Last Turn

Justin and Debby Williams are missionaries serving in pastoral training and education in Uganda, Africa. Justin recently posted an update on their Williams’ ministry blog that examined how God is helping them run the race of ministry during their final turn before the end of their first term on the field. Read on to learn how God is making a difference through the Williams family, giving them the energy and stamina to finish the race strong.

37753817 - running race line in modern city road with cityscape as background,modern business competition concept.

“I remember (WAY BACK IN THE DAY) when I was in high school and I used to run a lot. I actually ran the 800 meter race. It was perhaps the most grueling race that I can remember because you couldn’t exactly jog and you certainly couldn’t sprint full out for half a mile. Lately I have been reminded of the feeling that encompassed me as I came around that last turn or also affectionately known as dead man’s turn because that is how you felt when you got there. At that turn I remember feeling the full body drain both physically and mentally. It was absolute exhaustion…and yet my legs continued to carry me. I still saw forward progress even though that last 100 meters seemed like a mile. Against every fiber of my being, I would sprint the last 100 meters and finish strong. For me it came down to excellent resistance training, perseverance through pain and an eye fixed on finishing well.

“In the past few months, we have been rounding the final corner and we are just beginning to see the end of our first term. Right now, the wind is blowing hard into our faces and the track seems longer and longer. We are certain of this; the enemy hates us and what God has, is and will continue to accomplish through us here. We have been through things over the past few months that have stretched our faith and caused both great joy and great pain. There are days when we laugh together out of sheer excitement and elation at what God is doing. There are days that we sit, shell shocked wondering where the next flaming arrow will come from. Yet in all of this, we see God’s hand around us and we watch His victories continue to mount even in areas where that would seem to be almost completely defeated. On days where we are predicting an outcome, He chuckles to Himself and thinks, ‘you dream too small.’

“As we begin to round this last corner, it is gratitude towards Him that allows my lungs to fill and my body to press forward. Below is just a sampling of how God is moving in such an amazing way.”

WGM can help you connect with the Williams family. Visit their bio page to learn more about them and their ministries. You can also see photos and get updates, prayer requests, and more by going to their blog.

Walking Backwards into the Future

WGM President Hubert Harriman gave his last chapel as president today at WGM headquarters. He spoke about the necessity of change, the power of God, and our need to let go of fear. As Hubert enters retirement on Friday, July 1, his WGM family wishes him well. Join us in praying that as we keep our eyes on God, we will continue to spread the gospel throughout this ever-changing world around us.

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.