Sunday, October 21, 2018

First Week

This photo is a typical view of the Kenyan landscape.  I love walking down the dirt road with the cows next to me.  Young children laughing and playing with sticks in the nearby grass.  The gentle breeze cooling us from the African heat.  Such a simple quiet life.

It has been a different kind of trip so far this October.  With our clinical officer Peter gone I have had to struggle through clinic without all the language assistance that is so needed.  Fortunately, my general surgeon resident has been full of energy and although he does not know the local tribal language he is able to converse with most using Swahili.  There has been a parade of patients again now that the word has gotten out that I am here.  Because Peter was not here to line up surgery for me I have seen many more patients in clinic than in the operating theater.

This is Paul who is a 16 year old child referred for cleft palate repair.  he had his lip repaired when he was younger but never had the palate repair.  He comes from a family of 6 children.  He is sponsored by Compassion International to help support his family.  He attends school but does not communicate because of his unprepared cleft palate.  He underwent repair of his palate.  Please pray for him as repair this late often does not improve speech.  We are praying for a miracle that his palate will heal well and he will have improvement in his speech.  Pray that he would be BLESSED, not cursed.

This newborn infant was born with a large tongue mass.  She did well for several days but then began to develop breathing issues.  We were hoping she would have a tongue cyst which could be easily managed and reduce the size of the tongue and therefore improve breathing.  Unfortunately, biopsy revealed a large solid mass originating from tongue muscle. We are concerned for a malignancy.  Pathology is a real problem here.  It takes 6 weeks to get results back from Nairobi.  We just returned again to the OR today to again work with her breathing passage.  This is going to be a long wait and we are praying she survives.

Please continue to pray that the Lord would bring His people in and that He would give me wisdom and healing hands to treat.  There have been difficult working circumstances and I have not completely relaxed into the rhythm of this place yet.  Jimmy has arrived safely this weekend and I am thankful he is here.


Tuesday, October 16, 2018

a long day

Today was a busy day.  God did a miracle with my luggage it arrived tonight intact, nothing missing and no taxes needed to be paid! I am very grateful.

We did a Thyoidectomy for a very large thyroid goiter today.  All went well and patient is recovering without issues.  Thank you God

Clinic this afternoon was very busy.  I saw many patients.   Several with large head and neck tumors. We are in the process of evaluating them. unfortunately the CT scan is broken so we need to make decisions like the old days!  I am enjoying working with my general surgery resident who is so enthusiastic to learn.  He enjoys spending time with the patients and praying with them so we are working well together.

tomorrow we have a small biopsy in a child and no other surgery lined up  yet.  we will see what casualty brings in today.

thank you for continued prayers for the patients and strength for me.

chase miller

Monday, October 15, 2018

first day

God is in the business of miracles and I am sure He is at work now.  my bags of equipment have been held up in customs and I have been working with them.  I received word tonight that I did not fill out the proper paper work to transport this kind of equipment but they will be sending my bags to the local town (Bomet) near me.  praying there will be no taxes to pay at pick up.

the enemy is busy trying to destroy the ENT service at tenwek but we know who is in charge. my PA has left the hospital.  he was key to organizing patient visits and surgeries.  Today I saw about 6 patients which is quit a short list compared to the usual 20-30.  the registration desk has been referring out all ENT services.  I am praying that the Lord will bring the patients in despite this obstacle.

thank you for your faithful prayers
chase miller

Saturday, October 13, 2018

I arrived safely

It has been an interesting journey again.  1 missed my second flight but arrived in Nairobi as planned.  unfortunately my bags did not make it.  this is concerning as when they do arrive they are fair game for anyone interested.  Customs may also be an issue without me to defend the contents.  then there is the question of transporting them up to a a rural area.  I would appreciate your prayers on that issue.

On the way today there were "demonstrations" on the main road.  It was unclear what these were about but my driver assured me that it has been peaceful recently.  After 2 hours standing still in the hot African sun on a dirt road we were glad to get moving again!

I am thanking God that he is freeing me up from "excess" baggage this trip.  I guess he is going to take care of all the details again!  I have come a long way from our first trip here in 2011 where we arrived carrying 10 bags!

Matthew 10:9 "Do not take along any gold or silver or copper in your belts; take no bag for the journey, or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff; for the worker is worth his keep"

Thank you for your faithful prayers,

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Preparing for fall Kenya trip 2018

leviticus 19:9
"When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest.  Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen.  Leave them for the poor and the alien.  I am the Lord your God."

This Old Testament commandment referencing the harvest is a great reminder of our duty to give to the poor.  From the abundance of our harvest, the fruit of our labor, we are to overflow onto the needy.  Could it be that the blessings that we receive from the Lord are purposefully abundant so that we can give to those less fortunate?  Here in the US we are so privileged to have a wealth of education to prepare us for work.  Our employment is a bountiful provision for our families but also for the poor.  Our skills are not just for our benefit but for those that are deprived.  Don't they deserve the first fruits of our labor?

We will be leaving again for Kenya 10/11th.  I will start at Tenwek Hospital and end at Kijabe Hospital doing cleft work.  Our ministry outreaches will not only be to the sick but also to dispense water filters and give to Kitoben Orphanage.  The water filter ministry will focus on schools and orphanages.  There is a growing connection with Community Health at Tenwek and we are praying that Jimmy will be able to visit some remote villages with them.  We realize that the filters are just a means to reach those that do not yet know the Lord.  Please pray that God would open doors.  Kitoben continues to work on building their school and funds are needed to complete classrooms 6 and 7.  This will allow them to reach out to local children that are in need of education and to acquire government funding.  At Tenwek I will continue to operate with the general surgery residents.  I am working on building up the specialty ENT equipment.

