It is hard to believe but we are now entering our fourth full week at Tenwek Hospital in Kenya after arrival here on July 14th. We found our home in great shape and our 1996 Toyota van in good working condition. We have really enjoyed renewing friendships with many missionary and Kenyan families, sharing as many meals together as possible. The months of July and August at Tenwek are busy ones with many comings and goings of visitors and long term missionary families alike. Pam has jumped into the role of hostess for several visitors and families already in the month of August. One of the aspects of life at Tenwek that we really enjoy is getting to know wonderful, humble servants of Christ who come here as short term physicians/surgeons with their families. One such family was the Rowe family who left this Friday. Dr. Glen and Lori Rowe and kids are from Delaware and have been considering long term service in orthopedic surgery now for a couple of years. Glen was so helpful to me in caring for the orthopedic patients as I was picking up many administrative responsibilities from Dr. Russ White, my missionary co-worker since 1997.
We only had one week with our long time friends Russ and Beth White before they left for the US for their one year home ministry assignment. Russ has been the Medical Superintendent here at Tenwek the last 2+ years and handed over to me (Mike) during several power talk sessions on his back porch. Taking over the position of Med Sup after a two year absence has had its challenges but I marvel how God has brought many gifted people to Tenwek to share the load of supervision and work. The medical staff at Tenwek has continued to grow with each department enjoying better coverage from consultants, residents, and interns than ever before. Currently the surgical department is staffed with five general surgeons (including Mike) , a urologist/general surgeon, and an orthopedic surgeon. There are six general surgery residents in their first three years of training as well as an orthopedic resident rotating from Moi University in Eldoret, Kenya. The orthopedic clinic (which has always been near and dear to my heart) has steadily grown in numbers with more trauma than ever before flowing in. On July 28th we saw 111 patients in 8 hours of clinic. I have already done some challenging cases including stabilizing a cervical spine fracture on a man in his 50's who was in an automobile accident. He accepted Christ as his Savior two days before the operation under the care and help of my intern, Dr. Elijah Terer. He is paralyzed, a quadraplegic, but has now the hope of eternal life. Please pray for him; his name is Julius.
Pam has been very busy getting our house organized and the kids settled. Painting, plumbing, and repairing projects have taken some time but with the great help of Tenwek's industrial department all is going well.
One major event in Kenya this past week was a landmark vote or referendum deciding on a new constitution. Given events after elections in 2007 in Kenya, there was a great focus on prayer by the church in Kenya that this vote would take place peacefully AND IT DID! Now four days after the referendum we have heard of no violence or arrests related to anger or retaliation by the losing side. Praise the Lord! Please pray for Kenyans as they now work under a new constitution, that the church will not remain silent as the details get worked out in the implementation of new Kenyan law.
Since our return, a very dear man of God, the Bishop of Africa Gospel Church and the Chairman of the Tenwek Hospital Board of Governors, Rev. Joseph Rono, passed away due to complications associated with diabetes and kidney failure. Rev. Rono was a wonderful friend of Tenwek and of our missionary staff here in Kenya. I attended one of several memorial services for Bishop Rono in Kericho and found that so many people, Kenyans and missionaries alike, felt so much admiration for this servant of Jesus. His firstborn, Jennifer, works with our medical staff here at Tenwek as our staff secretary. Please pray for Jennifer and the rest of the family as well as the Africa Gospel Church as they recover from the loss of a very humble servant leader.
Steven and Melody are excited to be accepted at Rift Valley Academy (RVA) with new parent orientation scheduled for August 25th. We visited the school our first week in country allowing them both to see potential dorm rooms and meet potential dorm parents for the coming year. Already friendships there are developing with the help of Facebook and email. We continue to thank our loving Lord that Steven was accepted in the "eleventh hour" as his junior class is very large! Some of his future classmates, whom he met during our visit, were amazed that he got in!
As I close this blog entry, I want to share with you all that God was so good and has brought together our support team at just the right time. During July several friends made commitments to regularly support our ministry such that we believe that we have met the goals set out for us by WGM. July was an incredible month for our ministry financially allowing us to begin this two year term fully supported and able to help Tenwek Hospital as special needs arise. In the near future I'll be writing on a couple of important projects that are underway or hoping to start soon. More to follow....
Our new contacts:
Dr. Mike and Pam Chupp
Box 39 Bomet, Kenya 20400
Phone 011-254-731-566667 (Mike)
Support: World Gospel Mission, Donor services, Box 948, Marion, IN 46952 and attach note "Mike and Pam Chupp ministry".
In His glorious service,
Mike for Pam, Steven, Melody, Kayla, and Ashley