from Mark and Diane Vanderkooi
May 30, 2011
friends, family and supporters,
In just a few days on
June 1, we will return to Chad after having spent 7 months in the
USA. We have enjoyed visiting many of you during this time and are
looking forward to our return. Here are some highlights of our time at
home and some of our hopes and concerns for our return to Chad.
highlight: visiting many of you
reason we come home at all – and the highlight of it – is visiting
our friends, family, and supporters. During the 215 Days we were in the
USA, we explained our work among the Kwong to 29 groups of people, we
met with 364 people representing 136 family units, spoke with over 60
college or career age young people about the possibilities of service in
Chad, met personally with 59 supporters, kept 191 appointments with
individuals or groups on 141 different days, drove 15,000 miles, and
Mark preached 7 times. That sounds exhausting, but the truth be
told, with one or two exceptions where there were just too many visits
crammed into too little time, we thoroughly enjoyed connecting with so
many people. Many heartfelt thanks to all of you who had us in your
homes, took us out to eat, and shared your lives with us. We hope to see
you again beginning in February of 2014.
Our return to Chad
return to Chad, we go on a positive note – something which has not
frankly always been the case. Unlike our last couple of furloughs where
we returned to large projects which demanded lots of attention such as
the radio station or clinic building, this time we are returning to a
more-or-less clean slate. Barring some unforeseen turn of events, we
expect to be able to give ourselves 100% to our first loves – Bible
translation and discipleship of the Kwong church.
we will continue the translation of the Psalms, which we began this past
year, as well as revise the book of Acts, which Francois and Joseph were
theoretically drafting during our absence these last few months. We
will, of course, continue to work with Jonas to raise up a new
generation of Kwong children who fear the Lord. Diane will keep on
“keeping on” with the women and radio work, and Mark will do
likewise with the pastors and elders.
always amazing to hear how many of you pray for us faithfully, and that
many of you actually pray for us daily. We are most grateful.
Here are a few concerns of ours which you might keep in mind.
that we find everything in order on our return. There is simply no
telling what can go wrong during 7 months of absence. Specifically, we
would be thrilled to find the radio station working normally, the clinic
treating a lot of patients, Jonas still meeting with the kids, our house
and equipment in good repair, our car working properly, and our cats
you may recall, Mark pursued ordination during this time at home in the
hope that doing so would open up new doors for ministry and influence
among the Kwong pastors. Seeing this happen will entail some quite
delicate, diplomatic approaches to the church hierarchy in the capital.
Pray for us as we make these approaches over the next 6 months. Pray
that one way or another, we will come into a new era of responsiveness
and seriousness on the part of Kwong pastors.
work we do is by nature tedious. Translation work (which Mark does
mostly), and producing radio programs (which Diane does a lot of) is
painstaking, slow, and sometimes outright boring. The Lord knows how
many times a sleep attack would just clobber us at 10 AM. Pray for
have been surprised at how healthy we have been for over a year. Even
seven months in the USA passed without a bout of the flu or a cold. We
take none of this for granted, still less the plethora of African
diseases which await us in a few days. Do not cease to pray for our
have searched high and low during this time in the USA for a midwife and
a couple to come help us raise up a new generation of Kwong children. We
return to Chad with nothing certain on the midwife, and not even a
nibble concerning the kids’ workers. We really need these people to
come join us. Please pray to that end.
thanks to each of you once again for your friendship, prayers and
Mark and Diane
Diane Vanderkooi serving with the Evangelical Alliance Mission www.teamworld.org.
support us financially by sending a check to TEAM, PO Box 969, Wheaton
IL 60187 with a memo designating it for us.
parsonage of Wasco Baptist church in Illinois has been our home
for the last 3 months.
trip to Washington D.C. (the first ever for Mark) was a treat. Seems
property values have held up pretty well on Pennsylvania Ave.
took this idyllic picture from our room at Whitestone Country Inn where
we spent two (free!) nights in Tennessee.