In November of every year I have the privilege of being part of the world's largest medical missions conference, the Global Missions Health Conference held in Louisville, Kentucky. This year the conference will be 8 to 10 November and I have again been invited to lead one of the breakout sessions. This year the topic will be Recent Developments in HIV.
If you are attending the conference, I would love to meet you. If you are not aware of the conference, go to http://www.medicalmissions.com/conferences/gmhc-2012 for information and to register.
Hope to see you in Louisville!
Then, on the 15th of November I am heading to Africa for more seminars. This trip will take me to three countries I have never had the opportunity to visit before, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Chad.
Please be in prayer for me on this trip and for my family who will be staying home in Florida.
If you are going to be in one of those countries while I am, please let me know so that I can provide you with the name and contact information for the seminar host who will be able to give you information about participating or meeting with me while I am there.
The past few months have been very challenging for this ministry and our family.
In June my wife, Kathy, was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had surgery on the 13th of July and we are very happy to be able to say she is now cancer free.
The week before her surgery, on the fourth of July I had a minor heart attack and spent a couple of days in the hospital. Again, we are so thankful that it was minor enough that there was no damage to my heart.
Actually our challenges started last year when our youngest daughter, Jennifer, was diagnosed with advanced cervical cancer. In February of this year she moved into our home with her children (Destiny who will be 15 this month and Cisco who is now 11). Her health declined over time. She was in terrible pain that finally ended with her death one month ago today, the 5th of September.
Her children are living with us and we are all working through some major transitions in our lives including Cisco being in his first year of middle school and Destiny starting high school.
Through all of this God has proven that Paul was right when he wrote in Philippians 4:7 about the peace that surpasses all understanding (what I like to call the peace that doesn't make any sense). That peace from God has truly "guarded our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." What a blessing it is to
Dear Friends, I have been posting to this blog during this
trip. However, I think that from
Now on I will make posts to the HIVHopepage on Facebook. Please follow
those posts so that you will be able to stay up to date with what God is doing
Today I started a new seminar, this time in the village of Siongiroi (again, don't look on your map, it will not be there). This is a rural village in Bomet County, Kenya. This week I am living in the home of the local Catholic priest and the seminar is being attended by 33 participants (more than I really like to have) who are from many different denominations including the Catholics.
We are off to a good start. Please pray that God will continue to bless and that the participants will get clear insights about HIV education from Him.
Just completed a seminar in Kager, a village near Homa Bay, Kenya. It went very well.
The participants are so excited to get started teaching others in their area about HIV.
Now headed to another rural village near Bomet, Kenya. Your prayers will be very much appreciated especially for my health as I have been having some problems with my stomach and my voice. But, God continues to be faithful in every thing.
Sitting in Heathrow Airport in London awaiting my flight to Nairobi for the second phase of this trip. Left my father and wife, Kathy, last evening in Amsterdam as they flew back to the US.
To be honest, I was quite tempted to go with them. After such a wonderful time with them, I am feeling a little lonely and apprehensive about the next 5+ weeks in Kenya.
Yes, I have been there many times before and am so excited about what God continues to do through the HIV Educator seminars He allows me to facilitate. But the truth is that every time I go overseas, in fact every time a
new seminar starts, there is a sense of apprehension not knowing what the seminar will be like.
This is a wonderful opportunity to exercise the faith He has given me. These seminars really keep me on my knees and I so appreciate all of the people around the world also pray for the participants in each seminar and for me. Thank you so much!
WRITTEN OVER THE DESERT OF SUDAN AT 36,000 FEET
On the way to Nairobi I have watched two remarkable movies that have often made my eyes leak. The first was The Lady, the amazing story of Ang San Suu Kui, the leader of the democracy movement in Burma (Myanmar), a country Kathy and I have grown to love through our visits there. The other is one I didn't expect to like, War Horse. It, too, is a remarkable film I can recommend for your watching.
The only problem is that this has meant that I have not gotten much sleep while flying. Well, we are still two hours from scheduled arrival time. So, I will try to get a little sleep.
Again, thanks so much for your prayers!
FROM A SMALL VILLAGE NEAR KERICHO, KENYA May 8
Still no internet access so will be posting several entries all at once.
I am in tea country. They grow the wonderful Kenya tea here because the climate is perfect for tea. What that means right now is that it is cold and wet. It has rained heavily every day.
I am beginning to lose my voice and feeling like I am getting a cold. Pray for my healing and strength. Part of what I am experiencing includes diarrhea. It is not uncommon when traveling but normally happens later in a trip, not the first week. It is challenging because here in the village the toilet is a hole in the ground and my aim is not very good. So, I am often making a real mess which is so embarrassing!
Normally I like to have about 20 people in the sdeminars. Yesterday we had only 10 for the first day. Today there were 17 which is a good number. I wish they would allow someone to translate for me because I am certain several of the people would understand more if it was translated. But they take pride in being able to understand English and so have forcefully said they do not need translation.
God is doing wonderful things through the seminar. People are so excited about what He is teaching and gaining great confidence already about their ability to make a real difference through their teaching.
I am still feeling homesick because of the wonderful time Kathy, my Dad, and I had on our crossing. But, as we get into the seminar, that is becoming more bearable.
FROM KERICHO, KENYA 10 May
We will finish the seminar tomorrow but today I came to the larger city to have access to print out some things for the seminar. While here I decided to get a haircut because it was one of the things that got lost in the shuffle of preparing for this trip. I was concerned that an African barber would not know what to with straight hair, but he did a masterful job (he's a perfectionist) for only about $1.30. I may wait until I get to Africa for haircuts in the future!
Please pray for me. I am ill. In fact, my voice is almost totally gone. That is not good for someone in my line of work. They took me to a doctor yesterday who gave me a prescription for an antibiotic. I am feeling better today but my voice is worse. Must be one of those "it has to get worse before it gets better things." I am scheduled to preach on Sunday and start a new seminar on Monday. So, pray for God to touch my throat so that I can fulfill these commitments.
Thanks for your prayers. We are now safely in Amsterdam and all is well.
Tomorrow we do some sight seeing including Corrie ten Boom's home. Then early Friday morning I leave for Kenya.
Please continue to pray for us and that great trip of ministry opportunties!
We just arrived after eight days at see on Madeira Island off the coast of Africa. It has been a wonderful crossing. What a joy it has been to be the chaplain for the voyage leading devotions for the passangers each morning, worship services on Sunday and, last evening, a hymn sign that was a wonderful time of worship.
We are so blessed. Thank you for your prayers for us.
We will have only limited internet access for the next week or more. Thus
Our recent monthly email Prayer Letter included my travel schedule for the rest of 2012. We said that I might go to Tanzania but it was looking less likely. Within days an email arrived confirming the plans for that seminar for the last week of August. God works in wonderful ways. Please pray wiht us that these plans will come together with His help and direction.
Comment from a participant in our seminar in Nairobi last year:
"Am happy to inform you that the knowledge I gained has help alot. First I understood more about HIV AIDS.Have also been able to impart same knowledge to other people both infected and affected. I must say the seminar was a turning point to me. May God bless you for the good work you are doing to his people.