Global Missions Health Conference (GMHC): Nov 8th to 10th in Louisville, KY
There is no question that the "shot in the arm" experience for us medical missions types every year is to attend the meeting listed above also known as "the Louisville conference" at Southeast Christian Church every November. (a friend of mine calls this 22,000 member church "Six Flags Over Jesus" because it is one incredibly big and busy place!) The conference this past weekend was no exception with nearly 3,000 people in attendance. Pam and I together with Manchesters and Steurys and Dr. Phil Renfroe plus many Tenwek alumni "manned" the Tenwek booth in the second floor exhibit hall. There were many highlights for me (Mike) but topping them off was getting to meet with two couples whom I met at the same conference exactly one year ago for the first time. Dr. Paul and Ashleigh Espy and Dr. Todd and Jen Lavery were both at last year's conference and had talked with me at length about God's call in their lives and the possibility of joining us at Tenwek Hospital to serve together long term. This weekend BOTH couples met with us as they are preparing to go to Tenwek to serve early next year (Paul is a urologist from Georgia and Todd a brand new general surgeon from Michigan). In addition, a third couple I met last year, Dr. Joy Draper and husband William, have already arrived at Tenwek for a two year term of service in the ObGyn department. What an answer to prayer these three couples are! In addition they have been joined by several other couples and singles, some of whom were at the same conference last year, to go to Tenwek to serve for extended periods of time. Annette, Aaron and Stephanie, Eric and Erin, and Mike and Katie are among those preparing and planning to go to Kenya, with families in some cases, in the next 8 to 10 months for at least two years. These Christian health care professionals were joined this year by several doctors, dentists, nurses, and other professionals, including those in training, who have felt God calling them out to serve Him in Kenya at Tenwek Hospital. The common theme for all these recruits is that God has put this passion and desire on their hearts for some time, and for some of them MANY years! God was calling, preparing, equipping these saints long before they came to the Tenwek booth. What a relief and peace it brings to our hearts and minds that God "is at work in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose." Phil 2:13 Would you pray with me and with the medical staff at Tenwek that God will call out an eye surgeon AND a dentist as well as several other specialists on our "most needed" list to serve with us long term?
Hundreds of people at the GMHC make commitments to go and serve!
Steven and the Air Force
On Monday our son Steven will be heading to Knoxville for an overnight appointment to have a medical exam and testing as a final hurdle before being eligible to go for basic training in the US Air Force. He and we hope that he will pass with flying colors and be qualified to begin his basic training early next year, possibly shortly after we return to Kenya at the end of this year. He has faithfully and daily been working out at the local YMCA to improve his best swimming and running times and calisthenics maximums. He is so appreciative of the MANY friends of our ministry who have asked us about him during our ministry travels or written to get an update. THANK YOU to many who have prayed for our big guy!
Friends of Tenwek (FOT)
Mike is a current member of the "Friends of Tenwek" board (FOT), an organization that is relatively new and just getting its sites on helping Tenwek with a couple of key projects for 2013. The Board met yesterday in Charlotte, NC at Carmel Baptist Church, the site of a big Tenwek celebration in 2009 marking the 50th year since Dr. Steury began his ministry at Tenwek. The FOT decided to take on two vital fundraising projects, one for Tenwek infrastructure support (assisting Tenwek to get a new hospital management information system (HMIS)) and the other to help Tenwek build a new ward expansion that will increase the Tenwek bed capacity by 40+ beds AND give mothers of babies in our nursery a place to sleep and stay while babies are getting treatment. More to follow in a later Chupplink on how YOU can help FOT achieve these goals to help Tenwek before the year ends.
Just a quick verse to conclude with from Mike's devos a couple of days ago..... Psalm 111:1-2 (NLT) "Praise the Lord. I will give thanks with all my heart as I meet with His godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them." As I met with friends from Carmel Baptist Church last night in Charlotte, before their annual fall business meeting, my heart was overwhelmed with gratitude for a group of God's saints who have committed themselves to supporting pastoral training and children's rallies in Kenya. Already they have reached over a 100 pastors for training and more than 3,000 children with Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF). They are now striving to reach 18,000 children over the next three years as a church. Wow! Just think of the amazing things that God can and will do in the lives of those kids as the Charlotte church partners with CEF in Kenya. My heart is filled with thanks for the passion His godly people have for Kenyans in need of Christ.
Your co-workers while Jesus delays a little longer,
Mike and Pam