Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Back HOME in Kenya!

November 7, 2012
"The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore." Psalm 121:8

Yes, we truly do feel that we are back home in Kenya now after the past 8 months of Home Ministry Assignment in USA and give thanks for the Lord watching over our coming and going. 
Our "other home" church in Loveland, Colorado blessed us with a re-commissioning for our mission service on Sunday, October 21st.

Our flight out of Denver on October 24th was delayed for 3 hours to allow snow removal from the wings and de-icing…so maybe it was time for us to head back to a warmer climate!

We are so grateful for everyone pulling together with us (HARAMBEE!) to allow us to return on schedule -- through financial support, prayer support, housing, meals, packing, moving our belongings to storage, transportation, and so much more. We have been blessed with "Harambee!" in Kenya as well as in the USA.
Here are just a few glimpses of some of you assisting us. We regret that we cannot share photos of everyone, who so graciously assisted us:

Art & Jan were our gracious hosts for many months in Loveland, CO

   Dave & Jeannie generously loaned us their car for 8 months


Terry, Barb and Helen helped with packing

Art & Roger helped move items to storage

Pastor Wesley, Patrick and Peter greeted us and our luggage in Nairobi

We rejoice that every piece of luggage arrived on schedule and with no items damaged or lost!

After our arrival in Kenya, we did take a couple of personal days to once again appreciate God's beautiful creation in the Maasai Mara, which is only 2 hours from Tenwek Hospital.

We are unpacking our stored and shipped belongings and feeling more and more at home as we listen to the bird songs and the waterfalls near our apartment. We again celebrate the annual "purple snow" from the jacaranda trees, as we did in our arrival at Tenwek Hospital 3 years ago in October 2009.

Jacaranda blossoms - "Purple snow"

We are not so slowly getting back into our ministry and service activities -- 
Alene has already had 4 informal meetings about the correctional ministry activities here in Kenya.
Steve will be meeting at Tenwek Hospital with esophageal cancer researchers from USA and resuming his medical work next week.

The chaplain students appreciated the books donated to their library

We give thanks for guardian angels protecting us on Wednesday, November 7th. Our car suddenly stopped as we neared the top of the curvy, narrow road ("the escarpment") up from the Rift Valley to Nairobi. By the grace of God, there was just enough momentum (or angel power!) to get the car barely off the road between the edge of the road and the steep drop-off down to the Rift Valley below. The battery had shifted, rubbed against the fan belt and had begun to leak. The Nairobi car repair team came and installed a new battery and we were back on our way with only a 2-hour, scenic delay. We praise God! Thanks for always keeping us in your prayers.

Our narrow escape near the Rift Valley's "3rd World View Point"

Please join us in giving thanks to the Lord:
+ For our safe journeys throughout USA, across the ocean, and within Kenya.
+ For healing of Steve's back, which had been very stiff, just as we were beginning to pack up in USA.
+ For continued good health for both of us.
+ For so many loving brothers and sisters in Christ, who have helped us leave USA well and be warmly welcomed back to Kenya.

Please join as we lift up prayers:
+ For smooth re-entries into our ministry and service involvements and that we may clearly know the Lord's desired roles for us.
+ For guidance as we purchase apartment furnishings, now that we are considered "career missionaries."
+ For provision for the needs of the local Kenyan people in this region, who have lost essentially all of their corn (maize) crop due to a virus called "Maize Lethal Necrosis." (Maize provides the staple grain for their diet.)

We give thanks for your partnership with us. Please feel free to post or forward this email to others. Others are welcome to check out updates and prior newsletters on this blog:

May the Lord bless you and your involvement in your own personal "mission field," wherever that may be. 
In Christ,
Steve & Alene Burgert

Donations online:
Donations also can be made out to: "World Gospel Mission - Burgert Ministry"  and mailed to:
World Gospel Mission
PO Box 948
Marion, IN 46952-0948

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thanksgiving in October!

October 14, 2012 - Thanksgiving!
"Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many."
2 Corinthians 1:12

Dear friends and partners,
We are writing to thank the Lord with you for His gracious favor in answer to your prayers and support.

First, let's give thanks for Steve's preparations over the last few months and successful presentation this weekend at the missionary medicine conference here at The Cove in Asheville, North Carolina - also known as the Billy Graham Training Center. He was able to inform and encourage many, both about his gastroenterology topics and the mission at Tenwek hospital. (See picture above.) It has been a good opportunity to network, renew relationships, and enjoy spiritual "re-fueling" before we finish our Home Ministry Assignment…. Which brings us to our second point…

Second, we thank the Lord that we have been officially released by World Gospel Mission to return to Kenya!  We are grateful for every prayer and every penny, which has been committed on our behalf. HOWEVER - we needed to commit our own personal funds to make up the gap which still remains. We have made that pledge in faith, trusting that others will continue to send pledges and help make up the difference.

