work of Dr. Galat and the generosity of Tenwek friends in the xray business!

Our prayer requests in summary:

1) Place for Steven at Rift Valley Academy for his junior year starting in late August. He is first on the waiting list at this time.

2) Sale of our mini-van within the next month

3) Reaching the support target that WGM has required us to reach before returning to Tenwek. We remain about $800/month short of the target.

Thanks for continuing to journey with us. We'll send another post before we leave the country.

1 comment:

  1. Mike and Pam, Just wanted you to know I will be praying for you in this transition. I can only imagine...Love and prayers, Gale Smith