Saturday, April 20, 2019

heading home

"In matters which he took up pertaining to the service of our Lord, he made use of all the human means to succeed in them, with a care and efficiency as great as if the success depended on these means; and he confided in God and depended on his providence as greatly as if all the other human means which he was using were of no effect"                    
Biography on St Ignatius

It felt like I was using every human resource I had over the last weeks.  But it was only by the Grace of God that I was able to complete the work that was done.  God orchestrated every detail and touched so many people on this mission. I am amazed at the amount of work that was done on this trip! The patients were arriving from all over Kenya, traveling over 9 hours to get care for ENT issues.  I worked day and night to see as many patients that came to be seen.  Some had to wait 2 days to be seen but they were so gracious and thankful for their care.  I was also inundated with hospital consults and casualty visits.  It seemed a never ending stream.  God was so gracious to give me rest at night this trip.  This was a special blessing from Him to strengthen me for the long days!

Pictured below is a 6 week old baby with bilateral choanal atresia.  This is a congenital disorder due to failure of the back of the nose to open into the throat.  Infants are obligate mouth breathers so it is miraculous that he has survived. He only weighs 2 kg (4.4 lbs) at 6 weeks.  I took care of his brother 2 years ago who had a successful repair of the same disorder.  This child is much smaller and the repair will have more risk of failure.  He was operated on thursday and all went well. He was nursing by the next day and doing well. He has some nasal stents in place and will have these removed by the general surgeons next week.

Over the last week, I operated on 2 mandible fractures, removed a parotid mass in an 18 year old, several tonsillectomies, sinus surgery for nasal polyps, removed a minor salivary gland tumor of the palate, and performed multiple biopsies of a number of tumors.  There were several surgeries that I could not get done and I am praying my general surgery colleagues can finish the work.

Thank you for the prayers. I could not have endured without them. It is very clear to me that HIS hand was upon me.

Chase Miller

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Matthew 10:8  As you go preach this message: the kingdom of heaven is near. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons.  Freely you have received, freely give.

My cry to the Lord is that He will heal his people.  So many have come this year with their ENT problems.  It has been a flood of outpatients and inpatient consults. More than one person can keep up with. But I have seen how God has been strengthening me and making the way for me. Just at the right moment someone will be at my side to help.  I have completed my 2 weeks of training the family practice resident. It is such a blessing to pour into these residents who are so committed to serving their people.

The surgeries have gone well and I see God answering my cry for their healing.  Pictured below is a man with a large salivary gland mass.   He underwent surgery but the next day needed to return to the operating room for removal of a large hematoma.  But today is doing well and facial nerve function is excellent- praise God

I have seen multiple patients with unresectable tumors, but I have also had the joy of preaching the Gospel to an entire family that did not know the Lord.

Friday night a trauma case came to casualty.  A victim of a machete injury.  His airway needed to be stabilized in the casualty area and then he was brought to the operating theater.  We surmise that his mouth was open screaming as the blade transected his tongue, both sides of his mouth and split his lower jaw in two.  below is the finished repair. the pretreatment is to graphic to display.

Thank you for continuing to pray for healing of all that come to be seen.  That is my cry day and night to the Lord

chase miller

Saturday, April 6, 2019

First week!

I arrived to Tenwek safely Sunday evening after a 30 hour journey. Wow! they are in a serious drought right now. The water level is very low here and power shortages are 3-4 times a day and always at night.  there is not enough water to run the hydroelectric plant so they are drawing from the government power source which has scheduled brown outs. It gets pretty dark around here so if you don't always have a flashlight on hand you can get pretty lost.

I have been very busy in outpatient clinic. There are many patients coming from "far" to be reviewed. We have seen 2 emergencies in clinic where our patients lost consciousness- one from nasal bleeding and the other from alcohol related hypotension and hypoglycemia. The problems have been variable including simple things like acid reflux, allergy, tonsillitis to a number of cancers, HIV related Kaposi's sarcoma, airway difficulties in children. Among the stream of patients we have had time to pray with each one and one patient has committed his Life to the Lord!

I have had one operating theater day where we performed tonsillectomy on a child, laryngoscopy and biopsies on several cancer patients, and oral biopsy on a vascular mass likely a Kaposi's sarcoma.  Everyone did well and amazingly we were able to get all the equipment working well. Praise the Lord.  We are still working on coordinating the care on a 16 year old male with advanced papillary thyroid cancer. We are praying for God's will here as he has very advanced disease and surgical resection could leave him with swallowing and breathing difficulties.

Thank you for all the prayers. I feel as if I am in His strong arms and he hears my prayers.

Psalm 138 "I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; before the gods I will sing your praise. I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word. WHEN I CALLED, YOU ANSWERED ME, YOU MADE ME BOLD AND STOUTHEARTED."


Sunday, March 24, 2019

Spring 2019 trip

2 Samuel 22:5  David's song of praise

"The waves of death swirled about me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.  The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me.  In my distress I called to the Lord; I called out to my God.  From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came to his ears."

The diseases of the people are far advanced and overwhelming. Death is not far from them.  I cry out to the Lord to heal them.  Please equip me to fight the battle that surrounds them.

"The earth trembled and quaked, the foundations of the heavens shook; they trembled because he was angry. Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it.  He parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds were under his feet."

