April 2010

Cheryl Gayle on April 30, 2010

   Volcanoes, Narnia, and toenails……Do you think that in 10 or 20 years somebody will be asking you, “So where were you and what were were you doing when the volcano in Iceland shut down air travel in Europe?”  We were here in Togo, but some of our short term missionaries couldn’t get out, and some of our friends couldn’t get in!  We understand that in Lomé there was a church team with 11 high school students and 4 chaperones who were “trapped” in Lomé for 11 extra days!  Wow!  What do you do with teenagers who have already finished their mission trip for 11 extra days!  Everything is getting back to normal now (what’s normal?).  In the big scheme of things, what we saw here in Togo was just a tiny, tiny part of the overall big picture.  We can not even begin to imagine all the many difficult disruptions that others had.  We have become a world very dependent on air travel.  Just a week or two of disruption and voila---we’re basically crippled!  (We predict that there will be a book or a movie just in case we missed something!) 

We’ve been enjoying the new OB addition that CWE built for us in February.  It was open and ready for “business” around the middle of March (give or take a few days).   It is so nice having the maternity ward where new mothers and their new babies can be together.  We have been able to keep the sick mothers and sick babies separated out.  In fact, the closed wooden doors that go from our old, drab women’s ward (it used to be the men’s ward) into the bright new OB wing have been affectionately dubbed, “Thru the Wardrobe and into Narnia,” by our Pediatrician, Dr. Russ Ebersole.  And it really does seem like one is going from one world into another when one goes “thru the doors.”   (Continue to pray for the Guest House addition that CWE helped to start to be finished and for the remaining finances to come in.) 

Debbie Barkett, Dr. Gus Barkett’s wife, was here for 4 weeks, oops I mean 5 weeks (volcano).  While Gus had been here 14 years in a row, his wife had never made it out due to family obligations.  Debbie took to Togo like a “duck takes to water!”  Even though she knew no French, she knew how to minister to ladies with little acts of kindness.  It is amazing how much one can communicate just with smiles, laughter, pictures, and acts of kindness.  One of Debbie’s best ministries was doing “manicures or pedicures.”  What else is there to do when one is lying around in bed?  And sometimes while she painted nails, she shared the gospel thru a translator.  Debbie wanted to visit one of Cheryl’s Bible Studies that Cheryl holds “on the side of the road,” with the banana vendors and others. Debbie thought it would be fun afterwards to paint nails.  We ended up with about 7-8 of us painting each other’s toenails. (Picture---dirt floor, small, narrow, backless benches, bananas, kids, and people and cars going by.)  It was a lot of fun with a lot of laughter (and a lot of entertainment for other nationals!)   

The hospital continues to be busy with many sick patients, deaths, and many miracles. We’re enjoying working with our church plant, Tsavié, as well as visiting other churches. 

 Evangelical Mobile Medical Clinics had a small set back this month due to mechanical problems with the Land Rover.  (Did we mention that the roads are bad out here??)  It took about a month to find the piece and have the repairs.  But the EMMC team used this time to pray about new villages and to work on more health teaching material and good discipleship material. 

 We are in desperate need of general surgeons for June 22 to July 15 and Oct 1 to Nov 15.  Our “regular surgeon,” Dr. David Kuehler leaves on May 3rd.  He will not return until Jan 2011.  We have coverage for all the other times except the above listed.  If you or anybody you know could help us to fill in these times, please let us, ABWE, WMM, or Bob Cropsey know.   

We really do value you as part of His Team for Togo.  We thank-you for your faithful prayer and financial support.  We are praying for you too!  God Bless! For His Glory, 

Michael & Cheryl Gayle, ABWE, Togo

Medical Ministry and Church Planting