Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Christmas blessings from Kenya!

Merry Christmas, dear partners! We pray a blessed Christ-centered celebration for you and your family! -- Steve & Alene

" This will be a sign for you:
a baby, wrapped in cloths, lying in a manger. "
Luke 2:12
No invasion. No weapons. Nothing to be afraid of. 

Only sheep and shepherds,

a quiet man and his wife with their newborn son,

Savior of our broken world.

Our travels in recent months have taken us to places where matters of faith have been cause for war.  As we toured ruins of historical cultures, and areas currently controlled by non-Christian leadership, we would find left-behind angel sculptures, nativity mosaics, and cross carvings as unexpected remnants of a faith which cannot be wiped out. We were again thankful that we can openly pray, worship, read our Bibles, and say the name of Jesus without fear of persecution. We pray for those living under such threats, and hope that none of us ever wastes the freedom and opportunities we still have to share the Good News.

It is always a blessing to make a visit to the home of one of our chaplaincy students. We are able to promote the Tenwek Chaplaincy College, encourage the family and church members who are supporting the student, and interact with some wonderful communities we might never know about! We were visiting the home of Erik (above, right), who completed his chaplaincy studies this past term. He was known by his family and teachers as “the quiet boy who never spoke” - but now they are celebrating his maturing into a young pastor who can preach and counsel others.
We visitors had a tour of Erik's family farm (shamba), which included their tea fields.
The Erik's father showed me (the Gastroenterologist) a type of bean that he grows that allows people to eat it and have much less gas production. (Is this available in USA?)

Ephesus and Smyrna... On our return to Kenya, we participated in a study tour, which traced the footsteps of the Apostle Paul through parts of Greece and Turkey. Our stop in Ephesus gave us historical insights into the development of early Christian communities, as well as the impact of subsequent persecutions of those new faith communities.

Casablanca and Marrakesh... Steve's recent Africa cancer conference took us to Morocco, where we enjoyed being hosted for a cup of traditional mint tea in a Berber village home in the Atlas mountains. Our host had quite a flair for pouring! We learned many things about Moroccan Muslim family life and their community culture.

Dr. Mike Mwachiro (our first Endoscopy/Research Fellow at Tenwek) presented a poster at the biannual African cancer conference, held in Morocco this year. It was an opportunity to network with investigators from Africa and the USA.

On behalf of World Gospel Mission, Steve encouraged graduates of Kenya Highlands Evangelical University (KHEU) to faithfully live out the “Evangelical” part of their learning.


How many of these countries and continents will all fit into the area of Africa - USA (48 states), China, India, Argentina, New Zealand, and Europe?

ANSWER: All of them!  We learned in a training course that Africa is a HUGE continent with SO MUCH POTENTIAL in terms of resources and manpower!

Dr. Sinkeet Ranketi  (the Endoscopy/Research Fellow) and Steve have both enjoyed the endoscopy training videos made available by a generous ministry partner.
It was a blessing to have Endoscopy coverage by so many during Steve's time in USA earlier this year. Here Endoscopist, Dr. Chuck Larson and his wife, Donna, are enjoying devotions with the Endoscopy team.
The Endoscopy team ministered to one of our own - Endoscopy Tech, David Ngetich,  seen here recovering from a fractured leg due to a motorcycle accident.
WGM Pastors, Frank and Sharon Martin, ministered to the Endoscopy team and to all of us missionaries on the Kenya Field with their visit to Tenwek in October.
We are celebrating the expansion of Surgical and Endoscopy Recovery Room space from 7 to 12 beds with the addition of a new room.  Here is the 2nd Recovery Room "BEFORE REMODELING."
Here is the new Recovery Room "AFTER REMODELING." We thank the Lord for this space. It will permit us to serve our sedated endoscopy patients and surgery patients much better!
Steve has been cheering for Stanford's football team from afar! 
Do you remember the first time you ate pizza?  These 3 Kenyans will remember November 4th! They are left to right - Patrick Korir (Correctional Ministry Administrator), Chaplain Wesley Koech, and driver Patrick Langat. They are among many that are a great blessing to us in our ministry in Kenya.
Please thank the Lord with us:
• For safe journeys in USA, Europe, and Africa and blessed times with friends and family
• For a very capable new administrator for the Correctional Ministry team in Kenya
• For approval of a new Research Department at Tenwek Hospital
• For expansion of the Tenwek Surgery and Endoscopy Recovery Room beds from 7 to 12!
• For faithful supporters and ministry partners in prayer and finances
• For a visiting physician, who provided endoscopy coverage while Steve attended a cancer meeting in Morocco

