Tuesday, June 26, 2012

"Coming & Going" Newsletter - February 2012

Coming & Going February 2012
Psalm 121:8
Steve & Alene Burgert Missionaries at Tenwek Hospital in Kenya
“Lord, through all the generations, You have been our home.” Psalm 90:1

Celebrating New Year’s Day with some of our Kenyan family and sharing a birthday cake for Jesus
“Are you looking forward to going home?”

The question always makes us pause. Like many other missionaries returning from service, we are facing the fact that “home” is now re-defined. Without a house any longer in the US, owning property there is no longer an appropriate qualifier. Certainly our families in the US will provide a base for re-connecting there, but now even “family” has new meaning. If we are talking about people with whom we have lived, worked, studied, celebrated, prayed, and yes, even grieved - then our definition must now also include the precious Kenyans with whom we have shared the last 2-plus years. The painful goodbyes of the last few weeks are evidence of the in- vestments made in each other’s lives, and the depth of feeling, which has come from that sharing.
We are thankful for the scripture quoted above: O Lord, You have been our home, and always will be - through every transition and every re-definition. Not a house, not a certain set of relatives, not even a country - but those who walk together, stop for each other, encourage each other, and who are willing (on the tough days) to hold each other up - who love one another for the sake of and in the name of Jesus. These are family, and we are at home with them.
So the answer is “yes” and “yes”!! We ARE looking for- ward to reconnecting with family, friends, and supporters in the US, but we will also look forward to returning to loved ones in Kenya when that time is completed.

Short notes and updates…
Packing and preparations for leaving Kenya are progressing, with frequent interruptions for goodbyes and administrative tasks. Visiting medical staff will stay in our place while we are in the US, so we need to pack up all personal belongings before leaving. We will also hand over the mission vehicle to another family to use. We are thankful for everyone’s help on this end, and have to-do lists posted everywhere! We plan to be in the US by late February. Please see the reverse for more information and ways you could help us during the time ahead...

It has been exciting to see area churches respond- ing to the call of Christ to visit prisons. In October, the Africa Gospel Church of Kenya launched its Correctional Ministry Department, under the leadership and priorities of newly-installed Bishop Langat. In December, because of great support for this ministry from Bomet and Tenwek church communities, we were able to have Christmas gift packages of sweets, Bibles, soap, and toilet tissue for every inmate and officer at Bomet men’s prison, complete with Christmas messages written by Sunday school children. We look forward to sharing these moving photos from the prisons as we make our visits in the US.

Steve and Timothy enjoying the view from the top of the safari vehicle during our outing with Pastor Wesley’s family in January

Please help, we are still missionaries!
Even though we will be in the US for the next 8 months, we are still missionaries living on support from our partners. In fact, our costs of living while we are in the US are even higher than when we are in Kenya! We will enjoy a few weeks of reunion with our families, but the majority of our time will be spent on the road visiting existing partners and developing new contacts and sources of support for our future service in Kenya. So please continue your faithful prayers and generous support as you are able for our “Home Ministry Assignment” - we are still “on duty” and will cherish your continuing partnership!

Endoscopy Department Graduation
One of our major goals is to empower others to carry on and produce a “ripple-effect” of service from the small pebble of effort we are each called to contribute. It was wonderful to celebrate Dr. Mike Mwachiro’s graduation as he completed his 2-year Endoscopy & Research Fellowship at Tenwek Hospital. May the Lord continue to empower him as he now starts his 5-year surgical residency at Tenwek.

Steve & Dr. Russ White present diploma to Dr. Mike Mwachiro

At the risk of information overload, we are providing a copy of our schedule because we are eager to visit as many of you as possible. If you have ideas for visiting or speaking opportunities, we’d love an email! Email: wgm@wgm.org
Our Home Ministry Assignment Mar - Oct 2012
Feb 23 - Mar 1 Loveland, CO
Mar 2 - 9 Rochester, MN (visit Steve’s parents)
Mar 4 - 9:45 am First Presbyterian Church
Mar 6 - 7:30 pm Edwards Hall at Charter House
Mar 10 - 11 Champaign, IL Mar 12 - 13 Marion, IN (World Gospel Mission Hdqtrs)
Mar 14 Iowa City, IA
Mar 16 - Apr 1 Mariposa, CA (visit Alene’s parents)
Mar 21 - 1 pm Methodist Women’s Meeting
Mar 22-25 Religious Ed. Congress - Anaheim, CA
Mar 30 - evening St. Joseph’s Catholic Church
Apr 2 - Apr 28 Loveland, CO and elsewhere in CO
Apr 22 5pm First United Methodist Church, Loveland
Apr 29 - May 4 Mission Debrief & Renewal, Palmer Lk, CO
May 15 - 21 Cincinnati, OH area
May 23 - 30 Oklahoma & Kansas
Jun (early) possible return to Rochester, MN
Jul 10-19 Marion, IN (World Gospel Mission Hdqtrs)
Jul 20 - 23 Rochester, MN (time with Steve’s family
Jul 26 - Aug 5 Spokane, WA & Wenatchee, WA
Aug 7- 21 Seattle, WA area
Aug 9 -12 Alene’s parents’ 60th anniv in Seattle
Aug - Sep Oregon & California (then CO & MN)
Sep (late) - Oct 5 Philadelphia, PA & Maryland
Sep 29 - 30 visit Steve’s brother’s family in PA
Oct 6 - 10 Shelby, NC Oct 11-14 Asheville, NC - medical mission meeting
Oct 15 - 23 Loveland, CO (final packing)
Oct 24 Depart Denver for Kenya, Lord willing!
US - for protection over travels, work, and families
Please thank the Lord with us:
Please pray with us:
• For time at the Brackenhurst Medical Mission Conference in Nairobi to help with continuing education and to begin our transition from Kenya
• For more partners in prayers & finances for our work, and planning for our Home Ministry in US in 2012
• For those physicians who have volunteered to help with coverage for Steve while we are in the US
• For each physician who is helping with Endoscopy coverage at Tenwek while Steve is in the

• For God’s provision & protection these past 2 years • For faithful partners in prayer, service, & finances
• For needed rest, reflection, and reunions in-between our many ministry commitments in the US
Contributions: World Gospel Mission, 3783 East State Road 18, PO Box 948, Marion IN 46952 (account 02273-Burgert) Steve & Alene Burgert, PO Box 948, Marion IN 46952 • Email: wgm@wgm.org • Website: www.wgm.org/burgert

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