Wednesday, 4 February 2009

A SAFARI/JOURNEY THROUGH THE USA - A DIARY - 6 -

KANSAS
- As we had promised on our last Blog/Postage, we begin this BLOG/Postage with our visit to Kansas (after leaving Springfield, MO -Please, see the Postages 1 to 5 about our "SAFARI/ JOURNEY THROUGH THE USA - A DIARY).
Pastor Dan & Rachel Wehmeier, from King of King – Gardner, KS, hosted us in their home from November 17th to 28th.

– On Nov 18th we participated in a Pastoral Meeting of the Kansas Circuit 3 North+South,


at Trinity Lutheran Church, Shawnee Mission, KS, where we had a PPS presentation about the work in Nairobi. After the presentation, two pastors invited us to preach and to present the PPS at their churches.

November 19th – Two presentations for children at “OPEN ARMS LUTHERAN CHILDREN DEVELOPMENT CENTER”- King of King Lutheran Church, Gardner, KS.

The children liked to hear about the “Children of Africa”.

November 20th – We met David W. Saving, Executive Director of CHILDREN’S CHRISTIAN CONCERN SOCIETY – CCCS (http://www.cccskids.org/ ) . “Sharing the Love of Jesus with Children Around the World through Christian Education” is their mission. David and Steven Hartman are planning to come to Kenya next March 2nd to 9th to see the reality of the children – HIV/AIDS Orphans and Street Boys. We pray CCCS will adopt one of the projects of Heart to Heart Orphans Children Center – HHOCC.

On the same day at night I was invited to the home of Bob & Linda Lowe to speak to some friends about our work. Some of them were in Brazil with the team “BUILDERS FOR CHRIST” and they are planning to come to Kenya next June/2009 with Pastor Dan & Rachel + the “BUILDERS” to help to build a chapel in Kiambu. (In the picture: Bob Lowe, John Kargen, Ron Borgstaal, Thom Wiaver, Carol Borgstaal, Barbara Kargen, Linda Lowe, Alison Wiaver.)

November 21st – We had lunch with Bob & Betty DeLuce; we made a slide presentation at the Thanksgiving celebration of “OPEN ARMS”; and had dinner with some friends.

On Sunday morning, Nov 23rd, we made presentations at the two services at King of King and at the Bible Class. (In the picture: Pastor Dan at the Children's Message.)

People gathered for a Thanksgiving lunch after the service.

At night, Pastor Dan & Rachel organized an Open House at home. Many people came to talk about the mission possibilities in Kenya, and about the Mission Trip of the “Builders” next June.

Rebecca Wehmeier celebrated her 12th birthday on Nov 24th. – The family had been in Kenya with the PLI (Pastoral Leadership Institute) team in June/2007 and also visited us at our house in Karen: Pastor Dan, Rachel, Rebecca and Laura.

– November 25th: Thanksgiving Service at 4:15 and at 7:00 pm at Redeemer Lutheran Church, Olathe, KS.

Pastors Calvin Reinke and Perry Sukstorf hosted us for these services.

November 26th: Thanksgiving Service at Hope Lutheran Church, Shawnee, KS.

– Pastors Michael Penikis and Thomas Harries hosted us at the service that evening.

November 27th: THANKGIVING DAY - We had the blessing to spend Thanksgiving Day with the Wehmeiers. We thank God for all the blessings He has poured upon us during this trip and during all our life! – The day after, Pastor Dan took us to Omaha, Nebraska.
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OMAHA, NEBRASKA
Pastor Roger Theimer (left), who was at our home in Kenya last year, is in charge of the Children’s Ministry at King of Kings Church. Pastor Mark Zehnder (right) is the Senior Pastor.

We were hosted at the home of Frank and Diana Stiner from Nov 28th to Dec 3rd and we all had the opportunity to share our good experiences in God’s church.

- Gwynne Swahn took us to see Omaha at night; the Christmas lights had just been lit the night before – AWESOME!!! – She took care of us several times while we were staying in Omaha.

Mike Frerichs took us to see the Durham - Omaha Union Station Museum and other sights in the city.

Matthew and Val Bringewatt hosted us for dinner on Sunday. Val is Brazilian and it was good for us to talk in Portuguese for a while.

