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.

GEOGRAPHY QUIZ:

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! 
GO STANFORD IN THE ROSE BOWL!
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

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT -

Please click "here" [wgm.org/burgert] 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.
THANK YOU!

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


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