Cheryl Gayle on December 31, 2007

The month started out with us being invited to worship with the new church plant (that was started as a direct result of the Mobile Medical Clinics) in the village Patatoukou! What a joy to see the faithful there. This is mostly a Kabiy tribe village and church which was exciting to see. This church has been faithfully meeting on Sunday mornings for most of 2007. They would like to buy land to build a church as they are just meeting outside in somebody?s courtyard now. Please pray for the members of this church to remain faithful and steadfast in the Word and to grow spiritually.

The start of the month also saw an ?outbreak? of chickenpox with the hospital staff! There had been an AIDS patient who came to our hospital a couple of weeks before who had a ?chickenpox? type of rash. There was concern that this is what it could be and viola 14 days later staff started breaking out! So, in order to advert an epidemic in the hospital and the surrounding villages, we had to send anybody home ASAP until their scabs healed over. Chickenpox is not a normal childhood illness out here. So there was a huge potential of problems. But, thank the Lord, 2 weeks later there were fewer staff that had chickenpox and even now 2 weeks later, there was only 1. We are thankful that the chickenpox ?epidemic? was only a scare!

Michael and Dr. Bob Cropsey had a very safe and productive trip to Cameroon. They were able to interview two African surgeons who are in training. Right now, they need to pray about the interviews and present the information to the other medical missionaries here. Then if everybody is in agreement, the surgeons will be asked to Togo to see the hospital and work with the staff and interview here. Please pray for wisdom.

Not to have a dull month, our medical colleague Dr. John Briggs (who has only been on the field a few months) came down with malaria and a nasty cellulitis (very bad skin infection) of his right leg. Because he had both illnesses at once, they were both worse than normal. As his malaria was treated and his cellulitis started to abate, he started having low blood oxygen levels requiring oxygen. The other docs were not sure if he was having pulmonary embolisms or starting with Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome (which can cause your lungs to basically shut down for awhile.) Since his breathing was not improving, it was necessary to medivac him out of Togo. Thankfully everything worked out, and John was medivaced to the states where he had appropriate diagnostic tests (that we don?t have here) and has even been able to be discharged. He is to return to Togo in the next week or two. This was a reminder to all of us that life is short and one never knows when or how we will die. Thankfully we know what our future holds for us when we die no matter what, when, or where. Are you sure of your future? If not, make sure tonight! Before the New Year begins! Don?t put it off.

We also were blessed with short-termer Rob Coty (an auto mechanic from Washington State) at the beginning of Dec. He found many things wrong with our cars and was able to fix them before there were any serious accidents. Like our brakes were almost totally gone! Thank-you Lord for protection! As there really isn?t ?preventative? maintenance out here, we do a lot of driving and praying. We also welcomed Kevin & Emily Hall who are here for one year. Kevin will be helping John Teusink with maintenance work, and Emily will be helping Cheryl and Betty with Guest House work. Both jobs are definitely needed. And we?ve been enjoying a couple of weeks with our son Nathaniel who is visiting during his boarding school break.

One of the many interesting cases this month happened just last week. We were eating dinner and all of a sudden we heard a loud crash, ear piercing scraping and then silence. We figured that somebody had crashed on the mountain just above us. Somebody who was driving down the mountain took a hairpin curve and their car turned over on the road and then slid across the road, and crashed down the mountain into a valley. The driver was brought to our hospital with only a few bumps and bruises. The staff was sharing with the driver that God must love him very much to have him wreck right next to our hospital and to save his life so that he could here the Gospel. The driver accepted Christ that night.

We want to thank you again for partnering with us to reach the lost in Togo and around the world. We?re praying that your 2008 will be touched by Him!

For His Glory,

Michael, Cheryl (& Nathaniel) Gayle
ABWE, Togo, W. Africa