A New Chapter… The Africa Blog is Closing

Dear Readers,

We left the United States in 1998 to learn Portuguese in Portugal. Our kids were one, three and four. They moved on from Portugal to Mozambique and then Kenya. Donna started first grade in a Portuguese school in Maputo, Mozambique and always sounded like a little brown eyed Portuguese girl speaking. At times I think we were surprised a blue eyed blond could sound so Portuguese. She is now a college graduate and has started a one year nursing program. Lincoln will graduate this May with an engineering degree and Graham continues to work in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Now after many miles traveled with friends in Mozambique and Kenya we are drawing this chapter to our lives to a close. We left Kenya in July of 2015 and thought we would have a regular home assignment and go back overseas. However a severe injury put things on hold for a time. When I was able to travel, we went to Jordan and Portugal to assist with some projects there. We had thought there may be a longer term role for us in one of those places but in the end the Lord did not seem to be opening that door.

We therefore decided to go on a Leave of Absence from SIM effective March 1, 2017. We have been strongly confirmed this is the right place (on the farm in Kansas) for us for this season of our lives.

Thanks for tuning into the blog. This will be the last post.

 

Bob

 

 

 

 

 

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Calving

This is my attempt to get our blog up and running again after a six month dormancy. We have visited all of our supporting churches in the lower 48 and have somewhat settled on the farm in Kansas. I (Bob) completed a course from Copenhagen School of Business on “Leadership in 21st Century Organizations”. Corinne is now working on her third class in her Master of Social Work program.

An armful at fours of age

An armful at four hours of age

On the farm – After watching our cows for several weeks  for the first calf, we had three within a couple of hours, which included a set of twins. Apparently cows can’t count to two and the second twin born did not receive any maternal encouragement. After watching the calf trying to get to her feet for several hours, I decided to take matters into my own hands. We brought it into the corral and gave her a good meal. She quickly gained strength and followed Corinne around the corral. At times she goes under the fence and shows up in the front yard and watches Corinne work in the flower bed. Lately she has been going out with the herd and seems to be equally at home with human or bovine company.

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The Eastern US Loop

We departed from our farm in Kansas on August 13. Thirty three days and 6,000 miles later we returned home. There were times we asked, “What were we thinking? – This is a big country!” However, the trip was well worth the effort and the momentary discomforts of extended travel. Our first stop was in Iowa where we visited our colleague, Scott, from Kenya.

We then headed for Wisconsin and had a good weekend with the Talbott family.

Scott, Bob, Corinne, and Graham in Iowa

Scott, Bob, Corinne, and Graham in Iowa

The Talbott brothers, Dean, Bob and Paul

The Talbott brothers, Dean, Bob and Paul

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Arrival in the United States of America

family.Aug.015We returned to the US on July 23, 2015. We pulled into our farm yard at 2 AM and I just walked around the yard soaking in the beauty of the night on the high plains of Kansas. Our entire family was together for 2 and 1/2 weeks, plus we had three RVA graduates with us for a time. Toward the end of the summer everyone began leaving the nest once again; we headed for Minnesota to begin our eastern loop which includes dropping off Graham at Calvin College in Michigan, Lincoln left for Philadelphia and Donna returned to school in Arkansas.

 

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The End of an Era, Graham Graduates from RVA

Graham graduated from Rift Valley Academy on July 16, 2015. He spent four years with kids from Korea, Scotland, Kenya, England, the US and other countries. Now he will be moving on to Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. For us it marks the end of seven years as RVA parents.

Graham and his dorm mom, Jan

   Graham and his dorm mom, Jan

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Cape Town South Africa, a medical trip?

Bob on Table Top mountain

Bob on Table Top mountain

We recently spent a week in Cape Town for a medical issue. Corinne had a return of a basal cell carcinoma on her nose and needed an advanced procedure to deal with the problem. We thank God for a successful operation. Corinne is doing fine. If you have to deal with medical issues, Cape Town is a great place to do it. Our South African friends always encouraged us to visit but we never quite made it for various reasons. But now we have made the journey and hope to return some day. Corinne was a bit shy to have her picture taken but she was along on most of the tours of the area.

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The Engine Room, Director Needed

Amanda, David, Lorna, Joseph, Martin, Dickson, Bernard, Bob and Silper

Amanda, David, Lorna, Joseph, Martin, Dickson, Bernard, Bob and Silper

The East Africa Service Center team is the engine room of missions for SIM in East Africa. They work diligently behind the scenes keeping all the support structures working that enable missionaries to do their jobs. These duties include managing financial accounts, providing for visa and other government services, monitoring compliance with Kenya Labor law and other human resource functions and providing for practical support like repairing water heaters, fridges and electrical problems in the facilities. Are you an administrator that is called to support missionaries and would enjoy working with a dedicated team? We have a need for a director of the East Africa Service Center located in Nairobi. Please post a comment if you would like to learn more.

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