January 2011

Cheryl Gayle on January 30, 2011

 “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus,” (1 Thess 5:16, NIV).  This is one of the many promises that we have been clinging to this month, as it looks like Dr. Russ Ebersole will be staying back in the U.S. for medical furlough, before he begins his scheduled furlough in July.  Even though it’s a disappointment for us all---including Russ and his family---that this is the way things are working out for him, we are all trying to place our needs and wants in His hands and to do it joyfully!   We’re thankful that Russ is improving and continuing to gain his strength back.  He has been advised though not to return to the field and put more stress on his healing kidneys and body at this time.  Continue to pray for Russ and his family.   We have been blessed with competent help since Russ has been gone though.  Just enough so that Dr. John Briggs and Michael do not grow too weary with the ministry here.  We currently have Dr. Dale Hoffman (an FP from Canada) here for 6 weeks with his lovely wife Lou.  We had Dr. Joanie Medieama here for 4 weeks in Dec.  And the Drs. Radecky were here right when Russ got sick.  We were also blessed with a IM resident and her husband, the Moores.  And right now, Amanda Magnuson, a P.A., has returned for her second trip.  We’re looking forward to two medical students joining us next week.  World Medical Mission/Samaritans Purse as well as ABWE have been true godsends to us as we try to make sure of adequate coverage.  We know that God is in control thru it all.   We have planned a mini-furlough for 3 months in May, June, & July, but without coverage, we will not be able to return home.  Please pray that all the needed people will step up to help fill in the gap.   Another reason to be thankful is that  Dr. Chuck Miller, a retired pediatrician, has agreed to come out for the three months that we’re gone.  We still need to find other primary care doctors to cover this time while we’re gone, but it is starting to fill in.  We can’t just leave Dr. Miller and John Briggs here alone.   We still have some holes for primary care and surgery for mid-April thru Dec so if you or anybody you know are interested please contact us.  (Even when we return, Russ will still not be part of the equation.  Two primary care docs cannot cover all the needs.)   We were blessed this month also by our Togo Team Meetings.  It is always a treat to get to hear about all the ministries in Togo, not just our little neck of the woods.  The Mango Hospital/Northern Outreach Project is continuing to go well with many exciting ministries going on during construction.  The funding for this project almost totally raised.  Praise God!     We also had a great seminar on church planting that ABWE put on for us here after the Togo Team Meetings were over.  We got to spend 3 days all together learning how to be the best church planters that we can be.  We learned a lot about what God tells us to do in the Bible---meet together regularly, pray without ceasing, go ye into all the nations making disciples, etc.  These are functions.  But how they are carried out is not specified directly in the Bible.  These are the forms or how they are done in our culture or other cultures.  Such as “how should we meet together, how should we pray?”   The trick is to try to stay true to the functions, what the Bible says to d,  while making the forms culturally and generationally relevant but also godly at the same time.  We were all inspired by this conference and very thankful that we got it “brought out to us here on the field” so that we can serve Him the best way possible.   Another blessing this month is that Dr. Kelly Faber has agreed to join us for two years starting this fall!  She is a pediatric resident who will finish her residency in May/June of 2011.  World Medical Mission/Samaritans Purse are helping to sponsor doctors right out of residency to the mission field so that the doctor can get their feet wet and, Lord Willing, be attracted to full-time mission’s work in the future.  The field really is white for the harvest and the workers are few.   Please pray for Kelly as she prepares for her future here.  Pray for all of us too as we get ready to work with her and encourage here.  Kelly will help to fill in a great hole while Russ is gone, but she will never replace Russ.  When Russ returns in 2012, they can work together and help each other out.  With as busy as this hospital is, we need all the help that we can get.  And none of us are getting any younger!  L   We need to start to work on replacing ourselves now.  Not when we get too old or too sick to continue on .  God wants us to be wise as serpents, which means not waiting until the last minute to get replacements.   And another blessing that we had this month, was that Construction Workers for Evangelism (C.W.E.) has picked our church plant, Tsavié, to build a concrete building with a steel roof in Feb 2012.  We are very excited about this.  We need to raise $15,000 U.S. for this project.  CWE will provide $45,000 U.S.  If you or your church would like to donate to this project, please let us know.  Even more exciting though, is that anybody who is willing or interested could join one of the 4 teams coming out to either build the church (men and women included) or join a medical team at the end of their time here.  These trips are just 10 days each and are very economical and quick.  Let us know and we’d be glad to hook you up with the appropriate people.  C.W. E. likes to have at least 20 on each team.  They need any type of construction worker, painters, sweepers, water carriers, cooks, etc.   They try to recruit from all over the U.S.  You do not have to be “part of C.W.E” to join in.  You just have to be a Christian and willing!   It would be a great way to join us out here for some church planting work and to see how the ministry is going in Togo firsthand!   Well, we’ve gone on too long this time.  There is so much to be thankful for.  We haven’t even touched on any of the hospital cases this month!   Please continue to pray for us, as the enemy does not want to see us joyful and leading others to Christ or discipling.  We anticipate some opposition.  We’re especially thankful to have you on our team!  Knowing  that you’re “out there” holding up our arms means very much to us.   For His Glory,   Michael & Cheryl Gayle, ABWE Medical Ministry & Church planting in Togo, W. Africa