Monday, July 23, 2012

Halfway in USA - Celebrating the service of others!

Coming & Going July 2012
Psalm 121:8
Steve & Alene Burgert Missionaries at Tenwek Hospital in Kenya
Greetings from Colorado to our partners and friends!
We are sending a brief update while we have all 4 of our feet in one place for a while! We will be here at our home-away-from home for another week, before taking off on our 2-month grand tour. Alene just returned from visiting sisters in Seattle, while Steve had some extra guy-time with friends in Loveland.   
Steve hiking with Roger & Leroy
Colorado is very beautiful any time of the year, especially when the wildflowers are blooming in the Rockies. It is unfortunate that so many communities and friends have been affected by wildfires. Even though we are some distance from any danger, worried Kenyans have been calling to check on us. The smoky air and flying tankers overhead always prompt us to pray.

Columbines in bloom near Chasm Lake

We are at the half-way point of our Home Ministry Assignment!
Happy, or sad? Yes! We’ve decided that this on-the-road routine is destined to make us eager to go back to the mission field! But we are making some incredible new friends and connections as we go...Yes, to be honest, we can get a bit road-weary - but if we didn’t get out there, we wouldn’t be meeting some of the inspiring, behind-the-scenes men, women, youth, and kids who are quietly changing the world from inside their own communities. We are encouraged and humbled as we meet every one of you. We cannot list all of you, but just for example...

Briggsdale, CO - A beautiful (inside and out) 14-year-old young woman co-directing Vacation Bible School with her mom, welcomed us as VBS missionaries for the day with well-organized posters, maps, and photos of us, our work, and our mission agency. We have not had a better welcome anywhere! PLUS, their VBS raised a generous donation for our mission. She also led the singing, taught each of the VBS age groups, and helped her mom host a wonderful summer lunch before we drove home. Her sister, brother, and mom are all very active in their community and church. (Morgan, we are sure that we will find you on the mission field someday...)

Rochester, MN - We had dinner with a woman very committed to working with Somali refugees who are being received in the US from refugee camps - helping them find apartments and buy groceries and take a bus and look for jobs. She and her team go to great lengths to help these refugees get settled into their new lives, learn the language, and become part of their new communities. (Mary, God bless your commitment to these families!) Another friend who added a legal degree to his medical degree now helps immigrants sort out the complicated legal issues involved in making a new life here - working as an advocate for them on a volunteer basis. (Tony, we saw your tender heart.) Others were working with women ex-prisoners, helping them grow in faith, develop job skills, and social networks. (Hallelujah for these women from Autumn Ridge Church!)

Loveland, CO - A man and his wife started an organization that sorts huge piles of donated equipment and supplies, and then pro- vides a link to connect those donations with charitable organizations, projects, and ministries. (Keep it up, Don & Jean!)

 We found the same networking in Rochester, MN for unwanted items from the Mayo Clinic - thousands of pounds of medical supplies and equip- ment being sent to missions around the world, through the volunteer services of local teams who sort, pack, and send off mountains of blessings that would otherwise be discarded. (Way to go, Mayo!)

Cincinnati OH - We enjoyed a refresher of Kenyan hospitality with some dear friends who are in the US to study and then plan to return to Nairobi with a vision to launch a Bible college there. (We are dreaming and praying with you, Philemon & Jane!)

Nicholasville, KY - A couple who had served at Tenwek many years before we arrived, welcomed us and shared photos, stories, and delicious pastries. They had recently donated a generous library of books to the Tenwek Chap- laincy College and we had stopped to thank them for that blessing and investment in the training of the students and chaplains there. (Rich and Marlene, you have given a gift that will keep on giving!)

