Coming & Going May 2012
Steve & Alene Burgert Missionaries at Tenwek Hospital in Kenya
Jesus said to His disciples, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” - Mark 6:31 (NIV)
This simple message greeted us at the door of our mountain cabin as we arrived for a week of personal retreat time. But “REST” can be a despicable 4-letter word in our production-driven American society -when it shouldn’t be, according to God’s economy. The two of us are so thankful for the chances we’ve had recently to be reminded of how important rest, refreshment, and renewal are in our lives. This is likely true for anyone whether or not they have been serving on the mission field. It is valuable for each of us to periodically pause and reflect on the pace and direction of our life.
We had an “official” time to do that during a week in early May at DAR or “Debriefing and Renewal” through the Mission Training International sessions held in Palmer Lake, CO. (Alene likes to refer to it as our time of “DEEP- BREATHING and renewal”!) Our mission-seasoned facilitators led us in helpful reflection as individuals, as a couple, and with other missionaries who also recently re- turned from the mission field. We were reminded of Jesus’ teaching to follow His Father’s design for rhythms of life, which will include times for rest and refreshment of body and spirit. It is part of God’s design for us to have a day each week for rest, which is traditionally called Sabbath. We have been reminded of our need to plan for this time and intentionally restructure our days to enjoy this gift from God. Those gaps in the schedule are vital, and HOW we spend them is just as important as obeying God’s command THAT we spend them. Isaiah 59 tells us that the Lord delights in and rewards God-honoring behavior on the Sabbath. These should not be wasted hours, but rather opportunities for regaining perspective - reminding our- selves that WE are not in charge nor are we indispensible to the fulfillment of God’s will. Extra time for worship and enjoyment of God’s creation, good fellowship, devotional readings and praise music - can eliminate an amazing amount of stress by re-aligning our minds to HIS sovereignty, purpose, and process.
Whether traveling across USA or back in Kenya, we have re-committed to setting aside some time each day as well as a day each week for a break from our other work responsibilities to allow time for rest and restoration. We encourage each of you to the same intentional Sabbath-keeping, with as much accountability to this commandment as to the rest of the Big Ten. We are all promised a blessing for this faithfulness: “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, ...then you will find your joy in the Lord.” Isaiah 59:13-14 (NIV) Let’s not miss the guaranteed blessings of keeping HIS designed rhythms!
At the DAR program in Palmer Lake, CO
In the US, but ministry in Kenya continues...
Even though we have been traveling many miles here in the USA, our ministry activities continue in Kenya. Steve is very grateful for the 12 physicians who are helping Tenwek Hospital continue to provide endoscopy coverage in Kenya while he is away. We have heard positive reports that patient care, teaching and research activities are continuing smoothly. Please pray with us that a physician will be identified soon to fill a short gap in coverage at the end of August and start of September.
By phone and email, Alene has been faithfully following and encouraging the start-up efforts of Africa Gospel Church to facilitate Correctional Ministry activities for Kenyan prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families. It is an item of thanksgiving to have 4 chaplains now serving full-time in AGC Correctional Ministries, and a joy to hear how the Lord is working through each of them!
It’s official! Most of you know, but we were confirmed by World Gospel Mission as Career Missionaries at Tenwek. That’s why we’re on the road trying to raise our support.
“Where are you guys NOW?”
Please check out our calendar to see where we’ve been lately and where we are heading. We were blessed to have time with Steve’s parents in Rochester, MN and to help his dad’s move into the same Supportive Care Unit where his mom is living.
Time in California with Alene’s parents and family was also a joy. Among the churches where we have shared are our home church in Loveland, CO and one of our former churches in Rochester, MN. We’ve enjoyed all our times shared with other friends, family, and churches on our way. We have been inspired by so many of you who are already reaching out to others in service and ministry, whether near your home or far away.
Thanks to SMS for repairing scopes!
On behalf of the Tenwek Endoscopy Unit we took thank-you’s to Specialty Medical Systems in Kansas City, MO for their faithful and generous provision of repair and shipment for the endoscopes we use to examine the digestive tract. The two of us enjoyed sharing time as well as delicious Kansas City BBQ with Mary and the great team there!
Again, 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: email@example.com
Our Home Ministry Assignment Apr - Oct 2012
Apr 29 - May 4 Palmer Lk, CO - Debrief & Renewal
May 8 Hugoton, KS - Heritage Christian Academy & PEO
May 10 Kansas City, MO - Specialty Medical Systems
May 11 - 15 Cincinnati, OH & Northern KY area
May 13 Burlington, KY - First Church of Christ
May 15 - 17 Wilmore, KY area - Asbury University
May 18 - 22 Enid, OK area
May 19 Enid, OK - Mennonite Brethren Men’s Brkfst
May 20 Enid, OK - Bethany UMC
May 20 Covington, OK - First Baptist Church
May 24 - 30 Loveland, CO area
May 31 - Jun 11 Rochester, MN area
Jun 3 Rochester, MN - Salem Rd Covenant Church
Jul 10-19 Marion, IN (World Gospel Mission Hdqtrs)
Jul 20 - 23 Rochester, MN (time with Steve’s family)
Jul 25 - Aug 5 Spokane, WA & Wenatchee, WA area
Jul 29 Spokane, WA - First Presbyterian Church
Aug 7- 21 Seattle, WA area
Aug 9 -12 Alene’s parents’ 60th anniv in Seattle
Aug - Sep Oregon & California (then CO & MN)
Sep 21 - Oct 5 Philadelphia, PA & Maryland
Sep 23 Havertown, PA - Grace Chapel
Sep 29 - 30 visit Steve’s brother’s family in PA
Sep 30 Llanerch Presbyterian Church
Oct 6 - 10 Shelby, NC area
Oct 7 Shelby, NC - Shelby Presbyterian Church
Oct 11-14 Asheville, NC - medical mission meeting
Oct 15 - 23 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:
• For time in CO for refreshment of body & spirit
• For times of sharing & mutual encouragement as we meet with individuals and groups
• For new & continuing support in prayer & finances
• For answered prayers for housing, vehicle, cellphones, & gracious hospitality while in the US
Please pray with us:
• For balance between work & rest in our schedule
• For protection in our travels & unfamiliar lodgings
• For Tenwek Endoscopy Unit coverage gaps to be filled
• For each physician covering for Steve at Tenwek – for protection over travels, work, and families
• For adequate financial pledges to allow our return to Kenya by the end of October
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: firstname.lastname@example.org • Website: www.wgm.org/burgert