– “King of Kings” has several services each week end. We were introduced at the beginning of the services and the pastors prayed over us. There are flags in the Worship Center from the various countries that “King of Kings” has done Mission Trips. The flags of Kenya and of Brazil were there too!!!
Children’s Ministry plays a special role in the mission life of “King of Kings”.

Pastor Roger took us for a tour to see the several activities with the children and the teens on Sunday morning.

At 11:00am was given a presentation about our work in Kenya, and on Monday at noon another presentation was given at Bible Class time.

We visited also a Sudanese Service hosted by “King of Kings” at their facilities. – On Tuesday evening Pastor Roger and his wife Sheryl took us for dinner and we attended a Christian Concert with them.
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MAPLETON, IOWA
December 3rd: We had a prayer time with “King of Kings” pastors earlier in the morning. After this, Pastor Roger took us to Mission Central near Mapleton, Iowa (100 miles),

where Gary & Maxine Thies hosted us. – THE LUTHERAN WITNESS (September 2008) has a good report about Gary’s mission work. Some exerts: “I kept feeling that we needed to raise awareness about worldwide mission work,” Thies says. “I also felt that whatever we did, it needed to be different from what ‘the world does’ when it comes to supporting our dear missionaries.” After much prayer, research and discussion with his wife, Maxine, Thies resigned from his banking position in June 1994 and began working earnestly from his basement…

Mission Central mission partners are individuals, families, or congregations who, according to Thies, are moved by the power of the Holy Spirit to take action for the Kingdom. “These are people who listen to the story of Jesus speaking to His disciples on Easter Sunday, hear Him say, ‘As the Father sent me, now I’m sending you’, and take His message to heart,” Thies said.

“Gary is a storyteller. People know he’s not just a guy coming in, making a presentation, and leaving,” says Reddel, a member of King of Kings Lutheran Church in Omaha, Neb. “He’s completely passionate about missions.” … “With the help of Mission Central volunteers, we have awakened many congregation and people who didn’t understand the mission of the church,” This says. “It is my hope and prayer that more and more people will see that God can do miracles using ordinary people, just as He did according to Acts 4:13: ‘ when they…realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and took note that these men had been with Jesus.”
(Please, read the complete article write by Diane Strzelecki in: The Lutheran Witness, September 2008, pp. 18-21. – Read more about the Mission Central going to:
http://www.missioncentral.us/ ,and to: lcms.org/witness .) - (In the picture: The museum).

Gary takes a picture of every missionary that visits the Mission Center with his “BOSS” Jesus to share with his mission partners. He wrote: “FROM BRAZIL TO KENYA GOD IS CALLING! - On December 3rd, 2008, Rev. Carlos Walter Winterle from Brazil arrived at Mission Central with his wife, Lidia. This special couple is the first family ever in the history of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod to be "jointly called" by the Lutheran Church of Brazil and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod to serve the Lord Jesus in Kenya. Rev. Winterle for the past two years has been a missionary in Kenya and serving several congregations, and also working with HIV mothers and children in several orphanages. Now, through this "joint calling" of the two church bodies, he is being asked to serve for two more years, and during this time, due to the shortness of funds for ministry, has to raise 100% of his own support.
On December 3rd, 2008, they came to present at Mission Central, with a program at 1:00 PM and a DVD interview was made with the Winterles by "Volunteer Video Director" Mr. Lloyd Boettcher of Storm Lake, Iowa. Rev. Roger Theimer of King of Kings Lutheran Church of Omaha, Nebraska was responsible for bringing this wonderful couple to Mission Central.
If you would like to have a free 8 minute DVD interview of this couple, and a copy of their presentation also, please contact Mission Central by calling 712-882-1029. God is using all kinds of people with all kinds of backgrounds to carry His message of salvation around the world.
ATTACHED IS THE PHOTO OF THE WINTERLE FAMILY THEIR PROJECT NUMBER IS 50291."
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ST. PAUL, MINNEAPOLIS - MINNESOTA

– December 4th: We went back to Omaha and took the plane to St. Paul, Minneapolis.
Because of the snow, the plane was delayed, but on time to go with Dr. Paul and Joy Mueller to an Africa Feast at Concordia, St. Paul. Dr. Paul talked about their African experiences to a class, and Joy had prepared African food for the students. It was a nice experience!

