January 2013

January 19, 2013:
Dear Friends,

Krista and I are thankful for your partnership in our ministry!  We were very thankful to see our extended families in Michigan for Christmas and to enjoy some time with Nick and Amanda at home during the holidays.  As 2013 is well under way now, the kids have returned to college.  Our home is quiet once again as Krista and I return to our normal routines.

This week I am heading out on a two week trip to Kenya, Africa.  This is my fourth annual trip to Africa as part of a planning team that is helping improve technology for missionaries there.  I will be flying with two coworkers and will join others in Kenya for meetings.  Our first week of planning meetings is focused on developing guidance on the Information Technology (IT) issues that affect the work in Africa, and finalizing the curriculum for upcoming IT training courses this year.

During the second week I will be attending Africa area leadership meetings along with a number of our mission’s leaders from across Africa.  One of the things I want to learn is whether there is a good fit for my particular skills with the work in Africa.  Sure they need people, but do their needs align with my specific skill set and my passions?  This is a follow-up step from my initial inquiry last summer.  At that time I was told to wait on further investigation until after some major changes took place in our organization across Africa.  That has happened now so I am coming again to prayerfully seek God’s Will in this matter.  Krista and I will process this topic further based on the outcomes from this trip.

I will also be representing the Global Technology and Information Services department, where I am currently the Director of Development.  I will be listening to learn about the needs and identify potential opportunities where our department can come alongside the teams in Africa to provide assistance.  We have been actively helping in Africa with power and Internet connectivity solutions for a number of years, but we are also looking for other areas such as software development which may benefit not only the work in Africa but also work in other parts of the world.

Krista and I would appreciate prayer for the following things:
  • My safety and good health, specifically avoiding the flu.  I have had the flu shot and have Tama Flu with me just in case, but God’s protection is better yet!
  • Productive discussions and wisdom from the Lord during my first week of meetings, as we address many technology challenges that impact the work in Africa.
  • Good interactions during the second week of meetings and discernment as I talk with many mission leaders.
  • Smooth sailing at home for Krista as she maintains the household in my absence.
  • For our children at college, Amanda who has begun her last semester majoring in Dietetics, and Nick in his Sophomore year majoring in Criminal Justice.
I hope to get time during my trip to post a few photos online.  You will be able to see those through this website or on Facebook if you use that.  Once again, thank you for praying for us.  It is a real encouragement to know others are lifting us up before the Lord as we strive to serve Him!