Friday, April 6, 2012

They lifted Him up - Our symbol of healing

Good Friday at Tenwek Hospital

John 12:32  "I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself."

Those of us in medicine and surgery are quite familiar with the symbol of the serpent entwined around a staff, the ancient Greek symbol of healing from the Greek cult of Asklepios.   This symbol, however, was predated many centuries earlier by another serpent on a pole in Numbers 21 when God commanded Moses to lift up the serpent in the desert.   That serpent provided healing and life to any Israelite bitten by a venomous snake after God sent these snakes to punish a rebellious and grumbling nation.   You know the story.   Look and live, God told the Israelites through Moses.  What a simple remedy.  How I wish we had such a simple and powerful remedy for snakebite here in Kenya!  God, in his marvelous way, gave a preview to the children of Israel of the ultimate symbol of healing on a pole on that original Good Friday of Passover Week which we remember today all over the world.  This month at Tenwek we have examples of people who have been drawn to the lifted up Savior from all over the globe:  believers from Germany, Japan, US,  Canada,  Egypt,  Ethiopia,  Gabon,  Great Britain, and Kenya, of course.  What a simple remedy but one that requires you and I and all the patients who seek help at Tenwek Hospital to believe that healing of our hearts and redemption from our sin requires us to put all our hope in that saving symbol of Christ on the cross.  To be healed from the death-dealing plague of sin, rebellion, disobedience, apathy toward God, we look to the cross in faith and obedience, and surrender to His will for our lives.  

Good Friday is a holiday in Kenya as is the Monday after Easter.   That doesn't change the nature of caring for hundreds of sick patients this weekend, but it does allow us to change from "busyness as usual" to a mode of allowing staff at the hospital to treat this weekend as special as we "look to the cross" and remember Jesus' resurrection victory.  The highlight of the Chupp family weekend will be sharing a sunrise Easter service with our local church and missionary community on the lawn of one of our missionary homes in front of an "old rugged cross" which we will adorn with flowers at the end of the service.  This is likely our son Steven's last Easter with us at Tenwek as this summer he graduates from high school at Rift Valley Academy and plans to join the US Army in August/September.  His ultimate goal is to become an Army Ranger though he knows the path to that goal is extremely challenging and demanding mentally and physically.  Pam and I have great joy that the healing from the cross extends to our four kids (Steven, Melody, Kayla, and Ashley) as each one has decided to accept the sacrifice that Jesus made for their sins. 

Children's Bible Quizzing Finale 2012

Last Sunday, April 1st, we had a great time as a family leading, assisting, and participating (Kayla and Ashley) in the final competition of our 2012 Bible Quizzing season.  This year nearly 100 children from three schools/communities participated and over 50 of these children memorized and quoted (word perfect) 46 key verses from the first 9 chapters of the Book of Acts.  Our theme this year was "We Are Witnesses" taken from Acts 2:32  "God has raised this Jesus to life and we are all witnesses of the fact."  We bought shirts this year for all the kids and you can see the group in blue in the picture below including coaches and quiz masters,  Mike and Pastor Geoffrey Musyoka.  One of the schools, Mosop Mission School, joined us this year for the first time and entered five teams.  Mosop is also an orphanage and provides schooling for many orphans as well as high quality education for many Kenyan national missionary families serving all over the country of Kenya.  The school's founder and director,  Mr. Elijah Bett, told Mike that the Bible quizzing program this year brought incredible energy and new life to the school.  Yesterday at the awards ceremony for Mosop hundreds of children from the school attended as nearly forty quizzers received medals, ribbons, and trophies.   It is likely that this excitement will spread to dozens more of the Mosop children and next year should be a big boost in the number of Mosop children who participate.  This Sunday the Tenwek kids will receive their medals and trophies for their hard work and dedication to hiding God's Word in their hearts.  We are so proud of how dedicated our quizzers were this year to learning the first part of the Book of Acts.  Next year we plan on covering Acts Part II.   Below are pics of our quizzers in blue at Tenwek and Mosop.  Please pray with Pam and I and the other coaches that God will use His Word mightily in these kids lives in the coming months and years.

Doing Business God's Way

As our family worshipped at Bethesda Church recently our pastor, Rev. Elijah Bii, preached on faith from Hebrews 11. Using the example of Abraham and his faith he challenged us that "our business is to go about doing God's business and doing it God's way". Believing God for hard or even seemingly impossible things is part of conducting His business at Tenwek Hospital. Early in the service I had shared the prayer request for a great need for more help in our Obstetrics department at Tenwek. In June our one and only Obstetrician, Dr. Huber, will be leaving for the US with some short term Ob's covering when she leaves. As the Medical Superintendent people look to me for answers on how we will make sure that pregnant mothers will receive the needed care at our mission hospital. Pastor Elijah looked right at me and challenged me (and our OB department) to trust God for this need of personnel, to ask Him to recruit and provide the consultants/specialists we need at this time. He does, after all, care about these Kenyan mothers and knows that many will need the advanced skills and knowledge of an obstetrician to help them through labor and delivery safely. Our Maternity department is the largest single department at Tenwek with nearly 60 beds and many more mothers than beds usually present. Together with the nursery they make up about 100 of our 271 total beds. I have no possible leads to follow or solutions for this coming need.  Would you pray with me that God would provide the critical doctors we need to run Tenwek's Ob-Gyn service?

Testimony from a Trainee,  Mr. Joshua Leister

I thought I would share with you a testimony from one of our young clinical officer interns this year who is the first ever American to come to Tenwek having completed clinical officer training in Kenya and then to choose Tenwek as his internship training site.  Joshua is a former youth pastor in the US who decided to follow God's call as a missionary and found medicine to be a powerful tool for reaching some of the hardest hearts.   Here is an excerpt from a recent devotional he shared with us:

"As a student of medicine and the word of God I have been overwhelmed with blessings being a part of Tenwek Mission Hospital.  The experience has been incomparable to any other medical involvement I’ve had thus far in my short career.  The environment seems to radiate with the presence of God for which I can only give credit to the staff and their individual, as well as corporate commitment to Christ.

This devotion to Christ and His work here at Tenwek is well summed up by my short interaction with a patient name David.  This man was an acknowledged alcoholic by all who new him.  Living a reckless and self-destructive life he found himself at Tenwek hospital after a severe accident when he was hit by a vehicle while stumbling across the road in a drunken stupor.  Too inebriated to even feel the pain of his multiple injuries as he was thoroughly examined in casualty, David was severely injured and completely disregarded it.  Like many patients in his shoes David was unaware of his need for a life change and ultimately the need for a right relationship with God.

Over the several days of hospital care and orthopedic management David laughed and joked about his neglected behavior.  I had the great privilege of working with Dr. Galat the orthopedic consultant during David’s stay at the hospital.  Dr. Galat often said a prayer for David after we discussed his case thus showing his concern.  Then one day as we finished examining David and were assured he would be going home in a day or two Dr. Galat took a bold step.  In reply to one of David’s childish remarks concerning his drunkenness Dr. Galat arrested his foolishness and began to explain the reality of the gospel in context of the reality of David’s situation.  David was truly receptive and expressed in his countenance as well as his humble prayer of repentance, the evidence of a changed man.  Even the two days following his decision of faith I was repeatedly taken back by the beaming smile that came from David’s face as he proclaimed his new birth in Jesus.

These are the moments that set Tenwek Mission Hospital above the rest as the staff continue to live up to the motto “We treat but Jesus heals.”  I will forever be marked by my experience at Tenwek hospital."

Patient David mentioned above

Mr. Joshua Liester, Clinical officer intern at Tenwek  this year.


Mike and Pam


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