Saturday, December 3, 2016

Ebenezer did not start out as a Scrooge

 Ebenezer - Thus far the Lord has helped us!

The new World Gospel Mission President Dan Schafer and his wife, Pam, observed a demonstration of the stent we insert to permit patients with esophageal cancer to swallow.

The crane was in place to move the Samaritans Purse shipping container for the new Eye-Dental Building.
Shipping container is in place with the new Eye-Dental Building in the background.

Steve joined 27 other men at the Tenwek's Bethesda Africa Gospel Church to celebrate completion of an 8-week course called "Man Enough" based on biblical principles.

The original home for wheelchair-bound Erick (outside view)

Inside view of Erick's original home showing holes in the grass roof
New home for Erick in wheelchair (in background) made possible by donations of wood by Chaplain School Graduate Wilson (right) and construction by Carpenter Erick (left) and generous donations by neighbors and church friends.

Rebecca Denning is the Friends of Tenwek (FOT) Intern and assisted Steve in the important Kenyan tradition of planting a tree to memorialize an important event. This event was the opening of the Tenwek Hospital College of Health Sciences Dining Room, which FOT helped to support.

We thank for your support, which can be accessed by clicking this link:

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

New jobs for Steve & Alene in Kenya!

Steve & Alene are requesting prayers for their new jobs

Steve and Alene have been given expanded roles...and we need your prayers!
We missionaries often use the term "being stretched" as we describe our service on the mission field taking us beyond our prior experiences and expectations. This is definitely the case for both of us now! Steve has been appointed to serve as the Tenwek Hospital Medical Superintendent as of July 1st and Alene is already working on her new administrative assignments for the Kenya Field of World Gospel Mission.

All of us at Tenwek Hospital are very proud that our current Medical Superintendent, Dr. Mike Chupp, will be moving from Tenwek after 20 years here to become the Senior Vice President for the Christian Medical and Dental Association in Bristol, TN. Mike and Pam Chupp will be greatly missed. ... and most acutely by Steve as he assumes Mike's duties of Medical Superintendent for this 300-bed hospital, as well as more administrative roles for World Gospel Mission Kenya.  

Mike congratulates Steve on his appointment to follow him as Medical Superintendent
The WGM Kenya Field includes nearly 100 missionary adults and children.  Coordinating all of the necessary services for the field has grown over the years and starting this year is being managed by a team of missionaries. With the Chupps' departure and two others leaving for Home Ministry Assignment (furlough), the administrative responsibilities are expanded for Alene to serve as the Director of Partner Relations and Acting Director of Member Health, and for Steve to serve as the Director of Human Resources. We sincerely request your prayers for God to provide strength and wisdom to serve well for our team and for His kingdom.

"If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen." 
1 Peter 4:11

Endoscopy Research and Training Progresses
We are pleased to have Endoscopy Research Coordinator, Betsy, and Endoscopy Research Assistant, Winnie, now serving on our research team. They have been vital for our expanded esophageal cancer research work this year.
Winnie (L) and Betsy (R) prepare the Lugol's iodine solution to detect pre-cancer changes in the esophagus
We are also delighted to welcome Dr. Emmanuel Kiniga as our 2-year Endoscopy/Research Fellow. He is quickly learning to do our procedures and looks forward to research opportunities as well.
Steve guides Emmanuel to perform the endoscopy procedure

Endoscopy Doctors Are Urgently Needed
With Steve now doing more administrative duties there is a great opportunity for short-term or long-term service by Gastroenterology Endoscopists at Tenwek Hospital. We are grateful to have a commitment for coverage of endoscopy services in December, but we still await coverage for the other months. Please feel free to pass along this request to appropriately-trained physicians and lift up prayers regarding this urgent need. Of course, contact Steve by email via and he will gladly provide more information.

Numbers of Staff members and Trainees continue to grow at Tenwek Hospital
Many of the consulting staff, interns, and residents at Tenwek Hospital
Loaves of bread distributed at the women’s prison for Christmas 
Correctional Ministry Continues to Bless Many!
The Kenya Correctional Ministry team of 11 chaplains gave inspiring reports at their annual meeting this month regarding the scope of their work sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ inside the prisons, as well as their ongoing efforts to reconcile released offenders back to their families and home communities.

We are eager to share the full Correctional Ministry newsletter and allow you to better enjoy the stories of lives transformed by faith. If you are interested please drop an email to with subject line "Burgert CXM newsletter," and we will promptly send it to you. 

