The Andre Family – Nairobi, Kenya
Webster’s dictionary defines being “at home” as being “relaxed and comfortable, at ease; in harmony with the surroundings; on familiar ground.” When we think about “home” these days we find ourselves somewhat confused. Paul says in Philippians that our citizenship (our true “home”) is in Heaven. For us, that passage has become even more real as we now feel like we have two “homes” on Earth – Coeur d’Alene and Nairobi (even though neither of them is our “true home”).
Coeur d’Alene is the place we will always go back to. It’s the place that feels familiar and where we can relax and be comfortable. It’s where we grew up, where we brought Zuri home from the hospital and the only place we’ve ever owned a house. But now Nairobi is home. It’s where we live, our place of residence. And we are becoming more and more comfortable here. This is our life now. This is where God has called us. This is our “home” now.
As part of our ministry with Africa Inland Mission, we are commissioned by Anthem, to go and do the work God has called us to. Part of the going includes coming back to the place we were sent out from to report on our ministry. And, believe it or not, the time is fast approaching for us to do that.
Some global missionaries stay on the field for two, three or even four years before returning to the place they were sent from. And when they do that, they often return for four months, six months or even one year. Our plan looks a little different. We intend to return annually to reconnect with supporters, report on our ministry, rest and regroup for another term in Kenya. And since our kids will be starting school in September, we need to do that this summer so we can get back for their first day of school.
We have reserved our plane tickets and we are looking forward to time in the states as a church family, to report on what the Lord is doing in Africa, and in fellowship encouraging one another. Our tentative dates to be in Coeur d’Alene are July 15th – August 24th. We’ll fly into Vancouver, Canada (because it was WAY cheaper than flying into Spokane) and drive down to Coeur d’Alene on July 14th or 15th. We have been setting aside a percentage of our overall support each month to account for our annual time back in the states, to cover the extra expense of travel back and forth for our family, but this year our plane tickets are more expensive because we had to wait for approval from our team leaders to travel back annually (which meant reserving our tickets later than we had planned). We have $1,000 of the total cost still remaining for our family of five to get back to Idaho to report on our ministry here in Kenya. Would you consider giving to our “Home Assignment” project to help us raise the funds remaining to go? If so, click HERE to give.
For more information on the Andres including ways you can partner with them or receive personal updates, please visit andresinafrica.com.
The “S” Family
Hello Anthem Family! Thank you for your friendship, continued prayers and support. We will never grow tired of reflecting on the circle of people who have sent us here. Thank you so very much for being a part of this!
It’s been a pretty “exciting” month…
We are almost halfway through the month of Ramadan, which is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting and prayer to commemorate what they believe was the first revelation of their “holy book” to the Prophet Muhammad. During this “holy month”, followers typically wake up at about 2:30 or 3 a.m. to start breakfast and to ensure they finish eating by 4 a.m., in time for the 1st “Call to Prayer” of the day. They then do not eat or drink until they break the fast at sunset (about 6pm). For these followers, entrance to Paradise (or heaven) and protection from “Hell-Fire” on “judgment day”, is based on faith and the performance of good works or deeds, including observance of the 5 Pillars of their faith, one of which is Ramadan.
Because of this, we have felt a pretty significant change in life’s daily rhythm. Rather than the busyness and liveliness typically felt during the day, people now seem to be laying low and resting inside their homes much more. In fact, our neighborhood and city in general, is much quieter with many street side food stands, stalls and restaurants remaining closed during daylight hours. We are also not able to invite followers of the Majority Religion over for tea, snacks or dinner.
However, because religion is such an important part of their lives, these followers are also very open to discussing Ramadan with us which has led to many wonderful conversations about faith in general, allowing us to share more about our faith too… how and why we pray and fast, our view of “good works” and salvation, etc.
Please pray for the people of this Majority Religion, as many of them are truly seeking greater spirituality. Our Father has historically used this time of the year to reveal himself to these followers through visions, dreams and divine appointments, and we pray this would happen worldwide during this month.
Proverbs 8:17 “I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me.”
