Birthdays and Blessings​

February 1, 2022

Today I completed my 77th trip around the sun, this journey like all the others has been eventful, interesting, and successful.  I am incredibly blessed with the life that I get to live.  I have a wife who loves me and treats me like royalty, children who love me unconditionally and most of whom communicate with me almost daily even when I am half a world away.

This last month has been especially an interesting one.  During all of Covid we only hosted one short term mission team, so we had gotten a bit rusty.  It felt wonderful this month to finally have mission teams coming back to Africa to serve with us.  Our first team was from St. Francis Church in West Des Moines, and because of Covid anxiety it was quite small at only three individuals.  This gave us an opportunity to re-establish relationships with churches and schools where we do community outreaches.  We opened up our Lodge of Dreams and got it cleaned and working well.  We also got some of the fun activities up and running again with the photo safaris and elephant experience.

The president of Musco Lighting stopped by our campus for a visit this week, so we showed off with a big celebration to thank him properly for lighting up our new soccer complex for our Sports 4 Christ program.  We had three exciting games going on under the lights: a friendly soccer competition on the mini pitch soccer court, a netball game, and of course the main event on our regulation size grass soccer field.  We were amazed and blessed that a company as large and busy as Musco would take time during the winter Olympics, currently going on in China, and make the huge effort of coming to our small African village to celebrate with us.  They are indeed an amazing company and make us so proud that we also come from Iowa.

To survive and thrive in Africa we must learn new things all of the time.  This last week we learned how to get a mission team from Iowa back through the airport and on the plane even though three of them tested positive for Covid on the departure lab test. It took lots of patience, several days, persistence and most importantly lots of prayer, but as I write this all three of them are healthy and safely on their way back to America.

I felt the hand of God protecting me as both Beth and I also came down ill with Covid, and I had the complication of a TIA of the cerebellum portion of my brain that controls vision and balance.  For a few hours, I had difficulty seeing and walking about.  Our son Dustin rushed us to the hospital in Pretoria where an MRI showed complete healing in my brain and all of my brain functions returned back to normal.  I was able to walk 5 Km the next day and get back to the work that God has called me to do. God is not finished with me just yet.

We know for sure that many churches and individuals in America and all over the world are praying for us all of the time.   I promise you that your prayers are working and we appreciate them so much.

May God richly bless each and every one of you.