Lord willing, we will be departing from the US on Wednesday, October 24th from Denver.  We are ready and eager to return to our Kenyan family, friends, and work, and we are thankful beyond words for the opportunity, which the Lord is giving us again because of our faithful partners. 

Thank you for standing (and kneeling) with us.

In His service, 
Steve & Alene Burgert

Donations online:
Donations also be made out to: "World Gospel Mission - Burgert Ministry"  and mailed to:
World Gospel Mission
PO Box 948
Marion, IN 46952-0948

Thursday, September 6, 2012

HARAMBEE! Let's all pull together!

Coming & Going - September 2012
Psalm 121:8
Steve & Alene Burgert Missionaries at Tenwek Hospital in Kenya

Harambee! Let’s all pull together!

The Kenyan culture has taught us alot about working together to look after the needs of others in their community. Much of that is summarized by the Swahili word:“Harambee!” which means, “all pull together!” This expression can be used to encourage everyone in some shared goal, such as pulling a vehicle out of the mud. By oneself such a task is impossible, but with everyone working together the challenge can be met!
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! “ Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NIV)
“Harambee” is also frequently used to describe a Kenyan community fund-raiser for such expenses as putting the roof on a church or paying the surgery bill of a neighbor. One villager alone may not be able to shoulder the debt, but the entire village working together can meet the need.
We (Steve and Alene) are calling out: “HARAMBEE!” for you to “all pull together” with us as we strive to meet our needed expenses to be able to return to service in Kenya in October. We cannot do this without many of you partnering and “pulling a section of the rope” with us. We are very grateful to many of you who have already contributed to our mission service and indicated your intentions for ongoing support. “Asante sana!” (“Thank you very much!”) We are thankful for the response within the past 2 months since our last appeal, but we still need further commitments of about $1,800 per month to meet requirements for us to be released. Contributions of any size are greatly appreciated, but “sections of the rope” could also look like this: 20 supporters at $50 per month plus 19 supporters at $500 per year could meet this requirement!
Steve looks forward to returning to his work in the Tenwek Hospital Endoscopy Unit with patient care, instruction for Kenyan physicians, research work, and spiritual guidance for patients, their families and his co-workers. Alene is eager to resume her ministry in Kenya with teaching at the Tenwek International Chaplains College and in helping to develop prison/correctional ministry by the national Kenyans.
Thanks for pulling with us! Please let us know of your intentions, and you have our full understanding that circumstances in your life may change in the future. You can call us, drop us a note, email us, or make a one-time or recurring contribution online:
Contributions payable to "World Gospel Mission - Burgert ministry" can be mailed to World Gospel Mission, PO Box 948, Marion, IN 46952. HARAMBEE !

Just like GI Joe??? We were surprised recently to be referred to as “Action Figures” by Pastor Keith Dickerson of Hope Community Church in Lake Oswego, Oregon, as he introduced us to the youth as visiting missionaries. He then challenged everyone to live up to the calling to walk actively in one’s faith, and make a difference in the world around us.
We continue to be amazed by the heroes we meet on our travels - those of you living out your faith in life- changing and community-altering ways. God bless you - even if there’s no action-figure doll with your name on it, we know your names are written in heaven!

We are very grateful for wonderful family times:
Steve’s family gathered in Rochester MN

Alene’s family gathered in Seattle, WA

Home Ministry Assignment Sept. - Oct. 2012
Sep 8-17 in Loveland, CO
Sep 16 - Grace Evangelical Free Church, Longmont, CO
Sep 18-21 in Rochester, MN
Sep 21-Oct 6 in Philadelphia, PA & Maryland - with visits
to Steve’s brother and family
Sep 23 - Grace Chapel, Havertown, PA
Sep 27 - Bethesda, MD - NIH presentation
Oct 3 - Llanerch Presbyterian Church, Havertown, PA
Oct 6-10 in Shelby, NC area
Oct 7 & 10 - Shelby Presbyterian Church
Oct 11-14 in Asheville, NC - medical mission meeting
Oct 15 - 23 in Loveland, CO (final packing)
Oct 21 - First United Methodist Church Send-Off Sunday!
Oct 24 - Depart Denver for Kenya, Lord willing!

Please thank the Lord with us:
• Safety during our thousands of miles of travel within USA
• Inspiration from the lives and service of those we’ve met in our travels
• Blessed times with both of our families
• Health, strength, refreshment and renewal as we have traveled, visited, and taken time-outs
Please pray with us:
• Prompt provision of our required support level to return to Kenya in October
• Guidance for Kenyan chaplains in developing new prison ministry
• Efficient packing for our move back to Kenya
• Appropriate farewells to family and friends in USA
• Smooth, joyful transitions for re-entry into Kenya