August 2011

Cheryl Gayle on August 31, 2011

 We arrived back to Togo safe and sound and ready to get back to the ministry here.  It was a very easy transition, since we hadn’t been gone that long.  In fact, it seemed that we’d only been gone a few days.  We had good attitudes and many plans for His ministry here.  Then we arrived at the hospital.   Within the first 15 minutes, we had 4 different people tell us that the only other full-time medical missionary on the field was leaving for an indefinite period of time.  We already knew that he and his wife were going to take off 3 months, after we got back.  We also knew that there were some family issues going on that needed their attention, and he had already hinted to us in an e-mail that it might take longer than 3 months, which we thought we would discuss when we were all back together.  We were not prepared to be “hit” immediately that the plans were already decided on and made.  In fact, he worked only a few days and then took off to help pack up their house and was on a plane by Aug 22.  Wow!  Talk about being immediately thrust back into ministry on the field.  Our first thoughts were “that’s going to really hurt us” medically here.  And then our other thoughts were, “We’d like to be home with our families too.  Wouldn’t all of us?”  Then we started to get very “protective” of our time and feeling sorry for all the extra work that their absence was going to place on Michael especially, but also Cheryl with the Guest House work.  About a week of being irritable with people who were asking us to do this and that, Cheryl had the experience of talking with another very busy missionary on the field.  They were both trying to be “protective” of their time and not taking on too much, and it hit Cheryl that ALL missionaries are in the same boat here.  Too much work and not enough workers.  And it hit her, that we’re not the only ones overworked and overwhelmed here.  And that was what was needed--- to “take our eyes off ourselves and turn them back to Jesus.”

We started to look at others who we work with and how hard they work and how many hours they put in too.  Medical call is 24/7 365 days a year, so it is important to try to find some down time, but others in different parts of the ministry are busier than the average person also.  And then we started thinking of our good friends with World Medical Mission/Samaritan’s Purse, ABWE, and others who do join us here on the field to help carry the load.  We have some good friends already scheduled to help out.   And we realized that Todd DeKryger a medical/surgical PA was already in place to come back to our hospital for 6-9months (starting the end of Sept) to help out until their house is built in Mango.  And we have a new pediatrician coming in Feb for up to 2 years with the post-residency program.  Dr. Russ Ebersole is “on the mend,” and it looks like he will be cleared to return to Togo in Sept 2012.   We still need more long term physicians here, but our glass is ½ full and not ½ empty.

Then as we were turning our eyes back to Him, we started looking at other’s problems.  Such as the young woman who is in the hospital because her husband attacked her with a machete.  She has some extensive damage.  A man who fell out of a tree and has some paralysis.  A hospital employee who just delivered her 3rd baby--all three were born healthy, but the first two died within 14 days due to some type of neurological or metabolic disorder, and this 3rd baby was starting to have the same symptoms.  And the wars and the famines and the earthquakes and the hurricanes and….the list goes on and on.  Who are we to complain?  We have our health.  We’ve had the privilege to already hear and accept our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ.  Our family is doing well.  We have an active and productive ministry here.  And most of all, we have you behind us!  You pray for us and help us financially in order that we can stay on the field.  And we know that all of you have your own issues and problems to deal with.

Some of our fellow missionaries were “worried,” that we might be angry or mean to the doctor leaving, but there is no point in it.  It would not change anything.  We prayed for graciousness, love, and concern for them.  We feel that God really answered our prayers.   After having a breakfast with him and his wife, and discussing all their family issues going on, we could see how they needed to do what they needed to do.  One of our first mission fields is our family, even when our kids are grown.  Needless to say, we’ve been very busy with trying to catch up with work that was not done while we were gone and now with taking on an extra load.  One of the national pastors just preached the other day on Matt 11:28-29.  Christ’s yoke is easy and His burden is light.  Our prayer is that we will do what we have to do.  Especially what is His Will, and that we will not get “overburdened” with our own wants and desires.  We pray that we will have a good attitude and be a good witness.  But we especially pray that the Lord of the Harvest will send workers here.  There is much to do in His Name.  The fields are ripe unto the harvest, but the workers are few.  To end positively.  Our 2nd grandchild is due on Sept 24.  Cheryl is going to sneak home to help out for a few weeks.  We thank God for this opportunity.  Pray for travel safety for Cheryl and an easy birth for Stephanie.   The plans for the new church building at Tsavié are coming along.  The fund raising is going well.  We’re about ½ way there for raising our 25% of the funds, including having the church of Tsavié work on donating $1,000 of their own money.  That is almost like asking them for $1,000,000!  There is a young Togolese man, Kossi Joy, who we have the privilege of helping get to the states for further Bible training.  Pray for all the details---acceptance at a good Bible College, funding, passing of an English proficiency exam, etc.    And we know of some who are praying about joining His team in Togo for His Glory.    Thanks as always for your faithful, faithful, faithful prayer and financial support.  You help to hold our arms up when we are tired.  God Bless!   For His Glory,    Michael & Cheryl Gayle, ABWE, Togo, W. Africa, Medical Ministries and Church Planting  
P.S.  Today is the day after the last day of Ramadan.  It is a world wide holiday of feasting and partying.  Please continue to pray for our Muslim friends.  That they would learn that fasting and praying and other works are not the way to salvation.  That they would find the true way.  There are a lot of exciting things happening here with our team’s Muslim ministries.  God is at work!