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.
“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.
“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.