We are so appreciative of all the support.  Please continue to pray for protection, healing of the sick, and divine appointments.

Saturday, March 31, 2018


I have made it home safely.  I am so grateful for all God did on this mission.  I was incredibly busy wearing many hats this trip.  I can not comprehend all God was doing but one thing I know is that I trusted Him and He was faithful to carry me through.

My last week was a bombardment of work.  I spent each day doing what came before me.  the day was started lecturing to the general surgery residents or family practice residents.  We would then move to the operating theater.  We operated on many patients and always seemed to have more cases then the OR could handle.  In between cases I would run to clinic and see patients that the physician's assistant was saving for me to screen for the OR.  after the day there were consults in the wards and many hospital staff with medical questions and needs.  The day never seemed to end.  I poured myself out as long as I could stand.  There was no time to question or worry over the next day.  I trusted that God put before me what He wanted me to do.  He always brought me help when needed.

Isaiah 58:6  Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?  It is not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter- when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?  Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear;  then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.  Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;  you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

2 1/2 year old girl with CHARGE syndrome.  This is a congenital syndrome that can include abnormalities of the heart, kidneys, ears, eyes and nose.  This child had Choanal Atresia which is blockage of the communication between the nose and the throat.  Infants are obligate nasal breathers so usually children are treated at birth.  This child miraculously survived without treatment.  She was taken to the operating room for surgical opening of her nose.  Stents were placed and will be removed later by the general surgeons.  This will be a life changing procedure for her!

10 year old boy with 3 day history of right eye swelling. this seemed to be precipitated by an upper respiratory infection.  evaluation revealed significant swelling of the right eye and loss of vision.  CT scan of the sinuses revealed sinusitis, large abscess of the orbit and brain abscess.  This process had obviously been going on longer than the history of 3 days.  He went urgently to the operating theater for drainage of the orbital abscess and sinus surgery.  He slowly improved over the next few days but would be in the hospital for continued IV antibiotic treatment for his brain abscess.  Unfortunately, his vision can not be restored but his life was spared

Eldely women who presented to casualty in respiratory distress with stridor.  the illness had been present for 3 weeks according to family.  she was unarousable with low oxygen levels.  Evaluation of the upper airway revealed no obstruction of the airway.  Her chest X-ray was normal.  Something did not match up.  She was worsening and I had no explanation.  I recommended a repeat chest X-ray in the chance that the chest X-ray we were looking at was not of her chest!  repeat chest X-ray revealed collapse of the right lower lung.  She likely had a mucus plug and pneumonia.  I recommended urgent visit to the OR to perform bronchoscopy.  But first I asked her family does she know the Lord? no! we prayed.  When we brought her to the OR there was a brief time where she was awake.  Her life was in danger and I was desperate for her to know the Lord.  The anesthetist knew her language and led her in the salvation prayer.  Surgery went well and she rapidly improved!

There are so many more stories that I could tell.  Please know that the Lord was ministering to His people in many ways this trip.  I am resting now and am amazed at how this trip's recovery has been so much easier than previous trips.  He is blessing me and healing me.

Chase Miller

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Life at Tenwek

Joshua 1:9  Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

It has continued to be a battle here.  I am encouraged by the words in Joshua that the Lord is with me.  It has felt a little like trying to walk in quick sand.  But God has been faithful and I felt a real breakthrough on Friday.  I arrived to Tenwek with multiple obstacles to care.  But God has been overcoming them one by one.  It has been one of the busiest trips I have had yet.  I am teaching the second year family practice residents as well as a general surgery resident.  I have operated everyday except my first day so getting the patients seen and scheduled for surgery has been a challenge.  It has been a bombardment of work.  when I showed up for a meal on friday night everyone clapped because I have missed so many meals!

1 Peter 4:12  Do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice that you participate in the suffering of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His Glory is revealed.  If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

I am rejoicing in all that God is doing.  There have been many salvations.  Many who have been healed through surgery.  Many who are encouraged.

30 year old HIV+ male with tuberculosis and toxoplasmosis.  he presented with drainage from the left ear.  exam was consistent with probable TB infection of the ear.  he was saddened and ill appearing.  suffering.  His sickness is of death but we discussed the Lord and the assurance he needs of eternal life.  He so desperately wanted more.  He repented and gave his life to the lord.  We rejoice in the ultimate healing.  He will be treated for TB and hopefully this will treat some of his underlying issues.

Elderly female with moderate to severe hearing loss.  I had screened her hearing on my fall trip.  She came in this year with her daughter.  we fit her with donated hearing aids.  she was overjoyed by the ability to hear again.  Her daughter was taught on how to use the aids.  this was a big process but in the end they left rejoicing with the gift of hearing!

35 year old male with left parotid mass.  this has been steadily growing in size.  He had very subtle loss of movement of the face on the affected side.  these signs suggested malignancy.  CT scan imaging was indicative of large mass involving the salivary gland.  On friday he underwent removal of the mass and salivary gland.  Prior to the surgery we always pray.  God revealed to me that He would be present.  He would be the surgeon.  It was a very difficult surgery because of the large mass and difficulty identifying the nerve that moves the face.  But we persisted.  We thanked God when the instruments were not available, when the power went off, and when the cautery machine did not work.  The mass was successfully removed and the patient is recovering well.   All honor and Glory to God!

Thank you for your continued prayers.  Please pray I can continue to lean on Him and not be overwhelmed by the endless flood of work.  That the enemy would be unable to distract me or wear me down.

Chase miller