Cheryl Gayle on December 17, 2006

MERRY CHRISTMAS from Togo, W. Africa!  We pray that you and your family will be celebrating the true meaning of Christmas this year!  As a Christian celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, and what He means to us, Christmas should be celebrated all year long.  We pray that you will carry Christmas in your heart for eternity!

We were blessed with many short-term medical doctors this last month.  First Drs. Lydia Engelhardt (OB/GYN) and Bill Rambo (GS) were here for 2 1/2 months to help give some relief to our full-time "temporary" surgeon from the Philipines, Dr. JoV.  Then Dr. Stacie Marrie (Peds) and her husband, Jim (Maintenance) were here for one month with their two children, Ryan & Megan.  And we welcomed Dr. Karen Lau (FP).  They were all here to give the full-timers a needed respite---so that the Baer family could take a vacation, and so that Michael could return to the states for his FP Board Recertification.  Carlton Baer ended up flat in bed with malaria during most of his vacation, but it couldn't have happened at a better time (meaning we had coverage to cover his absence!)   All of our new friends ended up leaving one after another last week.

We've also welcomed Blake (maintenance) & Sue Farley (Guest House/translation work) to our team.  They will be working with us for 8 months.  We're so thank for Johnston Chapel Baptist Church in Princeton, WV for loaning them to us.

The new church plant in Tsavie continues to grow.  Continue to pray for Tsavie to stand firm in the face of persecution from their neighbors and friends.  Continue to pray for the necessary means to buy land to build a building in the future.  Pray for Pastor Gatiglo to lead and disciple his congretation well.

All the ABWE churches (new plants as well as independent churches) will be holding an "all church conference" way up north in Dapong, Togo Dec 22-24.  Pray for travel safety for all involved.  This the first all church conference in a few years.  It is used to encourage and challenge each other in Him.

The hospital continues to be busy.  Recently we've had an abandoned baby found in a latrine in Adeta.  (The baby did not live.)  We've had healthy, natural triplets born.  We think that this might be the 4th case this year?  Is there something in the water causing multiple births??  We've succesfully treated a case of tetanus.  Just yesterday we admitted a man with a stroke; we admitted a 2 year old with sickle cell crisis and an infection; and we admitted a 17 year old with the stature and physical characteristics of a 7 year old who has ascites (fluid in the abdomen) for unknown reasons.  This does not even count all of the delivries and other cases in the hospital.  And during the month, we have shared the gospel with 100's of people.  Pray for the harvest!

We will not have any short-term help until January 4th.  Pray for Michael and Carlton as they alternate nights on call.  And pray for Dr. JoV as she will be the only surgeon on call.  Pray for all the other staff as they work together on our medical team.  Pray for us all to keep our focus on Him!

We are praying for you this Christmas season.  Remember not to get bogged down in all the commercialism!

For His Glory,


Michael & Cheryl Gayle

ABWE Tsiko, Togo