Everywhere, USA - We found so many of you engaged in activities like building local Habitat for Humanity homes, investing in local communities by serving in homeless shelters or downtown clinics, helping newcomers learn English as their second language, volunteering through churches to help the youth or the elderly, or participating in mission trips. Others of you have been serving on boards, developing businesses that make a difference, mentoring others, sewing clothing for the needy, and ministering in prisons. Some of you are ministering within your own families - adopting orphans, tak- ing care of grandkids or grown kids without employment, or maybe raising a child with a handicap or assisting a parent recovering from a stroke. We have found many of you who have been faithful for long, challenging years of serving others. You ALL deserve recognition, even though we know that praises are not your motivation. Thanks for sharing your time, your stories, your homes - we have been blessed, encouraged, humbled and inspired. We pray for each of you in your unique places of service - may you receive the grace, strength, wisdom, and encouragement you need when you need it. We thank the Lord for all of you, and for the God-given opportunity to be out there meeting you!

Prayers, please... If you have been praying for us, THANK YOU! We recognize the answers in many miles of safe travel and wonderful hospitality in homes, churches, and various gatherings. Please praise the Lord with us, and continue with these needs in mind:
• That we might be content and fruitful with the new roles & rhythms of this time in the US
• That we might have the periods of rest & refreshment needed before our return to Kenya
• For continued protection of body, mind, & spirit as we travel and stay in many new places
• For the partners and funding needed for approval to return to our work in Kenya!
Special Request: For an extra dose of Holy Spirit wisdom in how to present the needs of the Kenyan church prison ministry programs to various congregations, grant foundations, and individuals who might be moved to support the exciting work going on there.

How is your support-raising going? (good news & bad news...)
Many of you have asked us this question - we are so very grateful for each and every contribution! Our level of required support has increased by 43% in comparison to the previous 3 years. We are thankful to report that we have 40 new financial supporters and 23 who have increased their level of contribution in 2012. We project that we are at 67.3% of our needed support, which means that we still need additional donations totaling $2, 629 per month. Join us in prayer for supporters to step forward with us -- such as 53 individuals at $50 per month or 63 supporters at $500 per year. Of course, ANY contribution is a plus!

It is easy to donate online via our WGM website: Click “One-time gift” OR “Recurring gift” to contribute each month via your credit card.

Prefer a recurring donation via a monthly electronic funds transfer from your bank account?
Then please print out the EFT form and mail it to World Gospel Mission. Here is the link for the EFT form:

Checks should be made out to: “World Gospel Mission” and note on the memo line: “Burgert Ministry”
Send to: World Gospel Mission, PO Box 948 Marion, IN 46952

We plan to return to Kenya in October, but need to have our full support confirmed before we will be authorized to go. We are so very grateful for all who are providing financial and prayer support!

We are still eager to visit as many of you as possible. If you have ideas for visiting or speaking opportunities, please email:

Home Ministry Assignment July - October 2012
Jul 10-19 in Marion, IN (World Gospel Mission Hdqtrs)
Jul 20-23 in Rochester, MN (time with Steve’s family)
Jul 26-Aug 2 in Spokane, WA area
   Jul 29 – Spokane First Presbyterian Church
Aug 2-5 in Wenatchee, WA area
   Aug 2 – Wenatchee Columbia Heights Retirement Center
Aug 6-15 in Seattle, WA area
   Aug 9-12 Alene’s parents’ 60th anniversary in Seattle
Aug 16-20 in Portland, OR area
   Aug 19 – Hope Community Church, Lake Oswego
Aug 21 in Sacramento, CA
Aug 22 in Walnut Creek, CA
Aug 23-Sep 3 in Mariposa, CA
Sep 8-17 in Loveland, CO
Sep 18-21 in Rochester, MN
Sep 21-Oct 6 in Philadelphia, PA & Maryland
   Sep 23 - Grace Chapel, Havertown, PA
   Sep 26-28 in Kensington, MD (NIH presentation)
   Sep 29 - 30 visit Steve’s brother and family in PA
   Sep 30 - Llanerch Presbyterian Church, Havertown, PA
Oct 6-10 in Shelby, NC area
   Oct 7 - 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!

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: • Website:

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