Unexpected trip to South Africa

Due to changes in personnel and the planting season coming up in South Africa ECHO  found itself with the need to send someone out there for a couple of months to lend a hand. This came up in late August and I was asked to fill that need.

I told them I needed to check with Ellen and wait until after the birth of a grandchild. Becky and Elliott were expecting in mid-September and tentatively scheduled a baptism for last Sunday (Sept. 29th). That was agreeable with all concerned.

In short, Evalena Joy Pinegar was born on Sept. 17th and Ellen and I were able to be with them in Michigan for a few days.

Evalena
Evalena Joy Pinegar with her maternal grandparents!

Sunday we celebrated her baptism at the First Presbyterian Church in Bad Axe, Michigan where Elliott is the pastor. Evalena by the way is beautiful!!

Becky is doing great and they seem to be adjusting very well to having a newborn in the household. Even Montgomery the cat seems to be handling the situation well.

I leave tomorrow (Oct. 2nd) and will be in South Africa at the farm near Modimolle about 130 miles north of Johannesburg. While I am away Ellen has plenty to keep her busy at the AIM office in Peachtree City, Georgia (near Atlanta) and with her parents in Cincinnati.

I am scheduled to return to Cincinnati in time for Thanksgiving and then Ellen and I should be back in Fort Myers in early December for the annual ECHO conference there.

While I hate being away from Ellen for those seven weeks or so and while I will miss watching the Gators play I am excited about this opportunity. I have never been to South Africa but will enjoy being back in Africa and am looking forward to being involved in the research going on there.

November = Thanksgiving

November

This month we look forward to Thanksgiving.

It is the year for the every-other-year Hargrave family reunion in Palatka. We’ll get together to catch up with aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, in-laws and all the little kids that make up the next generation. And food of course!!

Our family is widely scattered but Ginny and Stephen will be coming from New Mexico.

As for me I am very thankful for:

  • my family
  • many other blessings from God that would take several pages to list!

May you be blessed as well.

Bob

April 2012 Update

Ellen is in Africa for a month!

You can read all about it (as well as some other family news) at http://bobnellen.aimsites.org/

Back to Africa myself!

The ministry at ECHO continues to be rewarding. Every week I interact with missionaries and development workers around the world who are striving to help their communities flourish. Most of this is done by e-mail but we have a steady stream of visitors and several week-long classes each year. I also have the joy of interacting daily with our group of ten amazing interns as they prepare to serve in missions and tropical agricultural development.

In May three of us from ECHO will be going to Malawi to consult with the United Methodist Church there. They have a farm that they plan to use for demonstration and training of pastors in effective low cost sustainable agriculture practices. And the timing works out so that I can go a few days early and meet up with Ellen in Nairobi!

Happy New Year!

Christmas in Florida and then off to Africa!

Christmas
Becky, Elliott, Bob and his Mom; Ellen, Ginny, Stephen

Greetings from Florida as we prepare to travel to East Africa for most of January and February. We had a wonderful time at Christmas with our daughters, their husbands, Bob’s Mom and James by Skype!

2010 was a busy year for Ellen and I and 2011 promises to be no different.

Off to Africa

We will start the year off with a trip to Kenya and Tanzania, leaving January 9th. The first week in Kenya we will visit friends in our former
places of ministry in and near Eldoret.

The original purpose and my main reason for going is to oversee an ECHO East Africa Symposium in Arusha, Tanzania which will take place February 8th through 11th.

Ellen will be helping with an AIM Africa-based orientation before the symposium and an AIM seminar the week after the symposium. And then instead of coming straight home the last week of February she will go to Pearl River, NY for US candidate week.

Christmas

Backing up a bit, we welcomed Stephen and Ginny back from Sudan just in time for Christmas. Elliott and Becky joined us from St. Louis and my Mom came down from North Florida. We enjoyed a great time together here in North Fort Myers and included James via Skype for a few minutes. They are all now scattered across the globe:

  • Mom back at home near Gainesville
James and Father Paul in Mwanza
James and Father Paul in Mwanza
  • James now has a place to call home in Mwanza, Tanzania; a real answer to prayer for someone who has been in a succession of temporary places for more than a year.
  • Stephen and Ginny settling in Albuquerque for the near future.
  • Elliott and Becky in St. Louis where Elliott is in seminary for another year and a half and Becky teaches elementary music.

Please Pray

We welcome prayer on behalf of:

  • The referendum in Sudan that will take place from January 9th to 14th for more information see this UN website.
  • Ellen’s continuing AIM assignment helping AIM parents with their children’s education
  • Ellen has also taken on the part time responsibility of writing the AIM US prayer guide
  • Bob’s continuing service with ECHO and especially the responsibility of coordinating the effort to open an ECHO East Africa regional office
    in the next two years

We deeply appreciate you and and your involvement in our lives and ministry and wish you God’s blessings in the year ahead.

With warm regards,

Bob and Ellen