Monday, August 17, 2015

Home at LAST!

Return to a quiet Tenwek community.....

Well, some of you were praying, we just know it.  We have completed one of the smoothest and kindest transitions back to our home in Kenya in the last 19 years.  The only new experience was arriving at Tenwek last Thursday evening (with it raining, of course, which is not unusual) to a compound with many empty houses.   We believe this situation will be temporary as the next three months should see the return of several career missionaries to Tenwek in addition to many hastily recruited short term doctors, due to the current shortage of staff.   Today we had lunch with one of the longest serving missionaries at Tenwek,  Faith Shingledecker, who has served at Tenwek for 35 years this year.  Faith is our local cake maker and we enjoyed one of her creations after lunch today..
Our return marked the beginning of a steady flow of arrivals of short and long term missionaries over the next 90 days.  Thank you heavenly Father!  Many of you have been praying over the acute staffing needs we have here right now at Tenwek, especially in terms of experienced, consultant physicians.  God has heard our prayers and people are responding to the need.  An ObGyn doc from Michigan, Dr. Tom Ritter of Southwestern Medical Clinic and a Pediatrician arrived yesterday from the US as well as a neurosurgeon and his family.  Our Chief of ObGyn, Dr. Joy Draper, and her husband and son arrive this coming week as well.

In spite of the staff numbers, our Eye department sponsored an outreach into South Sudan, our first all Kenyan team to travel internationally for cataract surgery.   Pam is learning the role of logistics coordinator for these teams so she spent most of a day helping the team leader,  Cataract surgeon, David Sawe, get just the right volume of supplies to stay under the allotted weight limit for the plane to South Sudan that they would be using.   We had a wonderful send off for the team Wednesday morning with many missionary and national staff surrounding the seven Kenyan team members and praying for them.  PLEASE PRAY THAT GOD WILL USE THESE TENWEK STAFF TO POINT SUDANESE, WHO RECEIVE THEIR SIGHT THIS WEEK, TO OUR HEALER, JESUS.  WE DESIRE THAT THEIR SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS WILL BE CURED AS WELL.

Upper pic:  Seven Tenwek staff, our first all Kenyan cataract surgery team, prepare to leave Tenwek for South Sudan.  Lower pic:  Pam with team leader David Sawe, who is a clinical officer, fully trained and licensed to do cataract surgery.

Into the Fray....

This past week was full of many meetings with department heads as well as hand-over from the two doctors who have been covering the Medical Director responsibilities for two months this summer,  Carol Spears (surgeon) and Steve Manchester (family medicine).  One special opportunity was meeting our first full day with the Tenwek Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Geoffrey Langat, as well as a visiting founder of the Friends of Tenwek organization, Mr. Don Hoover, from Charlotte, NC.  Don and Mike spent some productive time discussing a visit in January by FOT Board members AND the various projects that FOT is helping Tenwek with right now.  

Mike and Don Hoover, Secretary/Treasurer of the Friends of Tenwek organization that is now in its 6th year and has raised nearly $1 million for Tenwek Hospital projects.  Thank you Don and the FOT Board!

House construction preparations...

We had no sooner moved back into our long term home at Tenwek (18 years) when we had a big meeting with the head of Tenwek's Maintenance and Construction Department, Mr. Joseph Maiyo,  to plan the way forward for building our new home on campus.  The various heads of the electrical, water, construction, and engineering departments all met with us on the plot of ground that Tenwek recently purchased near the Tenwek river to allow more homes to be built for staff.  These utilities and construction staff at Tenwek seemed almost as excited as we are to begin the first home construction in our Tenwek community in ten years.  Thanks again to all of you who gave so generously so that this new home construction could happen this fall.  This will hopefully allow us to move out of our current home by next summer, making room for a bigger physician's family with younger children and need for more space.   Would you pray with us that all of the government approvals and registrations for this construction will be granted so that we can break ground sometime in late September or early October?  

Family Happenings...

Our two younger daughters have been delighted to be back in their life long home at Tenwek while preparing to return to Rift Valley Academy in about two weeks.  Kayla will be a junior and Ashley an eighth grader, in her first year at RVA.  Melody, our oldest daughter, starts her second year of college this week, having transferred to the University of South Carolina, Upstate campus in Spartanburg, SC.  She will be majoring in biology this year, on a pre-professsional track.   She was blessed with a Christian advisor on campus who took her on specifically because she learned of the unique family situation with her parents living in Kenya as missionaries.  Our son Steven has been living in St. Joseph, MI after our departure to be near his home church and friends while he seeks direction from the Lord for his life.

For Steven and Melody and our two younger daughters, I have been meditating on memory verses from Psalm 32:8,9  "The Lord says 'I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.  Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.'" (NLT)

I am so encouraged that our loving Lord says that He will guide us not just TO but ALONG the "best pathway for your life".  He is our ever present adviser and watchman on this journey.  Wow, do I not want to behave in such a way that God needs to "bit and bridle" me or my family to get us to go down the right pathway.  

God bless you this week as you or your children or grandchildren prepare to go back to school for the fall term.   May HE guide YOU along a pathway of joy, peace, and growth through the work of His Spirit in your life.

Mike and Pam Chupp
Missionaries with World Gospel Mission
Serving at Tenwek Hospital,  Bomet, Kenya, East Africa
Kenya cell:  +254-724-629125

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