Dr. Paul Mueller, former Regional Director for Africa, was our neighbor at the same compound in Karen, since we came to Nairobi until July/2008. He and Joy hosted us in their home in Maplewood, MN. - On Saturday, Nathan, former vicar with the Mission Training Center (MTC) in Nairobi and also our neighbor in Karen, came to pick us up.
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MARBLE, MINNESOTA

Nathan graduated from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN, and is now pastor at Marble, MN.

Melissa, Chloe and Nathan. Chloe was 2 months old when she came to Nairobi, and is now two and half years old.

– On Sunday we gave a presentation during the service at Grace English Lutheran Church in the morning, and a presentation for the circuit in the afternoon. It was snowing a lot that week end. The flight was delayed the day after when we flew to St. Louis, MO, via St. Paul, MN. We lost the connection; we needed to stay in a hotel; and we arrived in St. Louis on Tuesday only.
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ST. LOUIS, MO

I was nominated as candidate to the position of Africa Regional Director and was invited to an interview with Dr. Dave Birner and Mr. Fiedler, from the LCMS – World Mission.

The interview was a good opportunity to share ideas about the mission in Africa and to talk about the many challenges we are facing there. – We met many friends at the International Center!

Dr. Birner announced at the beginning of January that Dr. Mike Rodewald, Area Facilitator for South Africa, was chosen as the new Regional Director for Africa. – God bless him in his new task! – (In the picture: Dr. Mike and his wife Cindy are sitting, next to Rhoda (left). They were in our home in Nairobi in December 2007).


Travis Torblaa was in charge of our stay in St. Louis.
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MILWAUKE – NEW BERLIN, WISCONSIN

December 8th to 15th: We stayed in New Berlin, WI, hosted by my second-cousin Rev. Martinho Sander.

We took part in the Advent Service and at the Sunday School Christmas Service at Blessed Savior Lutheran Church,
and we gave presentations at the services

– and at the Bible Class.


– It was a good opportunity to meet Martinho (since the year 2000 we hadn’t met), his wife Joan, their children and his lovely congregation!
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AUSTIN, TEXAS

December 15th: We arrived in Austin, TX, where our friend Liane Figur was waiting for us at the airport. It was 32F = 0C !!! something not common for Texas! – Rev. Nilo Figur is my Brazilian friend from the time of our youth. He is professor at Concordia University, Austin. We were hosted by Prof. Nilo and Liane Figur in their home.

– The day after we did a presentation at the Chapel of the new Concordia campus.

After the chapel we had lunch with some Professors: Larry Meissner, Paul Muench, the chaplain Bruce Peffer, and Nilo Figur.

Our Brazilian friends Nilo and Liane invited Dr. Zerzen and his wife for dinner. Dr. David Zerzen is the President Emeritus of the Concordia University Texas. (In the picture: The Zerzens sitting; on the right: Nilo & Liane; the girl: Lara, their granddaughter.)

Dr. Stelmakowitch, his daughter and son-in-law were also invited for dinner, so that we could meet these friends again.
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TOMBAL, TX
– December 17th: Dr. William Thompson, President of the Brazil Mission Society, picked us up and took us to Tomball,

– where we met Kevin Pieper and Rev. Wayne Graumann. – Salem Lutheran Church is developing a special project in Kenya: Volunteers are coming twice a year to Kenya with Eye and Medical Clinic, doing outreach with the local churches. This project has been going on for 10 or more years.

We had a presentation at the Chapel Hour for all the kids of their school.

The chaplain and Kevin introduced us to the kids.

The children’s choir sang several times.

A lady from Kenya has her child at Salem’s school and introduced herself after the Chapel Hour.

– Three students from the 8th grade were chosen to show us the school after the chapel: Emily Brooks, P. J. Meyer and Nicole Gibbs.

