Saturday, November 3, 2012

Chilly in Chattanooga


We are very overdue for an update on our family, so I wanted to send a quick note to fill you in on what's happening with us these days.

Mike has finally finished his two months of surgical work at Southwestern Medical Clinic and has returned to Chattanooga this week! We're very glad that our family is mostly back together. We are definitely having some cool fall weather; the leaves have been beautiful!  Mike was quite pleased with the results of his nose biopsy/excision:  there was no cancer much to the surprise of a general surgeon and two plastic surgeons.  PTL!

Melody is doing well at RVA, and she will return to the States on November 24. We do look forward to the time when we can all be together again!

I (Pam) have enjoyed living with my parents these past few weeks. It has been wonderful to spend time with them and catch up on their lives again. Kayla (8th) and Ashley (5th) are at Silverdale Baptist Academy this semester, and Kayla is also playing soccer on the middle school girl's team. They have made some friends and are doing quite well, although they do really miss their friends in Kenya.
Kayla just hanging out during fall break from school

Steven has been working part-time at Bojangles Chicken as well as going to a couple of classes at Chattanooga State. He has been seeking the Lord for direction for his future, and decided that before making any new decisions, he wanted to contact the other branches of  the military, tell them his situation, and see what  they had to say. He called the Air Force recruiter, and after telling him that he had a history of sleepwalking, was still interested in talking to Steven. The short version is that the Air Force is looking for Parajumpers (PJs for short), who are rescue medics that are sent in to give aid to injured soldiers behind enemy lines and also help civilians in natural disasters. Since Steven does not currently sleepwalk, but just has it in his history, they are willing to continue the initial recruitment process. Steven did very well on the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) and qualifies for any job in the Air Force. He has been training at the YMCA pool, as he must pass a swimming test, as well as a 1.5 mile run, push ups, pull ups, etc. to get into the PJ training program. He is hoping to get through the Air Force processing/physical test by mid-November and Lord willing, begin boot camp in January. We are amazed and excited that this has opened up for Steven, and continue to pray that the Lord will guide him and continue to keep this door open if this is what He wants Steven to do. Please pray with us for Steven, as the next couple of  months will be very crucial in deciding his vocational path.  The picture below is Steven prepared for a weekend outing in Gatlinberg with the College and Career class at Silverdale Baptist Church.



With less than two months before our planned return to Kenya and Tenwek Hospital, we have many sky and ground miles to cover.   We are planning on visiting 10 states over the next five weeks with a trip to Albany, NY and Faith Baptist Church this weekend.  (They have been blessed by minimal effects from the recent super storm.)   Our schedule looks like this:

Nov 3rd to 5th:  Faith Baptist Church,  Albany, NY
Nov 8th to 10th:  Global Missions Health Conference, Louisville, KY
Nov 12th:  Friends of Tenwek Board meeting,  Charlotte, NC
Nov 13th to 15th:  Family and supporters, Greenville, SC
Nov 16th to 19th:  Ambassador Bible Church,  Clifton, VA
Nov 20th to 25th:  Thanksgiving with family in TN and Atlanta, GA
Nov 25th to 29th:  Meetings in Orlando, FL with Tenwek alumni, supporters, and med students
Dec 3rd to 6th: WGM Gathering in Marion, IN
Dec 8th/9th:  First United Methodist Church,  Tuscaloosa, AL
Dec 15th to 18th:  Chupp family Christmas gathering, Indianapolis
Dec 19th to 28th:  Pam's family Christmas and preps to leave!
Dec 29th:  Leave from Atlanta to return to Kenya

Yes, we will be huffing and puffing after 10 states in five weeks, but our family is eager to get back to our home and work and life at Tenwek Hospital.  Our ministry and work there are made possible by all the family and friends and churches who have supported us in those 10 states over the last 17 years. 

I could REALLY use some prayer right now (Mike asking). Next week will be the huge medical missions conference in Louisville, KY and over 2,000 people will be attending like last year.  Last year God did incredible things in bringing some precious servants into the Tenwek ministry fold.  This year we are asking God to prepare the hearts and minds of many doctors, residents, students, others in attendance who have training and passion that would make them suitable for service at Tenwek.  Tenwek has many needs for staff including a long term dentist,  a second eye surgeon,  a full time general internist or intensive care provider,  one or more family docs,  another pediatrician,  another Ob-Gyn specialist (we only have one and three are needed), and others.  Would you pray for the right servants to come across the Tenwek team's path?   A second request,  a mountain that seems too high for me to climb because IT IS:  the Tenwek management/leadership asked me to help raise funds for several key projects at Tenwek that are needed right now but funds are lacking.  These projects include a new Health Management Information System that will bring Tenwek into the 21st century in terms of financial/medical records management (yes, an EMR system at Tenwek).  This project is WAY overdue but so needed and the software/hardware/infrastructure cost is over $450,000.  Friends of Tenwek has been asked to raise these funds so our Board meeting next week to discuss this will be quite critical.  I have no idea where these funds might come from and neither does anyone else at Tenwek!  Would you pray with us over this need?    We are SO grateful that USAID has committed $800,000 toward the Tenwek Eye and Dental Center!!!   Your tax dollars at work. :-) Dr. Ben Roberts, our long term eye surgeon, has already raised $210,000 so only $190,000 is needed to fully fund Phase I of this 26,000 square feet facility.  The total budget for the construction is over $2.5 million so much work is left for us to do.    Other projects that are on my heart and mind: 1)  a multi-specialty unit remodeling of our current Ob-Gyn ward adding 30 to 40 new beds to our crowded maternity and medical capacity at Tenwek ($125,000 needed to add to that much already committed)  2)  Remodeling and expansion of the Tenwek Emergency room and outpatient wing (~$400,000 budget).  3)  Surgery resident salaries,  2 new residents this year at $1,500 per month each.

So, you can see that Dr. C. needs your prayers!!!   If I were honest with you and transparent, then I have to tell you that I get just a little overwhelmed and discouraged when I think about these fund raising needs for Tenwek Hospital.  I KNOW God has done great things for Tenwek in the past.  I KNOW that He has all the resources Tenwek could ever need at HIS disposal and I KNOW that in His providence He will supply all our needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.  I also KNOW that waiting on Him for His timing and His provision is a key requirement for His children (my life's verse is Isa 40:31).   So, as I pray and ask and explain, would you pray that I will wait in humility and respect for His providential plan for the Tenwek ministry?  THANK YOU!

I do want to praise our wonderful Father for the way He allowed me to be a part of Southwestern Medical Clinic and Lakeland Regional Health System in southwest Michigan for September and October.  The office and hospital staff were SUPER!  I learned so much about EMR (electronic medical records) and dictating into DRAGON (voice recognition software) and doing laparoscopic appendectomies and....... the list is long.  I finished up the two months with one incredibly busy week with little sleep BUT took courage in the fact that my coverage was allowing Dr. Roy Winslow to serve in Cameroon, West Africa and Dr. Beth Knefelkamp to serve in Haiti with a team from SWMC.  Thank you surgery department!
Deb, Deb, and oh yeah,  Deb in the SWMC surgery office in October

Well,  there is a whole lot more to share but Pam and I plan on doing more regular weekly or biweekly updates until we leave the US so that ya'll (local Chattanooga friendspeak) are not so overwhelmed by the Chupplink.

Have a blessed weekend and, if you live in Albany, New York, or its environs come on over to Faith Baptist Church in Glenville on Sunday as they have a special guest speaker for both services!  :-)


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