Loving My God…with Everything!

Mike and Pam Chupp are missionaries in Kenya, Africa. They serve at Tenwek Hospital, dealing with those in need of physical and spiritual healing. They also serve the community in other capacities, such as helping with Bible quizzing. Here is an update on the amazing turnout and impact Bible quizzing is having in the communities surrounding Tenwek. Matthew 19:14 (RSV) says, “but Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.’”

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Tenwek Children’s Bible Quizzing Kids and Coaches 2016. Photo Credit: Mike Chupp

Finals Competition on Palm Sunday

“It was a very busy and energetic Bible quizzing season this year with over 200 children participating and 30 coaches challenging their kids to study nine chapters in the last half of Matthew.  We had a second site about 30 minutes from Tenwek (Mosop school) where four different schools with nearly 200 students also participated.  We concluded with a tournament last weekend to determine our top teams in the older primary school division (Grades 6 to 8) and our younger division (Grades 4 and 5).  For the first time that Pam and I can remember, the Bible material we studied and memorized with the kids aligned perfectly with the Easter message this month.  We don’t have the final number of medals handed out for scripture memory but well over 100 kids earned gold medals, meaning they had quoted to their coaches, word perfect, either 60 verses (older kids) or 45 verses (younger kiddos) that we had selected as the most powerful for kids to remember.  Another 50 or more kids earned silver and bronze medals for fewer verses memorized.  Our theme “Loving My God….KABISA” came from Matthew 22:37-39 the “Great Commandment” passage.  “Kabisa” is a great Swahili word meaning “with everything” or “entirely”.  See pics below for scenes from last weekend’s final competition and awards.

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Pam and Dr. Angela Many doing final stats for individual award winners in both divisions. Photo Credit: Mike Chupp

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Two quizzers having fun during “study” time. Photo Credit: Mike Chupp

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“Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against God.”

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“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?” Photo Credit: Pam Chupp

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Action from Palm Sunday tournament with 30 teams involved in the final month of competition. Photo Credit: Mike Chupp

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The top ten quizzers in our younger division. Photo Credit: Mike Chupp

 

 

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Lots of fun times on each team with kids making new friends. Photo Credit: Mike Chupp

 

“One of the verses we asked the kids to memorize this year was from Matthew 19:14 which says  ‘but Jesus said “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”’  On the last Sunday of January we held our first competition for the 200+ kids and as we prepared all three quizzing rooms at the hospital, dark storm clouds started gathering to pour down rain on our campus, which it does often on Sunday afternoons.   As I looked at the ominous storm clouds gathering, I was alone walking between venues and I simply asked God …‘Father in heaven, would you allow these children to come and have fun, quoting your word, focused on learning from your son Jesus today without getting rained on and being hindered?’  I guess my faith was a little small as I prayed this prayer with an umbrella in my hand!  God heard my prayer and, I kid you not, the storm clouds passed around Tenwek Hospital, pouring rain all over the hillsides around us but didn’t get our quizzers wet at all!  God does hear our prayers, especially when we are looking out for his precious possessions “for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven”.  We thank you on this Easter for praying and giving to make this children’s program a success this year.  We especially appreciate the efforts of Berrien Center Bible Church in Michigan, Grace Church in Mooresville, IN, Woodland Park Baptist Church and Silverdale Baptist Church in Chattanooga, TN for providing funds and t-shirts for this year’s program.  God bless you all!”

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HAPPY EASTER FROM THE CHUPPS AT TENWEK HOSPITAL IN KENYA! Mike, Pam, Kayla, and Ashley

 

 

 

When God’s Voice Thunders in Marvelous Ways

Dan and Heather Galat

Dan Galat tells a story of how God answers prayers despite decades of tradition and rules. This amazing opportunity to join with the Galats in prayer is something you can get involved in as well. Read on to hear the details of how God takes the needs of one to answer the needs and hesitations of many more.

