Sunday, July 22, 2012

Way to go Steven!! (America here we come)

 After much prayer,  persistence, and the wonderful blessing of a great Christian boarding school in Kenya,  our son Steven graduated from Rift Valley Academy on July 14th, 2012.  The graduation ceremony was a great blessing and pointed to a gracious and gift-giving God in so many ways.  Steven's small vocal ensemble sang "Give Me Jesus" as part of the opening of the ceremony.  Steven joined Nick Manchester and Brenden Steury (all WGM MK's) as part of the RVA Class of 2012 (88 grads).   Steven has thought and prayed about joining the US Army for much of the last year and plans on enlisting in August in Tennessee after our return home.  His eventual goal is to become a medic within the Army Rangers.  Steven graduated as an "Honor Musician" because of his involvement in RVA's small vocal group and choir. Please pray with Steven and our family as we prepare to send him off for basic training next month.  Steven has been saying goodbyes over the past few weeks to many friends, missionary aunts and uncles, and to Kenya, the country he has called home from the age of three.  

Homeland Ministry Assignment
As I compose this blog, our family is in Nairobi in the final hours before our first flight headed home to the US.  As a graduation gift to Steven, we will be spending three days in Rome to see many of the famous sites in the "Eternal City".  On July 26th we are scheduled to fly from Rome through London and on to Chicago before landing in St. Joseph, MI where our home and Mike's medical group, Southwestern Medical Clinic (SWMC), are based.  We will be visiting family in Indiana and then Tennessee where Pam's parents live.  Our two younger girls, Kayla and Ashley, will be starting school in mid August for the fall semester in Chattanooga.  Our oldest daughter, Melody, will be a Junior at Rift Valley Academy this coming year so she will be returning to Kenya with another RVA family in late August.  Mike plans on spending two months in Michigan, September and October, working with SWMC in the surgery department while Pam and the girls live with her parents in Chattanooga.  We are scheduled to share and speak in many churches starting in September with meetings nearly every weekend in November and early December.  We have return plane tickets for our family to fly back to Kenya on December 29th to resume ministry at Tenwek the first week of January 2013.  Please email us or call Mike (US cell no. 269-355-8833) if you would like us to share in your church,  home, small group fellowship, school or other venue about the great things God is doing in medical missions in general and at Tenwek Hospital specifically. 
Mike (the white guy on his knee!) with a large number of our medical trainees at Tenwek including medical students from Kenyatta University,  medical officer and clinical officer interns, a young Korean doctor,  and family medicine and general surgery residents

Final Weeks at Tenwek
Mike's final few weeks at the hospital were highlighted by getting back into the operating room more than has been typical for him in the last two years after handing over the administrative responsibilities of Medical Superintendent to our friend and missionary colleague, Dr. John Spriegel (WGM missionary and also from Southwestern Medical Clinic).   Two remarkable cases involved children pictured below.  The first was a small child who choked on a bean which she then aspirated into her right main stem bronchus, completely blocking off air flow to her right lung.  Mike was blessed to have access to a very modern bronchoscopy and foreign body retrieval system to grab the bean and pull it out through the trachea and vocal cords intact. (see pictures below)   The little girl was able to go home after 24 hours of observation with a very happy mom who kept the bean as a trophy of God's grace and provision through Tenwek Hospital.      The other child, a seven year old Masai boy named Mokita, was running and fell on a stick which punctured his neck.  Though not really bleeding, the parents noted milk pouring out of the puncture site when he tried to drink and he was rushed to Tenwek.  Mike was on call with surgery resident Damaris and operated on Mokita just after midnight on a Sunday night.   A small hole was found in his esophagus which Mike repaired with Damaris' help and a tube was placed in the boy's right chest because fluid and air had entered the chest cavity.   The story though got much more complicated as the next day a scope of the esophagus revealed a second hole on the opposite side of Mokita's esophagus where the stick and passed completely through and through his swallowing tube!   The stick had then punctured the top of his right lung.  Mokita (now at two weeks from the injury) has had a total of four operations between Mike and Russ White to deal with lack of healing of these puncture sites and continued drainage of saliva through his neck.  I have attached a picture of little Mokita and am requesting your prayers for this little guy and his family that God will graciously allow him to heal these injuries,  avoid further infection, and be able to go home before this month is over. 
The bean that blocked the 18 month old girls right lung pictured below still in the recovery room.

Puncture wound in the left neck of Mokita after a stick injury left him with two holes in his esophagus and a punctured right lung.
Mokita in the High Dependency Unit after 4 operations

Our Prayer focus:

Praise the Lord for:
1.  The past two wonderful years for our family in ministry in Kenya at Tenwek Hospital
2. Steven's successful completion of high school and a clear direction and plan he already has for his life, serving in the US Army.
3. God has met all our needs in support these past two years through the faithful giving and prayers of God's people.  We are so grateful for each one of you!
4. One of our friends in Mooresville, IN has offered us a vehicle to use during our five month HMA after hearing of our need in the last Chupplink to You.  PTL!
5. Preliminary news from USAID and American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA) looks very promising for a grant of $800,000 to be given toward construction of a new Eye and Dental Care Center at Tenwek.  Final confirmation is still awaiting the US Congress to agree to the budget given to ASHA this year.  This is also a prayer request!

Please pray with us for:
1. Safety through travel and transition to the US this week.
2. God's perfect timing for Steven's enlistment and start to basic training in the US Army. Also that the Holy Spirit will infuse him with courage and determination to obey God and not compromise His walk with Christ in a challenging environment that is coming.
3. Grace for Mike and Pam through September and October as we live and work in separate states (Mike in Michigan and Pam in Tennessee with the girls)
4. Success while on Homeland Ministry Assignment in several areas including recruitment of new missionaries and volunteers to meet many personnel needs at Tenwek,  raising of new support to return to the field in late December,  advancement of the Friends of Tenwek organization that is hoping to get official IRS 501C3 status in the next six months, effectively challenge the church and God's people to become champions of cross-cultural ministry whether in the US or internationally to see God's Kingdom grow in great numbers before Jesus returns.

The scripture we read last week that sums up our thoughts and prayers as we prepare to return to the US is found in Romans chapter 1 verses 11 and 12 where Paul told the Romans "For I long to visit you so I can share a spiritual blessing with you that will help you grow strong in the Lord. I'm eager to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours.  In this way, each of us will be a blessing to the other."  We share Paul's desire as we think about the many saints who have stood by us since 1996 when we first came to Kenya and Tenwek Hospital.  We can't wait to be encouraged by what God is doing in your life as we share with you what God has been doing in the Chupp family's life and ministry. 

Our contacts from July 26th to December 29th will be as follows:
Mike's cell:  269-355-8833
Email address:
Mailing address:   300 Cyndica Drive,  Chattanooga, TN  37421
Support:   Mike and Pam Chupp ministry,  C/O  World Gospel Mission-Donor services,   PO Box 948, Marion, IN  46952

God bless you this summer and hope to see you SOON!

One final picture from the RVA graduation..... Steven proudly holds his fresh RVA diploma. 

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