Kevin Pieper organized an Open House at his home that evening with many friends= Africa Alumni.
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GEORGETOWN, TX

The day after we went with Dr. Thompson to his home in Georgetown, where we met his wife Patricia, our good friend for many years. They hosted us for that day.
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NEW BRAUNFELS, SAN ANTONIO AND AUSTIN, TX
The Thompsons took us half the way to San Antonio, TX, where we met our friends Norv and Carolyn Skovs, who hosted us in their home from December 19th to 31st.

On Sunday, Dec 21st, the Skovs took us to “Crown of Life Lutheran Church” – Pastor Mark Bartz, where we helped at the first service, presented about our work in Kenya at the Bible Class,

and assisted “The Children’s Christmas Service”. –

One of their projects is “Cows for Africa”, and the children mentioned Kenya in their Service.

On the same Sunday evening we were at the “Christmas Reflections from Eternity” – A Christmas Choir Concert- at Concordia Lutheran Church, San Antonio, TX. There we met our good Brazilian friends Pastor Ely & Miriam Prieto. Pastor Prieto is Director of World Mission at Concordia. – Miriam took us two days to do shopping and to visit San Antonio.

Concordia’s new sanctuary will be dedicated on next February 14th.

– The Skovs have been several times to Brazil on Mission Trips. They went also to Viet Nam as volunteer teachers for two terms. They are members of the Brazil Mission Society - Norv is the vice-president – and they like Brazilian food. Carolyn asked Lidia to prepare a “feijoada”= black beans with rice. They had also bought Guarana, a Brazilian sweet drink. It was delicious!

We went with the Skovs at Christmas Eve to “Cross Lutheran Church” in New Braunfels, Pastor Don Fraker.

We spent Christmas with the Skovs

and their daughter’s Valerie family, who came just for Christmas.

THANK YOU, Norv and Carolyn, for accepting us as your family at Christmas!

Norv’s brother and sister-in law, Luther and Londa, arrived from California the day after Christmas.

We visited with both couples San Antonio’s River Center

- and we made a river trip at night to see the beautiful Christmas lights on the river.

On the Sunday after Christmas, Dec 28th, the Skovs took us to “World of Life Fellowship” – a new Lutheran mission in Schertz, TX, where Pastor Ken & Patty Mitschke hosted us and we gave a presentation at the service.

On Tuesday the Bible Study Group where the Skovs are participants came together to hear about the work in Kenya.

– On the last day of the year we “moved” back to the Figurs in Austin. We preached at St. Sylvester Eve at “Grace Lutheran Church”, Rockdale, TX, and had a presentation after the service at the Fellowship Hall.-Pastor Nilo is in charge of that church.

We spent the New Year’s Eve with Nilo and Liane Figur, and with a common friend who was visiting the Figurs, Rev. Ernesto Weigandt, from Argentina, working as missionary in Panama. On the 1st of January, Pastor Prieto and Miriam join us at lunch time. It was a good way to begin the New Year!
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CALIFORNIA
On January 3rd we flew to Los Angeles, California, where our friend Valter Reimnitz was waiting for us at the airport and took us to the hotel. Valter is son of the late and former President of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Brazil, Rev. Dr. Elmer Reimnitz.

On Sunday, January 4th, we visited First Lutheran Church, Monrovia, CA.

Pastor Larry Hintz and his wife hosted us for the service.

One presentation was given during the service,

– and another at the Bible Class.

Nolan Reimnitz, Valter’s eldest brother, took us to the service; and after the service he took us for sightseeing downtown Los Angeles,

Disney World (only outside) and Hollywood.

On Monday we had dinner with our friends Dr. Norb Oesch and his wife. Dr.Oesch is the Pastoral Leadership Institute (PLI) International Director and had visited with us in Nairobi last year.

On Tuesday, January 6th, we left the USA after three months and one week traveling and visiting congregations, schools and friends, sharing with thousands of people the blessings God is pouring upon us and our ministry in Nairobi, Kenya. Eighty Five (85) presentations were given in the USA. We thank God for the protection during the trips and for the love of all the people who hosted us in their houses, congregations and schools. – From the USA we flew to Hong Kong, China, in the way to Kenya via-Europe. We got a special price for a round-trip (Star Alliance promotion), instead to go back to Kenya just via-Europe.

3 comments:

Kenya wildlife safaris and beach holidays said...

May god bless you abundantly as you work for Him.

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