Chupplink Thanksgiving 2013
Part I (IN THE AIR)
Well, this is a first for me in writing to friends and supporters over the past 18 years of ministry….I am composing this Chupplink at 37,700+ feet winging my way into Chicago this afternoon on a British Air Boeing 777. After a couple of years of preparation and study for my American Board of Surgery recertification exam, I am returning home to the US to take the computer based exam this Monday, Dec 2nd in Indianapolis. Not wanting to waste an opportunity, I’ll get to spend Thanksgiving with my parents in the central Indiana area for the first time in several years. This means our family will be on three continents this Thanksgiving as Pam and the girls remain back at Tenwek and Steven is in his second month of discipleship training with YWAM (Youth with a Mission) in Australia. (Does that mean the sun won’t set on the Mike and Pam Chupp family during this time? J )
Guess I feel like I am between two “boards” right now. The American Board of Surgery in front of me and last week the Board of Tenwek Hospital. Last Monday was a very important Tenwek Board of Governors meeting in which the Strategic Plan for the next five years for Tenwek was discussed and approved by that body. I had the opportunity to contribute to many of the details of that strategic plan as Tenwek’s Medical Director though dozens of department leaders spent many weeks and months praying and planning together over Tenwek’s future course. The five year plan, with God’s help and blessing, outlines a growth in hospital beds from 300 to 500 with several new buildings planned during that period. It also calls for the development of several new subspecialty services at Tenwek and more training programs to be developed.
It was also a delight to report to the Board that we are close to completing Tenwek’s first ever electronic medical record system for both our inpatient and outpatient care areas (called Kranium). This project has without question been one of the greatest challenges I have experienced in over seven years as Medical Director. The turning point in the project for me came in July when one of our Kenyan doctors, Dr. Matilda Ongondi, shared in our long term doctors committee meeting about her own problems and frustrations with all that wasn’t working with Kranium. But then she said, “This Kranium change is very difficult. We all know and can see how challenging this is going to be for us to make this work. Why don’t we look for the opportunity in the midst of this challenge to forge better relationships with our leaders in the hospital and with each other.” Wow! That really pricked my heart. I was so focused on how difficult implementing such an advanced system for medical records to Tenwek would be, that I wasn’t thinking about looking for the opportunities it presented for the Tenwek team. Thank you Dr. Matilda! As I look back over the last five or six months, I wouldn’t trade the gain in developing and deepening the appreciation I now have for many Tenwek staff, some of whom I really didn’t know that well before. Staff from our registration and billing office, IT staff, various nurses in charge of our departments, several young or new doctors, and the Kranium staff from India themselves, have all worked so hard to make Tenwek successful in this transition….to the glory of God. That is the one change in our mission statement since the hospital Board meeting…..we added five words. Tenwek Hospital is a Christian community committed to excellence in compassionate health care, spiritual ministry, and training for service, to the glory of God!
Nurses in the Tenwek Nursery using Kranium for patient care
Clinical officer Edna seeing an outpatient at Tenwek using Kranium
Part II (ON THE GROUND)
A few days have now passed and I am no longer at 37,000 feet. Jet lag is mostly gone and I am just a little over 24 hours away from taking my Board recertification exam. Trust that YOUR Thanksgiving was a blessed one, just as mine was, seeing parents and family in central Indiana who have been over 9,000 miles away for nearly a year. Pam and the girls celebrated at Tenwek yesterday with all the other missionaries in our annual potluck with many new families and faces. We are so thankful for the growth in our long term missionary community in 2013. By year end we will have added six families and three single missionaries to the Tenwek ministry workforce. PTL!
Thanksgving at Tenwek 2013
Pam, Melody, Kayla, and Ashley, with friends Lisette Lewis and Hannah Velling
Pam and I are so grateful this Thanksgiving for the people God has used and continues to use to enable us to serve in Kenya. This past August marked 17 years since our arrival at Tenwek and what a wonderful ride it has been!
We desire for you to join us in thanking our Loving Lord for the following:
1. Our son Steven has given us very upbeat reports on all the “crazy” things he is learning about our Lord Jesus in his Discipleship Training Course with YWAM in Australia. He will start outreach ministry with YWAM in January after this initial training, possibly in Papua New Guinea.
2. Good health this year for our whole family while living and serving in Kenya
3. An incredible team of national and missionary staff at Tenwek Hospital who desire to see God do miraculous things in the lives of our patients, their families, and their communities. (Tenwek now has over 700 full time staff and this year we could pass 15,000 patients admitted to the hospital and over 140,000 visits to our outpatient department.)
We would really appreciate your prayers for the following needs:
1. Mike to pass his surgery board recertification exams Dec 2nd in Indianapolis.
2. Guidance for our daughter Melody as she has been accepted to several colleges this past month and desires to pursue a degree in nursing in the fall of 2014 after graduating from Rift Valley Academy.
3. For a super season of Children’s Bible quizzing studying the book of I Samuel starting in January 2014. We are hoping for over 250 kids from many schools and orphanages, grades 4 to 8 to come join us this year, discovering how “The Battle Belongs to the Lord”.
As I finish this Chupplink, I want you to know that I am most thankful for God’s Holy Word. This year I have been enjoying my first consistent read through the Bible in a year, using the New Living Translation. I have started many times in past years but never successfully through from beginning to end like this year. It never ceases to amaze me how the Holy Spirit inspired the authors to write themes and messages that are unified over the course of a thousand years and more. This Thanksgiving I am thanking our loving Lord for giving us such a clear communication of who HE is, what HE has done, and what HE is about to do. To HIM be glory forever and ever!