Time in Iowa
July 1, 2023
Beth and I are enjoying our time back in Iowa. This is the longest period of time that we have both been out of Africa in 20 years. We are blessed with some of the best bike trails in the world and we are spending lots of time riding them most every day. I also still make it into our beautiful office most every day. We just returned from a one-week organized biking vacation in Door County Wisconsin which we found to be amazing.
We hope to do another ride in Lanesboro in southern Minnesota next with Kelsey and her family. I have always enjoyed biking and I am sure that it is one of the main things keeping me healthy. It is even better now that my family is joining me in this passion.
We are excited that our daughter, Kelsey, and her family are purchasing the home just across our backyard privacy fence. We, especially Mamma Bear, have been busy helping them get ready for this big move. We will be putting a gate in our privacy fence so that our granddaughter, Juni, will be able to walk back and forth between our homes and enjoy the trampoline in our backyard and all of the other cool things at our home as well as her new home.
Our good friend, Fr. Ray McHenry has been bringing mission teams to South Africa every year for the past 8 years. Beth and I, along with some of his parishioners who have traveled with Fr. Ray, have been desiring to do something special in South Africa to honor his legacy there. This last month we have been busy raising funds to construct a new brick church building for one of the Catholic parishes that we work with in Africa. This parish consists of about 40 families who have been meeting in a shack. There is a shortage of priests in our area so the priests, like the old Wesleyan circuit riders, come to the church every 4 to 6 weeks to celebrate mass with the congregation. I have been in communication with the bishop in South Africa and requested that the local church and diocese raise 10% of the cost of the new construction. Our vision is that we will have all of the needed funds in the next couple of months and we can have the new church built in time to have a dedication ceremony while Fr. Ray and his team are back in Africa in January of 2024.
Prayer request: Please be in prayer for Brett and me as we begin the long process of connecting with new churches here in America to partner with us in Africa. I see tremendous potential for many new churches to join our team in the coming year.