Dear Family and Friends,
” In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.”
After months of prayer and dialogue with mission leadership, friends, and family Melinda and I have decided to take a one year compassionate leave starting in July or August of 2015. We sense the Lord’s direction that this is a time for us to be more physically present in the lives of our family. During this compassionate leave we will continue seeking His guidance about what comes next when this one year is over. We have made plans this far in advance because we realize that AIM needs some time to fill our current positions here in Nairobi. In addition, my co-worker Joe Wagnell will be on home assignment from September of this year until the end of June 2015 so we did not want to go until he returns and we can have some time to turn-over responsibilities and end well.
As you can imagine after 20+ years in Africa this is a huge change for us. At this point there are a lot more questions than answers and we would appreciate your prayers. We are depending on our Lord who has been so faithful to us for all these years to determine our steps. Here are a few items that you can pray for:
- Additional help for both of our ministries. For Melinda’s that would be a Personnel and Short Term Ministry Coordinator, and for Steve’s more qualified help for the AIM AIR Avionics shop.
- Fulfilling and meaningful continued ministry and/or employment in the US. Do we second ourselves to another ministry or will financial needs require us to find employment?
- Ending well here in Nairobi.
- All the logistics of transition and the grace to live well for Christ in this ambiguous time in our lives.
Thank you in advance for your prayers and we are open to any questions you might have.
Early June found us arriving back in Nairobi after being in the US for Natalie’s graduation. Both of us plunged back into our responsibilities with the mission. We have been enjoying the summer volunteers that are serving with AIM AIR and have been meeting some new friends and some old ones as well. AIM AIR continues to serve the mission community in amazing ways. We recommend you visit “www.aimair.org” occasionally to get first hand info from our pilots on their experiences.
There is a third Cessna Caravan, which has been financed by the mission SIM, coming to join the AIM AIR fleet this year. It is currently being prepared in Ohio and then will be going to Florida for the installation of avionics equipment. My current large and complicated job is planning to equip one of our existing Caravan’s with the same avionics package as this new Caravan. Like we have done with our smaller Cessna 206 aircraft we are trying to harmonize the equipment on our Caravans as well as upgrade to newer technology which will improve the reliability and safety of our aircraft.
Melinda continues to help people who are planning on coming out full term with AIM Africa Based Support. She is also in the midst of learning a new personnel software system being used by the mission. She keeps very busy!
A few weeks ago several of our pilots and their sons wanted to climb Mt. Kenya and asked me to go along. How could I resist? Well, this 9th trip on the mountain did not go so well for me and on a ridge at 14,000 feet I decided it was probably not wise for me to go higher. Mike DeLorenzo graciously agreed to descend to a lower camp with me while the others continued on. This episode prompted a trip to the cardiologist for a thorough checkout. There were no problems there so we guess it was being older, overweight, and out of shape. I can only do something about two of those factors 🙂 .
The past week I have been off work struggling with what we thought was viral bronchitis but turned out to be a bacterial infection in my lungs. I am on the mend now with a regimen of antibiotics. As you can see I’ve also kept Melinda busy carting me to various doctors.
Olivia has continued working at the Fort Wayne main library, volunteering at the zoo, and has been working on becoming an “Indiana Master Naturalist”.
Natalie is in San Antonio and has been interning at a photography gallery. She has just changed this week to work at a glass blower’s gallery which will give her more opportunity to pursue her own painting. Let us know if you have any contacts for churches or young adult fellowships in that area.
Christine is in her last week of teaching in Shijiazhuang, China. It has been challenging in many ways but she has enjoyed her students and the experience. We think learning to drive may still be on her agenda before returning to Taylor University in August.
Melinda and I cannot adequately express our sincere gratitude for each of you. God’s richest blessings to you all,
Steve and Melinda