News update May 2011

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News from Mark and Diane Vanderkooi

May 30, 2011

Dear 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. 

The highlight: visiting many of you 

The main 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. 

Expectations: Our return to Chad 

As we 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.  

Specifically, 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. 

Prayer concerns 

It is 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. 

  1. Pray 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 healthy.  

2.      As 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.

3.      The 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 stamina. 

4.      We 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 health! 

5.      We 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. 

Many thanks to each of you once again for your friendship, prayers and financial support. 

Mark and Diane 

Mark and Diane Vanderkooi serving with the Evangelical Alliance Mission  

You may support us financially by sending a check to TEAM, PO Box 969, Wheaton IL 60187 with a memo designating it for us.  

  Africa filigri outline with Chad 2.gif  In front of wasco house.jpg 

The  parsonage of Wasco Baptist church in Illinois has been our home for the last 3 months. 

Mark in front of Whitehouse.jpg 

A trip to Washington D.C. (the first ever for Mark) was a treat. Seems property values have held up pretty well on Pennsylvania Ave.  

Diane in front of Lincoln Mem.jpg


Diane took this idyllic picture from our room at Whitestone Country Inn where we spent two (free!) nights in Tennessee. 


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Last modified: May 28, 2011