We also want to share a bit about the recent terrorist attacks.
Four of the attacks occurred about 5 hours from us. The Majority Religion believes that all “good deeds” done during Ramadan are rewarded manifold by Allah, and for extremists, martyrdom (or terrorist attacks) are considered “good deeds”. Because of this belief and the recent attacks, people seem a bit more on edge and are expressing some feelings of paranoia.
Obviously, our kids are aware of the recent events and we have had some difficult, but very good discussions with them. In general, they all seem to feel pretty safe, with bouts of questioning and fear naturally creeping in from time to time.
We are now in the middle of Unit 4 of language study, with 5 more after this, and we are feeling very encouraged. Please pray for continued language learning and cultural adaptation.
We really miss having a close Faith Community. We aren’t really connected to a church yet (although we do attend church every week) and yes, while we have some friends, the truth is that It just takes time to build relationships, and we just aren’t there yet. Please pray that the Lord would provide a sweet faith community for us, one that feels like family!
The kids are all finishing up the school year and making new friends along the way. We are thankful for their new friends and new experiences.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
“Praise be to the G0d and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
Thank you for your continued prayer and support.
We love and miss you dearly!
The “S” Family
For security reasons, personal information about this family is not directly available here. For more information on the “S Family” including ways you can partner with them or receive personal updates, please contact Gary and Margo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The “J” Family – Middle East
Adultery. Screaming out accusations at a leader at the end of a Sunday gathering. Discovering a Sunday school teacher was cohabiting with a satan worshiper. Sobbing grievances against two leaders. Divisive slander and gossip. Death threats. Lying. Worship team members split over money and mistrust. Refugees anxious and stressed concerning the unknown future. Tears.
Life changing revelation of God’s word. Generous, kindhearted actions of service. Choosing to forgive again and again when revenge and grudge were screaming. Ear to ear smiles. Heartfelt, reverent, faith-filled prayers of thanksgiving, repentance, and intercession. Much laughter. Hugs. Hearing the gospel for the first time. Overcoming fears. Gathering with believers in freedom after years of persecution. Songs declaring the truth, filled with joy. Proclaiming God’s astounding promises. Perseverance.
These are some snapshots of what is happening here among these dear people we came to serve. It is glorious. It is painful. God’s grace is sufficient for our personal lives, our relationships, and for His bride. Our eyes are fixed on the Son. It’s all about Him.
We would be honored if you would pray with us for:
- The six new adults here who recently decided they wanted to seriously pursue discipleship.
- The word of God to run swiftly and be glorified among Ir’s here. (2 Thess. 3:1) Lost Coins, Sheep, and Sons to be found!
- Grace, Vision & Perseverance for us to thrive in 2 languages.
- Over all health for our kids. We are just getting over 3 rounds of Chicken Pox and 1 lingering ear infection.
- That our marriage and home would be filled with laughter, song, and prayer!
We love and cherish you Anthem family!!
For security reasons, personal information about this family is not directly available here. For more information on the “J Family” including ways you can partner with them or receive personal updates, please contact Jed and Jaime at email@example.com.
Information from DK Sarkar
- A new worship group recently held their initial meeting near downtown Kolkata, with 19 persons participating, and another group will be doing so next Sunday. A third beginning will be happening in a Muslim district immediately.
- The entire Staff held a special prayer meeting and planning time on the 12th, to set the course for the next few months of ministry outreach.
- Religious persecution often continues in various religious settings throughout India, more in the form of interruptive hassles. Our pastors and leaders are the victims of these troubles.
- The Emmanuel Hostel compound for children continues to run smoothly for the 50 kids housed there. Anthem provides the financial support for room and board costs and school fees because of national cost-of-living issues. This is a challenging operation, but the children all do very well in their school work.
- The father of a child was recently killed by a tiger while gathering honey in the forest. This is not uncommon because the swampy forest nearby is a concentration of the honey bee population and is also a refuge for the Bengal Tiger. Many men take the risk to gather honey for consumption and selling.
- Continued prayers for the children and the manager, Soumen Naskar and his staff, is vital. Thank you for doing so.