Preparing the Chupp Raft for Class 5 Transition Rapids!

Transition is a normal part of missionary life. Missionaries come back to the United States on homeland ministry assignment (HMA). Missionaries leave behind their families in the United States as they go to the field God has called them. WGM’s magazine, The Call, says “Change is rarely easy, but the progress makes it worth it.” In this blog post by Mike Chupp, you’ll read about his family’s coming transition and how your prayers can be focused to help them through the Class 5 rapids of change.

June 2013 Family pic

“Ok, so I am not a whitewater kinda guy nor is my better half, Pam, so why a title about rafts and rapids?  Well, first,  talking about Class 5 challenges sounds…well, exciting!  In just a little over two months our family of four will be saying farewell to our national and missionary co-workers at Tenwek Hospital (July 13th), just one month short of the twenty year mark.  We attended the biannual missionary medicine conference held near Marathon, Greece, for nearly two weeks in April along with nearly 700 other medical missionaries including families.  The event is sponsored by the Christian Medical and Dental Associations (CMDA), the wonderful 80 year old organization that I have been asked to join as Senior VP on Sept 1st in Bristol, TN.  At the conference it was officially announced that I was taking on Senior VP,  Dr. Gene Rudd’s role, coming along side former Tenwek Medical Director and now for 20 years CMDA CEO, Dr. David Stevens. Many good talks with longtime friends and colleagues in the medical missionary community followed with many words of encouragement, delight, and words of wisdom on the way forward.  What a great joy to receive encouragement and support from many of our heroes and co-workers in medical missions who work all over Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.  CMDA and Dr. Stevens have made it a top priority to ‘fan the flame’ of the call of God on the hearts and lives of over 1,400 young Christian medical professionals in the states who desire to serve God in missions.  We had some really good talks with CMDA staff and leadership at the conference with our first assignment being given to us by Dr. Stevens at the conference…to represent CMDA at the Thailand Medical Missions conference in February 2017.  This is the sister conference to the Greece conference and focuses on training and spiritual renewal for medical missionaries primarily serving in the Far East and Asia during the odd years.

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WGM Kenya team at the Marathon, Greece, CMDA conference April 4th to 14th.

“After attending our annual WGM Kenya retreat on the coast the latter part of April and dropping Kayla and Ashley back at RVA to begin Term 3, we arrived back at Tenwek for the final week of April.  An Executive committee of the Tenwek Board of Governors met and appointed Dr. Steve Burgert as my replacement as the Tenwek Medical Superintendent, starting July 1st.  Steve is a gastroenterologist who has been at Tenwek for nearly 7 years with his wife Alene.  Both Steve and Alene had shared with us that God had been preparing them for more involvement in leadership and administration in their ministries at Tenwek and in Kenya.  When we shared with the Burgerts about leaving Tenwek this summer and the need for a new Medical Director, Steve immediately started thinking and praying about this possibility.  This particular issue of handing over the medical staff leadership was one of my biggest concerns and God very clearly took care of it with the willingness and availability of Dr. Burgert with the support of the Tenwek CEO and Board.  Over the next 7 to 8 weeks, Steve and I will be spending a fair amount of time together understanding the responsibilities he will be assuming and working together on many projects and medical staff issues.  Please pray for Dr. Burgert as he takes on this responsibility of leading the medical staff and serving with other chief officers in the management and mission of Tenwek Hospital which is in its 80th year.

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Dr. Steve Burgert and Mike after Tenwek Executive Board appointed Steve as the next Medical Superintendent starting July 1st as we return to the states to join CMDA.

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