 Please pray with us:
• For the Lord's guidance and strength as Alene assumes additional responsibilities as a member of the new WGM Kenya Field administrative team
• For upcoming Christmas visits by the Correctional Ministry team to 12 prisons in Kenya!
• For hiring the right additional staff members for Endoscopy clinical and research services
• For Steve to handle extra medical and endoscopy clinical duties while physician staffing is limited during the next 4 months
• For us to continue to be able to balance work responsibilities with times of restoration


Please click "here" [] to financially support our ministry.

If you prefer to mail a contribution, please make your check payable to "World Gospel Mission," enter "Burgert Ministry" on the memo line, and mail to: World Gospel Mission PO Box 948 Marion, IN 46952.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year -
We pray a blessed and Christ-centered celebration for you and your families!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Completing Our Home Ministry Assignment in USA

Completing Our Home Ministry Assignment in the US -- August 2015
As we re-entered our life in the US, we were ready for renewal -
“This I remember, and therefore I have hope: that the LORD’s undeserved favor is never exhausted, and His compassion never fails. On the contrary, they are new every morning. How great is your faithfulness!“ Lamentations 3:21–23

Our times spent outdoors (such as at Yosemite National Park) provided
much-needed refreshment. Vernal Falls were flowing beautifully after a
long, dry-spell, and we saw it as a sign of our own season of renewal and the
Lord’s promise of His inexhaustible favor.

Now on the Big Screen ...Steve & Alene???
Yes, we were appearing nation-wide on screens in many churches,
homes, and other gatherings! A ministry update video with glimpses of
our lives and service in Kenya is now available on You Tube:
Please join us “on the ground in Kenya” by viewing this 6-minute
presentation, then “liking” us and sharing it with others.

On “break” but still working...
Travels have taken us to both coasts and lots of places in-between, to reconnect
with you as we shared what the Lord has been doing in Kenya. It has been our
deep joy to be encouraged by you, as well as to encourage you in your unique
places of service and faith journeys.
Steve was energized by attending the international Digestive Disease Week
meetings in Washington, D.C. He then worked in Colorado for 8 weeks with his
former practice, updating his skills and accreditation with hospitals, as well as
providing time-off relief for partners.

Steve found a “good fit” for his work at the hospitals in Colorado this summer - a
stylish zebra-stripe lead apron - for protection from x-ray, and missing Kenya too

Alene had to keep one foot in Kenya as she helped with logistics
for Pastor Hazel Seavey from Heart of Africa in the US to travel and
work with Correctional Ministry - training 20 women ex-prisoners to
move towards independence for themselves and their families. Alene
has also been reviewing the Ministry budgets and expense reports,
and talking to the chaplains almost every week. Personal studies in
Biblical Hebrew and conversational French filled in other spaces in her

(Left - Pastor Hazel celebrates with the women completing their
training as they start new lives after incarceration (Correctional Ministry
Chaplain Haggai Anusu is seated.)

Please thank the Lord with us:
 • For rich connections with family and friends in USA during our Home Ministry Assignment (HMA)
 • For safety, health, and strength throughout our HMA journeys
 • For generous ministry partners who provided housing, meals, and use of vehicles
 • For sufficient financial support for us to return to Kenya as planned this month
 • For adequate coverage of Endoscopy services at Tenwek by US and Kenyan physicians during Steve’s absence
 • For the celebration of our 40th wedding anniversary!

