Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Unexpected opportunities

Just two weeks!

Just 13 days before our planned departure for Kenya and God has surprised us with an opportunity for mentoring and mobilizing medical missionaries.  Mentoring and mobilizing are two of the three areas of our ministry focus, found in our new Chupp ministry logo on this Chupplink blog.  We paid a visit to Bristol, TN and CMDA headquarters last week (Christian Medical Dental Associations) and were invited to share with the staff during their weekly Tuesday morning devotional time.  Dr. David Stevens, CEO of CMDA,  and former Medical Director at Tenwek Hospital in the 1980's, rolled out the red carpet for us and took us on a tour of the facilities, introducing us to many senior staff.  What a dedicated group of people, advancing the cause of medical missions around the world. CMDA is the largest group of Christian Physicians and Dentists in the US.   Over 900 of the 15,000+ physician and dentist members of CMDA are medical missionaries.  Dr. Stevens together with his right hand man, Dr. Gene Rudd, and the other 50+ staff there in Bristol are energized and passionate about seeing the Great Commission advanced through caring in Jesus' healing name.  We sang and shared about the Tenwek Hospital ministry before a very sympathetic audience!  During the visit we were made aware of a CMDA ministry designed to help new medical missionaries from many health care mission organizations prepare for their fields of ministry.  This next weekend CMDA will be hosting one of these pre-field sessions for over 20 new medical missionaries including spouses.  Susan Carter, former WGM missionary, is the head of the Center for Medical Missions, the CMDA ministry that spearheads the event.  Susan was CEO of Tenwek for several years and was Mike's first "boss" in 1997 when he became Medical Superintendent at Tenwek.  Susan invited us to be a part of a couple of the sessions with these new medical missionaries, focusing on sharing about family life in another culture as part of a small panel. One of the couples participating this weekend is headed for Tenwek, Dr. Dylan and Jessica Nugent.  Dylan is an orthopedic surgeon who together with his wife and four boys, leave for Kenya in October. We are excited to invest a couple of days that we have remaining in the US to meet and encourage such a large group of new missionary doctors and their families headed for the field. We have prayed that God would use us this year, while on HMA, to influence and impact and encourage young medical professionals starting their missionary careers.

Dr. David Stevens, CEO of CMDA and former Medical Superintendent at Tenwek Hospital. Dr. Stevens wrote Mike in 1988 and invited him to join the medical staff at Tenwek after training.
We had a second unexpected opportunity last week, that of visiting the Rev. Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, NC.   At the invitation of long time friends, Don and Pat Hoover,  who live in Charlotte, we spent three most inspiring and moving hours at the library.  What incredible lives of obedience and service on the part of Billy and Ruth Graham, pointing to the message of the cross of Christ!  If you have never been to the library, which is free to the public, we highly recommend it.   The video highlighting Rev. Graham's interviews by various TV talk show hosts was amazing.  With humility, respect, and amazing wisdom, Rev. Graham answered very tough questions from the likes of Woody Allen, Phil Donahue, Johnny Carson, and Larry King which seemed to astound the talk show hosts.  Wow, what a testimony of being "wise as serpents and harmless as doves".  Our prayer is that God will raise up not just one but several Billy Grahams in our generation and in our children's generation to proclaim the good news of God's love, demonstrated so clearly in the sacrificial death of our Lord Jesus on a Roman cross.  The Graham family has had a huge impact on Tenwek Hospital over the last 40+ years.  Tenwek's first pediatrician, Dr. Dick Morse, went forward to follow Christ at a Billy Graham crusade in Boston, MA as a medical student and shortly thereafter, felt a strong call of God to be a medical missionary.  He and his wife Betty served at Tenwek Hospital with World Gospel Mission in Kenya starting in the late 60's.  Franklin Graham's two organizations, Samaritan's Purse and World Medical Mission, have been tremendous partners of the Tenwek ministry since the 1970's.   There is no question that Tenwek Hospital would not be the ministry it is today without the incredible financial and human resources that were sent to Tenwek through these organizations.  Ruth Graham's father, Dr. L. Nelson Bell, was a missionary doctor in China before World War 2.   In honor of Dr. Bell, Samaritan's Purse has been the leading partner in establishing and supporting the ongoing work of training hospital chaplains at Tenwek in the "L. Nelson Bell School of Chaplaincy".  Chaplains from all over the continent of Africa have come to Tenwek Hospital for this training over the last 20+ years.  They have seen our motto "We Treat - Jesus Heals" in action as they are taught evangelism and spiritual care over the course of the two year diploma.  We are MOST grateful for the encouragement and challenge from the Graham family to carry on keeping the main thing, the main thing....proclaiming the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Don and Pat Hoover are both in their 70's and have a Billy Graham approach to retirement:  God didn't tell us to stop serving Him when we retired!  Don and Pat, both retired after successful business careers, spend many hours each month donating their time and help to Friends of Tenwek, a 501C3 organization for the last few years.  Don has also led several teams of pastors and young people from Charlotte to Kenya for vision and service in missions.   He actually leaves next week with such a team of young people on their first cross-cultural short term missions trip to Tenwek.  Praise the Lord for gray haired saints who keep on keeping on in service for Christ!

Our visit to the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, NC with Don and Pat Hoover and Mom Chupp on far right.
Would you pray with us for the following needs?
1.  Our final preparations to return to Kenya on August 2nd
2.  Transition of our daughter Melody to South Carolina to start her second year of college, majoring in biology at Upstate campus, University of South Carolina.
3.  Our son Steven is looking for longer term housing and a job in St. Joseph, MI this month.  
4.  Staffing at Tenwek Hospital for doctors is critically low due to cancellations of short term doctors and some departures of national doctors for further training.   Please pray for national and short term US doctors to hear of this need and answer the call for "Help needed!".  

Mike and Pam Chupp
Missionaries with World Gospel Mission
Serving at Tenwek Mission Hospital in Kenya since 1996

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