Chogoria Chaplains’ Excellent Work

Jim and Martha Ritchie are missionaries working in medical training and discipleship at Chogoria Hospital in Kenya. In their most recent ministry blog update, they speak about the wonderful work the chaplains are doing at Chogoria despite the government doctors’ strike. Learn more about how God is using those in His service at Chogoria to lift up the poor in spirit.

“The Chaplains in Chogoria continue to carry an enormous burden of care.  Right now in Kenya, the government doctors have been on strike for three months, and many of the patients who would normally go to the government hospitals have sought care at the Mission Hospitals.  Consequently, the workload for Chogoria has increased dramatically.  Sadly some of the government-sponsored doctors who work at Chogoria felt compelled to join the strike, so staffing is decreased despite the increased workload.  In the middle of the struggle are our magnificent Chaplains.

“Every month, our Chaplains produce a report of their activities.  I thought I might reproduce their most recent report here to give you an idea of their wonderful work.  They don’t just sit around in the office waiting for work.  They are out in the wards and offices and waiting areas and counseling rooms, actively doing the King’s work.  I am intensely proud of them.  Please pray for them and for all the Chogoria staff who are carrying the day, showing the compassion of Christ to patients who otherwise may feel abandoned.”

To continue reading the Ritchies’ blog, visit for stories and statistics about how God is working. If you’re interested in serving at Chogoria, visit for more information about available ministry opportunities and how you can get involved.

Prescription for Renewal Conference

Our very own medical missionaries John and Linda Spriegel, Jim and Martha Ritchie, and Steve and Theresa Manchester attended the 27th annual Prescription for Renewal Conference in North Carolina in October. John, Jim, and Steve presented lectures and a report. The seminar, which was coordinated by World Medical Mission (the medical arm of Samaritan’s Purse), is designed to educate, encourage, and equip medical professionals to practice abroad in a volunteer setting.

When describing the seminar, Franklin Graham (Samaritan’s Purse CEO) said, “These ministries are saving many lives, but more importantly, they are leading people to a new life through faith in Christ.” Samaritan’s Purse is a partner organization of WGM and has a presence at Chogoria Hospital, Tenwek Hospital, and other hospitals in Kenya.

Meet these medical missions families:


Jim and Martha Ritchie serve in Kenya at Chogoria Hospital, specializing in medical training.


John and Linda Spriegel serve in Kenya at Tenwek Hospital and with Tabitha Ministry.


Steve and Theresa Manchester serve in Kenya at Tenwek and through a special project in hospice care.


Dr. Jim Ritchie (Photo credit: Martha Ritchie)


Dr. Steve Manchester (Photo credit: Linda Spriegel)


Middle L-R: Dr. Steve Manchester and Dr. John Spriegel (Photo credit: Theresa Manchester)

Theresa summarized their experience: “Steve and John Spriegel each prepared two lectures for the CME Seminar on Friday, October 14th, on topics ranging from tick fever to meningitis. Saturday morning, Dr. Jim Ritchie gave a very inspirational report on the ‘rebirth’ of Chogoria Mission Hospital and many people were interested in talking with him afterward.”

Will you pray for those who heard the lectures and report? May they have the wisdom to know if God is calling them to the field and the bravery to say yes when they feel that tug on their heart.

Chogoria’s Upsurge Has Started

Jim and Martha Ritchie are missionaries in Kenya at Chogoria Hospital. In this blog post, they share about some benchmark successes and answers to prayer for their ministry and for their family. Read more to hear how God is using their ministry in Chogoria to bless the people there.

“We felt led to come to rural Chogoria Hospital to help start a Christian Family Medicine residency in the community here. We didn’t know if anyone would join us here, if the hospital would be able to carry a residency, if the patients would be happy with things, if the interns would be happy with the changes, how the kids would do here, and so many other things. We think it’s safe to say we have answers to many of those questions. So much has happened. Here are a few short accounts of what the Lord is doing here.


Martha Ritchie AKA “Mama Watoto Wengi”

“Our good friend Franklin Ikunda told me (Jim), ‘I have realized that Martha is Mama Watoto Wengi.’ I agreed, because the literal Swahili translation is “mother of many children.” (And we have six kids.) But he said I didn’t understand. It’s sort of a title. It is the title of the lady of the neighborhood whose door is always open, who always welcomes anyone, whose house is known for being a friendly place for anyone to come and visit or eat or play. The Mother of Many Children.

“Of course, he was exactly right. I never know who will be in our house when I come home from work. Might be the neighbors, or interns, or the wife of one of the doctors who only speaks French, or the residents, or any of our other friends or acquaintances.

“The Brothers and Sisters of our home church, Avalon Hills Bible Church in Virginia Beach, wanted to bless some of our most needy patients at Christmas. So we asked the director of our Palliative Care program for ideas. This program cares for patients with terminal cancer, severe heart disease, and similar conditions that are debilitating. The Palliative Care Director said the most helpful thing would be to provide basic staples for food. So our home church saints sent funds for us to buy flour, oil, cooking fat, rice, and other staples. We gave out about 12 packages to some of the patients in a ceremony at our hospital chapel. But most of the patients were too ill to come for the ceremony. So we took the packages to about thirty-five households. The gratitude for such a simple gift was overwhelming. Thank you, Saints of God, for blessing these suffering people.


People that received packages from Chogoria Hospital.

“Our Family Medicine residents received a superb four-month series of courses at Kabarak University before coming to the teaching hospitals. Jim’s part in those courses was teaching resuscitation medicine for two weeks. The residents were marvelous students. And they were happy to have a party afterwards and roast the goat thorax we had used for procedure practice.


Learning how to insert a chest tube using a goat thorax.


Meredith and James Ritchie

“We have homeschooled all of our kids through high school. But Chogoria was a lonesome place for these two, because all of the Kenyans kids their age are in boarding school and unavailable to play or hang out. So now, after much prayer and counsel, Meredith and James are at Rift Valley Academy about five hours from Chogoria. After some adjustments, they are thriving. Quite a change for a homeschooling family, but we had been wisely advised not to be too ‘married’ to our plan when we came here. To be honest, Martha and I have been very sad for this necessity. We miss our kids. But we see the Lord doing good things with the whole situation. We are so grateful for such an outstanding school for missionary kids.

“Over the last two weeks, we were able to introduce Advanced Cardiac Life Support to Chogoria. This hadn’t been possible previously due to lack of equipment and instructors and time. But some wonderful friends sent a new defibrillator and volunteered to teach, and our new interns came a month early, so we were able finally to carry it off. This next week, we will have all interns and many others (about 20, so far) who are qualified and equipped to deal with cardiac emergencies. Even during the second week of the course, a young lady on the ward suffered cardiac arrest. The team (who had trained the week before) successfully shocked her back to life.


Advanced Cardiac Life Support students

“Many of you have helped us with Bibles. We have purchased some locally, we have invited the Gideons to come (and they did in a big way!), and we have worked with Samaritan’s Purse to bring Bibles in four languages. Many of the people here can’t afford a Bible, much less a “specialty Bible” in their language. Being able to provide the Word to those who truly need it is one of our favorite goals. We love seeing these Bibles being put to work, as in the photo here where a patient is reading a Gideon testament on the Medicine ward. Thanks to all of you who have supported us in this way. ”


A patient reading his new Gideon testament on the Medicine ward.

To read the entire online update click the link below:

Online update