Please pray with us:
 • For safe travel back to Kenya and a smooth “re-entry” to our lives, relationships, and responsibilities there
 • For the Lord’s grace and strength for staff at Tenwek Hospital, being stretched by manpower shortages, and for Steve as he rejoins the Tenwek Hospital team
 • For additional Kenyan and US physicians to serve as Tenwek consultants, as well as additional Kenyan staff to provide endoscopy and research services
 • For more national Kenyan churches and partners to financially support Correctional Ministry
 • For the two of us to follow through on our renewed commitments for rest and Sabbath each week

The rest of our schedule stateside....
 13 - 19 Fri - Weds    Loveland CO wrapping up for return to Kenya
 16 Sun                       Fellowship Chapel, Greeley CO
 20 - 27 Thurs - Thurs         France for family wedding and visits
 28 Aug - 7 Sep Attending Greece/Turkey Biblical History study tour
 8 Tuesday Leave Istanbul, Turkey to Nairobi, Kenya

We are so grateful for those who continued to support us through this time in the US, and for new partners who committed to help us as we return to Kenya. We know that a lot of tasks are waiting for our return, but we also know that our Kenyan community (missionaries and nationals) will welcome us eagerly. We’ll be very happy to be “back home” in Kenya, and we’ll continue to share...


World Gospel Mission, 3783 E State Road 18, PO Box 948, Marion IN 46952
(account 02273-Burgert)
We always enjoy the elk at Rocky Mountain National Park

Sharing at First Presbyterian Church in Rochester, MN - Where Steve grew up

Some people mixed up Steve & his brother (Mark) as they visited their dad (Omer) in Rochester, MN

Steve sharing our new ministry YouTube video with Dad & a long-time family friend (Don Scholz)

Sharing at First Presbyterian Church in Spokane, where we worshipped from 1985 to 2000

It was wonderful to re-connect with Kenyan Pastor Philemon Wachara and his family.
He is now serving a congregation in Flagstaff, AZ and we all enjoyed a picnic together near Sedona, AZ.

What a beautiful wedding celebration for our niece Clara and the groom Ludo at the family farm estate in France!
While in France we also were able to visit another niece Becca and her husband Brent in Biarritz, France
We enjoyed a wonderful tour "in the footsteps of Paul" which included time in Ephesus, Turkey

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Journeys in Kenya, in USA, and back to Kenya!

Coming & Going - March 2015

 “See what love the Father has for us, that we should be called His children - and so we are!” 1 John 3:1

On a recent visit to a Maasai village (about 2 hours away from Tenwek) we found this aged warrior enfolding one of his beloved grandchildren with evident joy, while maintaining a posture of protection and mentoring the youngster on how to behave with the visitors. It was a soul-warming glimpse of our heavenly Father’s heart. His readiness to embrace us and be near us in times of trouble or confusion is a grace that is portrayed to us through fathers and mothers, grandparents, teachers, coaches, pastors, village elders, and others. In every culture, in every part of the world, the Lord reveals His heart for His children. Jesus came from this Father, and died to give us the legal claim to adoption as the Father’s cherished sons and daughters.
To those who believed in Jesus’ name, He gave the right to become children of God -children not born of natural means, but born of God. (John 1:12-13) Have you claimed YOUR adoption yet?

A little further up the same hill...
Walking with Timothy in 2008
Walking with Timothy in 2015
Looking through some recent photos taken with our Kenyan family, we enjoyed comparing some shots (on the same path) from our earlier years here. It was interesting to note that this dress is still Alene’s favorite for such hikes, and that Timothy (son of Pastor Wesley and Charity) is now 7 years older - and HE is the one carrying the pack, while we have opted for smaller loads. Maybe it shows that we have become more comfortable in our local community, and less burdened by what we thought we needed when we first arrived. Maybe it shows that the Lord still has lots more for us to learn -hills yet to climb. As we finish this term and prepare for our break in the USA, we are happy to report that it remains a joyful journey! We see some progress (mostly in how WE have changed) and we recognize that through the Lord’s grace, with the love and support of our partners, we are just a little further up the same hill, hallelujah. Can’t wait to share some stories and photos with you while we are in the states, but we also can’t wait to return to Kenya. (See our USA schedule below.)

A few more photos...
An unexpected visit to Tenwek Hospital with service by Steve's Mayo Medical School classmate (Class of 1979!!), Dr. Rick Peterson (Cardiac Surgeon), and his wife Julie. It was a delight to share time with them.

Endoscopy Team Building in the Maasai Mara recently after a game drive....Tying the knot of grasped hands... untying as we work together ("Don't give up! Listen to each other!")...celebrating untying the knot!

