The Closing of a Chapter

So many books have been written about life in Africa.  Real life adventures of legendary figures like Fredrick Courtney Selous or the exploits of the great ivory hunters make for stimulating reading.  Such nostalgia from by-gone days seems almost fictional.

Remarkably, the wildness of Africa in many places remains untamed.  Areas remain where neither electricity nor piped water flow.  Oh sure, even the remote Masaai herdsman, in his half-wrapped shuka, can be seen talking on a cell phone.  But this is nearly the only thing that would set him apart from his great-grandfather.

Our personal journey as residents in this land of yesteryear is nearly to its end.  This chapter in our missionary journey is closing.  Tears are restrained with effort as I write this piece.  I have repeatedly said that no one can visit Africa and not be touched.  But words cannot convey how intensified the effects are from livingin Africa.  About six years ago, veteran missionary Ed Crookshank told me “Africa gets in your blood.” Well, medications have been able to rid my blood of malaria parasites, but Africa remains there.

To each supporting brother and sister and to each giving congregation we offer our sincerest thanks.  You have been faithfully holding up our hands as we have labored these past five years.  The final pages of this “chapter” have been a distinct blessing.  We have enjoyed the unique opportunity of living here in Iringa and working indigenously.  We have labored shoulder to shoulder with our brethren, striving to implement only what they can continue doing unaided by outsiders.

The dynamite is still in the Word of God (Romans 1:16).  It retains its force to cut the human heart (Acts 2:37; 7:54).  The sword of the Spirit is effective when wielded with patience.  We are humbled to have been the “earthen vessels” to carry this saving water of life to those athirst (2 Corinthians 4:7).  Paul rhetorically asked the question: “how shall they preach, except they be sent?” (Romans 10:15).  Thank you for allowing us to be the sent ones.

We are requesting that you continue your support through June if possible.  We are prayerful that this will be sufficient to allow us to relocate and become reestablished.  We presently have two congregations to investigate in person upon our return.  We are prayerful that one of these is the “door” God knows is best for us.

Even though we are planning on settling into a new work in America, I still wish to assist foreign works.  I already have a trip scheduled for New Zealand next year.  I would be interested in hearing from you if you are willing to be a supporter for short mission efforts in the future.

Please pray for our family as we begin a new chapter in our service to the Lord.