April 2007

Michael & Cheryl Gayle on April 30, 2007

It is with great sadness that we heard about the happenings at VA Tech. The people who died that day had not planned to. And not in that way. ?If only? is probably being said and thought a lot these days. Our hearts go out to all the families and friends who were affected. Even though there is evil in this world (not because there is no God, but because God allows us to have a free will and free choices) good can come out of evil even thought it can be very painful. We are praying.

The Togolese face death all the time. Not a day goes by where somebody in their family, village, circle of friends, and so on dies. There always seems to be a funeral somewhere. We are so thankful for the privilege to be here to share the gospel of the saving grace of Jesus Christ with whomever God brings us into contact. Pray that the seeds planted would reap a harvest in His name. Satan works to discourage and to pull down, but God is always victorious!

One of our Togolese pastor?s wife was diagnosed recently with cancer involving the neck, esophagus, and larynx. She has been operated on and has a tracheal tube in place for now. She?s not able to swallow her saliva. This is a pastor who is willing to live and serve in Northern Togo in Dapong where Christianity is not readily seen. They are dear and godly people with a much needed ministry. Please pray for Madame Laré and her family.

Recently there have been many snakes sited and killed IN and around the hospital. Last count they had found at least 3 green mambas in the hospital! The rains have started back, and we guess that the snakes are uncomfortable lying in all that water? Pray for safety. At least 2 staff members were bit by snakes recently (one at the hospital who was bit at her house, and one from the blind center in Kpalimé). Neither one had serious problems afterwards and have returned back to work. PTL!

We are desperate for surgical and anesthesia coverage! Please pray! Our Filipino surgeon, Jo V decided that the stress of her job was too much for her, and when she left in late March for a vacation back in the Philippines, she announced that she wasn?t sure when she would be back, even implying never. This has left a lot of holes in the surgical coverage here. With us being a tertiary care hospital, we get a lot of seriously ill people and complicated pregnancies/deliveries here who could die without surgery. Please pray for the surgical holes to be filled in. We have no on starting as early as the beginning of June! And also pray for anesthesia coverage. Mary Jo Mills is leaving on May 1st for home assignment. John Groeneveld who was helping to cover the anesthesia left in March. That just leaves our Togolese physician assistant anesthetist. We have had to ask our new missionary physician?s assistant to learn anesthesia and to help cover. But only two anesthetists are not enough (we?re being positive that we will have surgery here!) to cover 24/7. We need another person to pitch in. Especially as both men have young families. We are being blessed with Gordon Hiebert, a CRNA from the states, and his wife coming out on July 1st to assist for 8 months! PTL! It?s the few 2 months before and the 2 months after that need covered!

On a positive note, Community Health Evangelism (CHE) has spent months praying and choosing which 2 villages God would have them to work in. They have finally made their decision. The CHE team will start working directly with these villages starting in a week. Pray for great results and changed lives. Evangelical Mobile Clinics (EMC) continues to go out weekly to villages and do minimal medical evaluations, health care teaching, and then sharing the gospel. EMC is going to start adding a physician?s assistant to go out and treat some minor health care problems. Michael?s heart is to go out into the villages with the team, but he is too tied up at the hospital right now to do so. Please pray for primary care medical help and full-time administrative help so that Michael and others don?t get burned out, and so that things don?t get done ?half-way.? Also, pray for the financial needs of the CHE team and EMC as the programs do cost to run.

And we?ll close with some final thoughts. Death. We ALL have to face it some day. Some of us will die very young. Some will be older. And a very few will die very old. None of us knows the way or the hour that we will die, but we all need to be prepared and face it. In the Bible it says that, ?Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him? (Heb 9:27,28). We beg of you if you are not right with God; if you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, please do so now. Later today may be too late!

We Love you and we?re praying for you! Thanks for praying for us!

For His Glory,

Michael & Cheryl

P.S. Thank-you for praying for our vacation with Nathaniel. We came back much refreshed. Pray that we can make wise decisions in the ministry that is needed here so that we don?t get overwhelmed and burned out too soon!