Strategic Planning Retreat for Correctional Ministry

Chaplains review and categorize their varied Ministry activities

Chaplains pray and brainstorm about future directions for the Ministry    

Carolyn & Michael Visit us in Kenya

It was a blessing and privilege to host Steve's sister Carolyn and her husband Michael for their first visit to Kenya. They jumped right in with our activities and friends ...

Learning how to pick tea with Pastor Wesley
Getting mobbed by the local kids as they explored the Mugango area
Making friends with Twiga ("Giraffe" in Kiswahili)
Making friends with the Maasai villagers

They said their favorite part was meeting our Kenya family - Pastor Wesley, wife Charity, and son Timothy, who hosted us in their home. (Pastor's two daughters were away at boarding school.)

Please thank the Lord with us:
• For the well-appreciated December outreaches to Narok Prison (300 inmates served at the one-day medical clinic) and Bomet Prison (for Christmas fellowship with chai and homemade chapatis)
• For progress in the fight against the Ebola outbreak in the countries of west Africa
• For Kenyans assuming more of the leadership and ministry roles at the hospital, Correctional Ministry, and our other areas of service while we will be on Home Ministry Assignment in the USA
• For the opportunity for Steve to work at the hospitals in Loveland CO and update his practice credentials
• For good health, safe travels, & strength for service
Please pray with us:
• For our current term of service to close well in April, including times for goodbyes
• For additional endoscopists to fill-in the remaining coverage gaps at Tenwek while Steve is in the USA from April to September of 2015
• For good preparations and productive time during our Home Ministry Assignment in the USA from April to September 2015 before returning to Kenya
• For the Lord’s provision for our needs while in the USA - prayer partners, finances, and a vehicle to use while working at the hospitals in Colorado
• For intentional, effective times of refreshment, and discernment about future directions in our service

Hippo Highway... Hippos follow the same path (a "Hippo Highway") night after night as they go many kilometers up out of the river to distant grazing areas.
Here is where our trails will go in the next few months...

Burgert Home Ministry Assignment Schedule (Overview) 2015
Please let us know how we can connect with you while we are in the USA - we are eager to meet with you on one of our stops!
Please contact us directly or call or send an email via WGM Headquarters [765-664-7331 or]
14 Tuesday Fly Nairobi to London
15 Wednesday Transfer through London, to Denver, arr 6:30pm
15-21 Loveland, CO (stay with church friends)
21 Tuesday Fly Denver to Monterey, CA
21-25 Personal break time
25 Saturday Fly Monterey, CA to Mariposa, CA
25-30 Mariposa, CA - Stay with family
30 Thursday Fly Fresno to Seattle
30 to May 7 Seattle area - Stay with family
7 Thursday Fly Seattle to Rochester, MN
7-11 Rochester, MN - Stay at Charter House
11 Monday Fly Rochester to Philadelphia, PA
11-14 Havertown, PA (near Philadelphia) Stay with family
14 Thursday Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. area
16-19 Attending Digestive Disease Week Conference (DDW)
21 Thursday Fly Washington, DC to Charlotte, NC
21-25 Shelby, NC - Stay with church friends
24 Sunday At Shelby Presbyterian Church
25 Monday Fly Charlotte to Denver
25 May - 20 July Loveland, CO for Steve’s hospital work for 8 weeks. Ministry partner visits in Colorado on weekends
TBD - Trip to Spokane WA - Presentation at First Pres Church
21 Tuesday Fly Denver to Indiana
22-31 Marion, IN attending WGM Headquarters Sessions
31 Friday Fly Indianapolis, IN to Denver CO
1 - 18 Loveland, CO - TBD
19 Wednesday Leave Loveland CO to France for family wedding
20 - 28 France
28 Friday Leave France to Athens, Greece
28 Aug - 7 Sep Attending Greece/Turkey Biblical History study tour
8 Tuesday Leave Istanbul, Turkey to Nairobi, Kenya

Sunset in the Maasai Mara

We need and cherish your support in whatever ways you are able.
Contributions Online -
Contributions by mail - World Gospel Mission, 3783 East State Road 18, PO Box 948, Marion IN 46952 (account 02273-Burgert)
Blessings to all from Kenya! May we see you or speak with you very soon!
Steve & Alene Burgert