January 2017

[Home] [Archived news updates and letters

News from Mark and Diane Vanderkooi

January 2, 2017

Dear family, friends, and supporters;

The many months gone by since our last update have been intense even by Chadian standards. Here is a brief summary of our life, beginning with the most recent events and working backward. We trust it will enable you to pray more informedly and earnestly.

Your fellow servants,   Mark and Diane

The seasons of life

We begin our backwards journey in the state of Indiana. We came to the USA on December 7  for a four week “vacation”, and as we write (January 2), we are about 24 hours away from our departure to Chad.  This trip was supposed to happen in March-April when the temperatures will be unbearable in Chad, but Diane’s uneasiness about her parents – well-founded as it turns out – made a trip in December seem like a wise thing (when the temperatures were unbearable in Indiana).  In the event, both of her parents have serious medical issues which make continued life in their own home difficult at best. And so with help from Diane’s siblings and her parents’ church family, we succeeded in moving them out of their home of 45 years and into an assisted living facility the day after Christmas.  It was surely providential that we should be there at this time, even though these events didn’t exactly make for the restful time we hoped it would be.

Prisoners of love         

Our love for our surrogate daughter Sylvie (now almost two years old) has woven Chageen into the fabric of our lives even more intimately than before. Naturally, this has made leaving Chageen, even for a few weeks’ time, all the more difficult.  Our trip to the USA was no exception in this regard, and was a foretaste of the day (still a couple years out) when we will have to leave her for 8 months or more while we go to the USA for furlough. 

The marathon

The construction of the Bible School building has been dragging on for almost two years now. In a way, that’s a good thing because we have translated an enormous amount of material for the Bible school during the many hiatuses in the construction. But all the same, Mark decided enough was enough and resolved to finish the roof structure, which was quite complicated, before our departure to the USA. It was a marathon for Mark and his Chadian tradesmen, but in the end they finished not only the roof (minus the corrugated iron sheeting) but also the superstructure of the home in which Larry and Jan Gray will live. Larry and Jan, you will recall, are coming to Chad in June to help with the Bible School. It was a good race, and it was very satisfying to leave for the USA after a job well-done.

Homeward bound

We are glad to be heading home again tomorrow. We look forward to seeing Sylvie, our three cats, and all our dear friends and coworkers in Chageen. Getting the Bible school operational will again be our priority this year. There are many more materials to prepare, the building to finish, and the Grays to welcome – quite apart from our usual ministries. 2016 has been a very full year, and 2017 promises to be much the same. We are ever grateful for your prayers on our behalf that we would have the strength and wisdom to discharge the ministry which Christ has laid upon us. 


Christmas dinner with Diane’s parents. The next day, they moved out of their home of 45 years.


Mother and Daughter


Our favorite Chadian girl


The Bible school as we left it, and as it awaits our return.

Send mail to The_Vanderkoois@yahoo.com with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright © 2010-2018 Vanderkooi's Ministry in Chad
Last modified: January 08, 2018