Refreshment and Renewal at our Kenya Field Retreat - "THRIVE"
Each day at our field retreat we celebrated our theme song "Thrive" by Casting Crowns. Please enjoy it with us:
Part of the lyrics are:
"We know we were made for so much more than ordinary lives.
It's time for us to more than just survive.
We were made to thrive."

Alene had the privilege to perform 2 youth and 2 adult baptisms in the Indian Ocean during retreat.
Chuck assists Alene to baptize Peggy
Please thank the Lord with us:
   For Alene's recovery from a dogbite and well-being after the series of rabies shots
   For educational and spiritual growth at the international missionary doctors CMDA conference in April
   For renewal and encouragement for us members of the WGM Kenya Field at the annual retreat last month
   For physicians from many specialties already committed to start at Tenwek Hospital later this year, serving for 6 - 24 months 

Please pray with us:
   For the Lord's guidance, wisdom, and strength as Steve and Alene assume added responsibilities
   For Endoscopy physicians to come to serve at Tenwek Hospital
   For additional financial support to cover travel expenses for extra meetings for Steve and Alene in their new roles
   For peace and encouragement for the entire Tenwek Hospital team with many missionary families in transition from the field or returning to the field


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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Easter greetings from Kenya!

Christ is risen, He is risen indeed, Hallelujah!

Yes, it's spring and Easter season, but we wanted to share with you the joy we had in December as Correctional Ministry 
blessed about 6,000 inmates at 15 prisons with simple but precious gifts like bread, soap, and toilet tissue. Thanks to all who contributed to this very tangible expression of the love of God.

Tenwek International School of Chaplaincy graduated 10 of its students in February, in a joint exercise with the School of Nursing. Some have joined Correctional Ministry serving in the prisons, and one such alumnus (Richard Nyambane) received special recognition for his ongoing chaplaincy service.

Our newest students to the School of Chaplaincy proudly hold their study Bibles, sponsored by our home church - First United Methodist Church of Loveland, CO. (Front, left to right: Joyce, Cassidy, Wilberforce, and Fenaldo)

The 2016 Conference of Kenya Mission Network of the PCEA (Presbyterian Church of East Africa)
helped Alene learn more about current issues in missions such as Christian/Muslim relations. Rev. Geoffrey Hiuhu from Mombasa shared about his congregation's reconciliation efforts towards Muslim neighbors who had set fire to their church during riots.
We are always refreshed by visits from Read and Suzie Vaughan from Friends of Tenwek - a partner group providing volunteers, funding, and networking. Every year, they jump into medical work and community projects at Tenwek, as well as bring greatly-appreciated encouragement to the missionaries. They joined us on our front porch for a sunny riverside lunch and conversation.

Visiting Endoscopy physicians such as Dr. Kerry King, also bring great relief when they serve with us here at Tenwek. This patient was grateful beyond words to receive a Bible in her mother tongue from Nursing Officer Emmy Ronoh and Dr. King.

Tenwek Hospital now has a recognized Research Department!  
The 3 Kenyans in their new white coats have completed their 2-year Endoscopy/Research Fellowship, and still actively participate in ongoing Endoscopy research projects even though they are now in their 5-year surgical residency programs. Our core team promoting research, left to right: Drs. Sinkeet Ranketi (Fellow 2014-2015), Steve Burgert (Director of Endoscopy Services), Russ White (Chief of Surgery), Justus Lando (Fellow 2012-2013), Mike Mwachiro (Fellow 2010-2011) and Bob Parker (Director of Research Department).

Congrats to Betsy as she completed her Clinical Officer Internship and then became the Endoscopy Research Coordinator
Winnie left her IT internship to join us as the Endoscopy Research Assistant
Dr. Sinkeet and CO Betsy during a research procedure

Endoscopy Tech Ngetich and Steve assisting Dr. Sinkeet
It is a joy to be part of the WGM Kenya Team as pictured here at our December gathering. Alene and Steve appreciate your prayers as they have been asked to serve the team by taking on more leadership and administrative responsibilities.

Happy Easter! We pray that you had a blessed celebration with your families!

Please thank the Lord with us:
  • For safe journeys to many meetings, and for Patrick - an excellent, trustworthy driver now working for us
  • For the hiring of a new Endoscopy Research Coordinator and a new Endoscopy Research Assistant 
  • For increased partnership with Correctional Ministry by local Kenyan churches
  • For ongoing financial support for each of our areas of ministry
Please pray with us:
  • For the Lord's guidance and provision as both Steve and Alene assume additional administrative and leadership responsibilities
  • For visiting Endoscopy physicians to serve at Tenwek Hospital
  • For the future directions for each of the 10 graduating Chaplain students 
  • For refreshment for all at our upcoming WGM Kenya Field Retreat