“When our family left for Kenya the first time in 2008, we felt the strong conviction to go in faith, despite many uncertainties and potential challenges that this calling might afford.  As a newly graduated orthopaedic resident, leaving directly after training meant laying aside the possibility of board certification, a two-step examination process for final validation of competency and knowledge as an orthopaedic surgeon.  Part one of this process of board certification involves taking, and passing, a rigorous written examination (which I did in July 2008). After passing part one, a candidate becomes “board-eligible” (a period lasting up to five years). Part two involves working at least 20 consecutive months in the same location, ‘collecting’ all cases done during a 6-month portion of that time period, and then orally defending these surgical cases before a board of examiners. However, the decades-old bylaws of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) includes a ‘practice location’ requirement for part two, in which a candidate orthopaedic surgeon can only collect cases while working in the U.S. or its territories.

“As such, the thousands of cases I have done in Kenya over the years cannot count towards fulfillment of the requirements for taking part two. Orthopaedic surgery is the only surgical subspecialty that has this requirement (to my knowledge).  As a result, this location requirement is a major hindrance for newly graduated residents to go directly into missions. For us, however, several factors compelled us to go directly to Tenwek rather than first working in the States to become certified prior to making the missions leap. First, our children were at an age where waiting would make it more difficult to leave after a few years of U.S.-based practice (education, sports, comforts, etc.). Second, Heather and I know our own hearts and realized our propensity to be the seed that falls among the thorns and is choked by the ‘worries of this life, and the deceitfulness of wealth’ (Matt. 13:22 NIV). So we went and set ourselves to prayer (and recruiting hundreds of others to pray with us), asking God to move the ‘hearts of the kings’ and make a way for me to get board certified while working at Tenwek.

“In 2011, after many solid, board-certified, U.S.-based Christian orthopaedic surgeons began questioning the ABOS of the fairness of this practice location requirement, I was asked (by the Board) to write a ‘proposal’ for getting certified overseas. The answer then, however, was ’no,’ the response letter to me saying ‘the exam was too high-stakes to make such a change in policy which would affect so few people.’  As such, with my eligibility expiring in 2013, I had to retake part one in order to remain ‘board-eligible’ (an exam which, trust me, you only want to take once!). Many times, Heather and I pondered whether we had made the right decision, forsaking the possibility of board certification by going so quickly to Tenwek after graduation, and wondered if we should just leave the mission field and return to the States to complete the process (at least a three-year commitment for us). However, with the amazing things God was doing at Tenwek with the growth of the orthopaedic department and the start of the new PAACS orthopaedic training program, we never felt the release or peace from God to leave when His calling was so clear to go in the first place. So we kept asking and praying, sometimes more fervently and sometimes less.

“As the years wore on, the possibility of certification overseas seemed to fade.  At times, we lost heart, believing that perhaps I would never become certified, in Kenya or the U.S. (a process which becomes more difficult the longer it’s delayed).  Not being board certified has broad implications on many levels, both in the U.S. and abroad, including legitimacy with the African Colleges, and even on finding work in the States while on furlough. But last year, things began to change and God was starting to move. He began adding people to (and removing people from) the board according to His sovereign will in a drama akin to the story of Esther.  Several board-certified orthopaedic surgeons who had been to Tenwek wrote letters to the ABOS asking them to reconsider their original decision.  Then, in November, I was told that a sub-committee had been formed to explore the feasibility of changing this decades-old policy. Our hope was rekindled, although I was still expecting it to take years of step-wise, incremental change, rather than one instantaneous, complete paradigm shift. However, today, at a time when I least expected it, I learned that the ABOS has voted to eliminate the U.S. practice location requirement for part two, not just on a one-person basis (i.e., me) but for all orthopaedic surgeons who choose to work in humanitarian (missions) settings directly after finishing residency!

“The implications for this massive answer to prayer are enormous. I have corresponded with multiple orthopaedic residents over the years who have said the one hindrance to taking the leap into full-time missions is this issue of board certification. Now, with this hindrance removed, we are praying for God to open the floodgates for an entire generation of new, young, orthopaedic surgeons who will say ‘yes’ to full-time missions without the fear of the negative implications surrounding certification. God did this according to His timetable, and to Him belongs all the glory! In short, God answers prayer and still does miracles today! Thank you for all your prayers and support over the years. Please continue as we plan our return to Kenya, God willing, this summer, and as I begin to collect my cases for the part two oral exam which I will take in July 2018. It’s not over yet!”

God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding. ( Job 37:5 NIV)