Mike and I have just returned to Nairobi after spending two full days at Rift Valley Academy in Kijabe, Kenya attending New Parent Orientation, while Steven and Melody attended New Student Orientation. Our time was spent listening to a panel of RVA staff answer questions about how to "parent from afar". We also got to know some of the staff better, took a tour of the campus, became familiar with the layout of the school, finalized the kid's class schedules, set them up with e-mail accounts at the computer lab, moved them into their dorm rooms, and met their wonderful dorm parents. I was so incredibly impressed at how hard the school staff and administration work to make the adjustment for new students smooth, and how organized and well-thought out each aspect of dorm/school life is. The kids will be very busy, even on the weekends, as there are many activities as well as required study times in the evenings for them to get homework done. Mike and I were especially humbled and overwhelmed by the love and commitment of the dorm parents, who live with their apartments attached to the dorms. They have an open-door policy for the kids to just come into their living rooms and kitchens to make tea, snacks, and visit. I am so thankful for the loving, Godly people whom God has called to mentor and disciple our children in our absence. I am confident that they will "get into their business" as needed and help them succeed at RVA.
Mike and I had amazing peace as we left the kids yesterday, knowing that this is exactly where the Lord wants them, as He performed a miracle in regard to Steven's acceptance there. When we left, they were chatting and laughing with new dormmates as the returning students were arriving. Mike and I will visit on Sunday and go to church and have lunch with them before we say our final good-bye to head back to Tenwek. We feel very blessed to only be 3 hours from them, as many parents of students will leave them and travel to other countries in Africa and won't see the kids until break, 12 weeks from now. We feel a bit spoiled that we can visit the kids quite often, and plan to return on September 11th to celebrate Steven's 17th birthday with him.
We have great confidence that Steven and Melody will grow academically, socially and spiritually as they face the ups and downs of dorm and school life, and know that many of you are praying for them as they adjust to life away from home for the first time. Mike and I will return to Tenwek Sunday afternoon, and begin a very busy week as I start school with Kayla and Ashley on Monday. It is a comfort to know that Steven and Melody are "only a cell phone call away" and they can call whenever they need to. Thanks again for all your prayers as we have entered yet another transition in our lives. We will miss them being home, and it will take time to adjust to a "new normal" at home with just the two younger girls. Life continues to be about changes, but we rest on the One who doesn't change, and know He does all things well. You can send Steven and Melody messages at their new e-mail addresses.
They would love to get notes while they're at school!
A MONTH OF PEDIATRIC SURGERY!
Mike jumping in! Sometimes in my missionary surgical career I have noticed that patients come in two's and three's within the same surgical subspecialty. Since I plugged in to the surgical staff at Tenwek at the end of July that subspecialty seems to be pediatric surgery. While on call I have operated on three different newborns with urgent surgical needs (the average weight for the three has been just under 4 1/2 lbs!) and one 9 year old kicked in the abdomen by a donkey with a bowel injury. Two of the babies with their moms are pictured below with their permission. Both of these moms speak excellent English so it has been quite fulfilling to explain each day how the babies are doing and to see their faces light up with news of progress. The Tenwek nursery is a BUSY place with a census of 20 to 35 babies most of the year. I found several brand new baby beds with nice LED monitors and modern warmers. Praise God for these provisions at Tenwek.
Mom and one month old, 5 1/2 lb baby boy named Ramos who had condition called pyloric stenosis.
Mom and baby Enoch, a 4 1/2 lb two day old infant after surgery for condition called malrotation.
My responsibilities at Tenwek for the next 10 months will be to provide leadership to the medical staff as Medical Superintendent while helping out in the orthopedic department as much as I can. Dr. Bob Green is an orthopedic surgeon who has spent many years in many countries providing orthopedic care. Bob will be working at Tenwek through the summer of 2011 when our newest career doctor with World Gospel Mission, Dr. Dan Galat, an orthopedic surgeon, returns to Tenwek. Thus far my surgical experience can be summarized as "baby bowel and big bones"! My administrative summary would be "many meetings and endless email"!
Thank you so much for praying for us! God has done marvellous things at Tenwek and in our family in answer to the prayers of His saints. We KNOW it!!!
We will try and post to our blog once or twice a month from here on out to keep all our family and friends "in the know" about the Chupp family. God bless each one of you and your families.