The Lord was moved with anger at the destruction of His people.  He came down to fight the enemy. He fought the battle!

"It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights.  He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.  You gave me your shield of victory; you stoop down to make me great.  You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn. "

The Lord readies me as a warrior. He strengthens me for the battle.

"Therefore I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing praises to your name."

We are preparing for our upcoming trip. I leave 3/30 for the long trip.  I appreciate your prayers as I embark on what feels like a battle against sickness and death.  Please pray for God's victory and that He would be glorified!

Chase Miller

Monday, November 5, 2018


We made it home with no issues, praise the Lord.  I had no internet access in my housing location for my last week so I apologize for no Blog updates.

When we arrived to the ENT house we had a friend in the front yard playing with some of the laundry drying in the warm sun.  What a fantastic view we have of the surrounding valley and mountains.

We had a busy week doing cleft lip and palate. surgeries  There were 4 surgeons and we were able to run 3-4 rooms throughout the week.  Although a chaotic first day screening 60+ patients the week overall was peaceful as compared to previous years.  The Lord was definitely in charge and gave us a very manageable pace.  Overall, we were able to perform 49 cleft lip and palate surgeries.  While we were busy in the operating theater, the chaplains were busy ministering to the patients.  At the end of the week they shared that 15 women gave their lives to Christ!

Enud is 4 months old.  At his birth  mother was cast out of her tribe and disowned by her own mother.  It is traditional thought that the cleft deformity is caused by the mother's sin.  She and baby arrived to the cleft camp desperate for help.  Enud was screened and accepted for surgery.  After surgery the nursing staff witnessed mom receiving her baby with tears of joy that came like a flood.  She would now be able to return to her community and be accepted by her mother again.  God had redeemed the curse!

Susan is a 3 month old with unilateral cleft lip deformity.  She underwent surgery on Monday but during surgery she was noted to have abnormal breathing creating concern.  After surgery she did not arouse from anesthesia even after 3 hours of observation.  We had no explanation for her complication.  We had no ventilators or means to care for her overnight so made plans to transfer her to a nearby hospital.  We prayed for God's mercy and healing for Susan.  Transfer was via trolley over bumpy roads.  We noted that she was somewhat more awake when we arrived at a the transfer hospital.  As we lingered she continued to improve and we were able to extubate her that night.  The next morning she was back to her normal self, praise the Lord.  As we put the puzzle pieces together we realized the anesthesia machine was broken and was recirculating Susan's breaths so she had dangerously high CO2 levels.  

These are just a few of the stories of changed lives.  The impact of these surgeries is life changing and I am rejoicing in all that God has done this week.

Thank you for all your prayers,
Chase Miller

Friday, November 2, 2018

Jimmy's last day at Tenwek & Chase's last day at Kijabe

Friday, November 2nd, 2018

Time seems to fly by here at Tenwek.  My two weeks are up and I've been packing and saying my goodbyes until next time.  While typing, I had a knock at the door and it was Geoffrey, my boda boda (motorcycle) driver.  He was on his way home and remembered that I was leaving first thing in the morning so he stopped over and say goodbye!  He has been a good friend over the years and very trustworthy.  I will miss him along with Peter Rono, another driver - Ok, so my other friend Julius just stopped by to say goodbye as well!!  Every time I come here I learn more about my Kenyan brothers and sisters and their beautiful, simple lives and genuine hospitality.  I hope I can mimic a portion of that hospitality and love when I come back home?!  Sometimes our lives get so busy and cluttered that we miss God opportunities.  I pray that I don't get caught up in the craziness on my return?!

Cheptuiyet Primary School
These students (Standard 8) just finished three days of exams for entrance into high school.  They must perform well on their exams because it will determine where they will end up.  I had the opportunity to listen to the teachers encourage them and send them off and then they asked me to end in prayer for the students and staff - a great honor!!

Thank you Lord for the opportunity to be here and to share your love!

Thank you all for your prayer support!!


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Cleft Lip & Palate Week

Chase finished up at Tenwek this past Sunday (10/28) working right up until the SP van arrived.  She is now over at Kijabe/AIC Cure Hospital for the Cleft Lip & Palate surgeries this week.  She doesn't have any WiFi at that location, therefore no updates - so here goes:

Please pray for a baby girl named Susan.  She didn't wake up from surgery and they had to transport her to the ICU at the hospital up the road.  As it turned out, there was a malfunction in the anesthesia equipment and instead of breathing in oxygen her air was getting recirculated so she was breathing back carbon dioxide.  Thankfully, they figured it out and all is well with the equipment.  Baby Susan has been improving, too!!

Please keep Chase in your prayers for strength and endurance and for her patients to heal well after these long surgeries.  Please also pray for sleep for Chase!!

I've remained at Tenwek continuing with the water filter distribution, moving ENT equipment, delivering special LED lights to Korara Visually Impaired School,
visiting an orphanage that I haven't been to in the past and doing some work with Friends of Tenwek (a non-profit that I'm on the board with) helping to plan fundraising for a new Chaplaincy School here at Tenwek.  It's been a busy, but productive week!  I'm also waiting for another delivery of water filters this Thursday, I pray!!

Special LED lights for visually impaired students (thanks to Denise & Luis Perez)!
Elijah (Director) with his son Enoch from Mosop Orphange and School

Thank you so much for your prayers!!

Jimmy and Chase