Sunday, April 20, 2014

"Its resurrection, resurrection, always resurrection"

Hope for little Caleb...     It's been a number of years since I was last on call on Easter weekend.  I guess it was finally my turn to cover the surgical service on this most special of holidays for believers all over the world,  resurrection Sunday celebration.  The weekend started off very special as I was able to attend the wedding on Saturday of one of our second year surgery residents, Valentine Mitei, who married Peter Mbithi.  It was a fun Kenyan wedding with much more of a celebration tone than what we American missionaries are used to in our stateside weddings.  Valentine is a hard working, intelligent young doctor who has anticipated this weekend for many months now.  Nearly our entire surgery department and most of our residents were able to attend the ceremony in a town about an hour from Tenwek.    There have been a number of patients who have come to Tenwek over the last few days with head and brain injuries, suffered in car or motorcycle accidents.   One little boy, however, a three year old named Caleb, was just playing near his mom at home while mom was cutting down a nearby tree.  Things didn't go as planned and the tree fell right on three year old Caleb, pinning his head to the ground.   He was brought immediately to Tenwek where a head CT scan showed a huge blood clot on his brain and terrible swelling.   A visiting neurosurgeon from California (Dr. David Levy who recently wrote the book "Gray Matter: a Neurosurgeon discovers the power of prayer one patient at a time") took Caleb to our operating room and evacuated the hematoma and relieved some pressure but the injury was too severe.   This afternoon I prayed with a young mom and dad in complete shock over what had happened to their little guy.  Over and over again the Swahili word for hope "tumaini" punctuated my prayer with them.  They attend a church in their home and asked that we support Caleb overnight on the ventilator to give them, their, family, and their church time to pray for a miracle.  I guess this Easter, with Caleb facing leaving his earthly body in a few hours, I have thought about the certainty of our hope because of Jesus' victory more vividly than ever.    
The title of this blog comes from I Corinthians 15 in “The Message” paraphrase:  “And why do you think I keep risking my neck in this dangerous work?  I look death in the face practically every day I live.  Do you think I’d do this if I wasn’t convinced of your resurrection and mine as guaranteed by the resurrected Messiah Jesus?....Not on your life!  It’s resurrection, resurrection, always resurrection.”  This weekend has involved at least four deaths in our ICU, three of the four from bad head injuries.  While I personally don't face death every day like Paul, it seems that we do" look death in the face practically every day" as we care for patients at Tenwek Hospital.  Sharing "tumaini" because of the power Christ exerted over death, is the central theme of the gospel we get to share with dozens, if not hundreds of patients each week on our wards and in our outpatient department.  There is hope for Caleb and his parents and I ask you to pray with me for these shocked and grieving parents that they will cling to this hope no matter what happens in the next 24 hours.
After another wonderful Easter Sunday morning,  begun with our annual sunrise service at the cross in one of our neighbor's yards, the Chupp family trusts that you also delighted in the hope and glory of history's most incredible event, the defeat of death by our Lord Jesus nearly 2,000 years ago.   
I would also ask you to pray with us for the salvation of a visiting worker at Tenwek who has been with us for several months working on a special project.  We don't usually have non-Christians working at the hospital, but the nature of the specialized work that he does under a contract with a secular company, has led to his work with us on a daily basis for nearly 10 months.    For months God has laid this young man on my heart and I have prayed weekly for opportunities for me and others to share the hope we have in Christ.  Today he attended our English Easter church service and spent a good amount of time with many of our missionary staff.     Would you pray with me that God will give me and others wisdom, opportunity,  and boldness to share the gospel truth with him even this week as we work together at the hospital?
Happy Easter from Kenya.  He is Risen, He is Risen, always we proclaim, He is Risen Indeed!
Dr. Mike and Pam Chupp
Missionaries with World Gospel Mission at Tenwek Hospital in Kenya

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