Celebrating God's generous people
Two months ago we sent out letters to approximately 200 people who have known, followed, supported, and prayed for our ministry in Kenya. We shared with you our desire to help the Tenwek housing shortage by building a home of our own after living in our current Tenwek home since 1997. Two wonderful friends, husband and wife, offered us a matching gift for up to $40,000 on funds given by June 1st, just one week ago. This match would take us to the important 80% mark on the house cost so that we could work with Tenwek to prepare for us to build shortly after our return in August. It would also mean a little more fund raising in the next several months to reach the full budget of the house, $120,000.
We are delighted and amazed and humbled to share with you that not only did YOU respond in a generous way to make this match fully possible by giving $40,000 (making for a total of $80,000 with the match), but you responded by giving $77,000 so that the whole budget for the house has been provided for AND a cushion on top for the ever present possibility at Tenwek of the cost going over the budget! A total of $145,000 has been given this year to help us build this home at Tenwek!!!! Praise our loving heavenly Father for using you friends to meet this need. Over 70 different donors gave, including the original matching donor. Our faith has received a huge boost through this experience which God's Spirit orchestrated at just the right time for our ministry. The Tenwek CEO, Mr. Geoffrey Langat, was delighted to hear that we would be ready to start building shortly after arrival this fall. If we can keep the house construction within budget (and we will REALLY work to make that happen!) then Pam and I desire to help kick start the next missionary family that decides to build a home at Tenwek, hopefully within the next year with funds remaining in this fund at WGM.
Celebrating the life of one of God's special servants
How often do the flags of any US county get lowered for a week when one of God's son's or daughter's leave this life to join Him in heaven? That happened this week in Berrien County, Michigan as three term Berrien County Commissioner AND retired Administrator of Southwestern Medical Clinic (over 35 years!) went to be with Jesus on Monday, June 1st at age 85. Mr. Don Gast was the very first Administrator of Mike's group, Southwestern Medical Clinic, and officially recruited Mike to move north from Indianapolis to join a very special group of Christian doctors passionate about missions and serving the poor in Berrien County. The funeral was yesterday and what a reunion of Southwestern doctors, including several missionary doctors, it was. There are so many great things that could be said of Don Gast and some were shared yesterday by family and friends. There is no question that it was Don's winsome way and good communication that won our hearts for SWMC in 1993. It is no secret that we don't especially like winter in Michigan, but Don helped us to see that God wanted us in the great white north during times in the US on Homeland Ministry Assignment! Don and his wife Jule loved people and served them quietly and completely. As a student at Wheaton College around 1947, he was friends of Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, and Ed McCully who went to Ecuador together as missionaries in the mid 50's. Jim, Nate Saint, and Ed McCully, and two other men were murdered in 1956 attempting to reach the Huaorani tribe for Christ. Don shared with us how great an impact Jim's death had on him when we first visited the clinic and the hospital here in Berrien County in early 1993. Don Gast, like thousands of other Christians, felt that God wanted him to make an impact on missions and advancing the gospel around the world after the five men gave their lives for the gospel,. When given the opportunity to help administer a very peculiar group of doctors in his home of Berrien County, it was a match made in heaven. There are so many missionary doctors who have been helped by Don and Jule Gast since the mid 70's in very tangible, ministry assisting ways. He made our first three years in Michigan, when two of our children were born, so delightful and smooth. The founder of SWMC, Dr. Weldon Cooke, shared at the funeral yesterday, "Don Gast seemed to be always on my side, supporting me.....but then again, he seemed to be on every doctor's side!". What a testimony and BIG challenge to me for my work and ministry at Tenwek Hospital as Medical Director! To serve the medical, nursing, IT, lab, xray, PT, and other departments at Tenwek with national and missionary staff so that they say "Dr. Chupp is on our side and he cares about us!" Thank you heavenly Father for calling and enabling servants like Don Gast to serve the body of Christ that is working to advance your Kingdom in southwest Michigan and WAY BEYOND!
HMA (Homeland Ministry Assignment) HomestretchFriday was Mike's official last full day of work though a couple of calls remain to help the surgery department with night coverage this month. Next weekend we will travel to Mooresville, IN, to share at Grace Church where Mike was saved, baptized, and we were married, and originally commissioned to be missionaries to Africa. This is going HOME to share with family about what God has done in our ministry and what we envision happening in our ministry over the next two years in Kenya at Tenwek Hospital. If you live in the Indy area, feel free to check out service times at Grace on June 14th and "Come on Down"! Our departure date from Michigan to travel to Chattanooga remains June 30th and departure for Kenya August 2nd.
THANK YOU DEAR FRIENDS FOR GIVING GENEROUSLY AND PRAYING FOR OUR FAMILY!
Mike and Pam Chupp