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

Record Breaking Heat — August 2nd

I walked alone through the shady streets
Listening to my heart beat
In the record breaking heat
When we were born in time.
(Eric Clapton’s version of Bob Dylan song)

Yes, it has been hot. Too hot to work outside very long at Mom’s house up near Gainesville. Too hot for serious birding although the famous birding team, “Grey-haired Bobbys”, did make one foray onto Paynes Prairie and came away with a list of 29 including a couple of gorgeous Purple Gallinules.
I’m back to work at ECHO after a week’s vacation getting stuff done at Mom’s house. The trip to Tanzania in June went very well and there is now an excellent group of people on the planning committee working towards the ECHO East Africa Symposium in Arusha next February.

Ellen has been busy with the AIM Regional Administrator job. She enjoys the travel and interaction with people but it keeps her on the road too much for my liking! It is a temporary position that ends Sept. 14th when our good friends Sam and Bonnie Thomas take over. Ellen also has an MK education trip to Mozambique in a couple of weeks. Actually she just sent out this short update:

Hey y’all!

Hope that you are having a wonderful summer!

God is sure keeping us busy – We have had a wonderful week in Cincinnati where we celebrated my dad, Bob Wheeler’s, glorious first 90 years and then my awesome 40th high school reunion. Both fantastic indescribable occasions!

We just got back from a great week at the Hargrave farm where Bob and sister June helped with a number of projects around the farm. Otherwise, Bob keeps busy as an agricultural consultant at ECHO –

Myself – I have been keeping more than busy as interim Regional Administrator for AIM – which means that I meet with, e-mail, talk with all those who are interested in serving with AIM from the SE United States… I’ll be involved in this rewarding job through the middle of next month.

Next week I’ll be at AIM Headquarters’ to be on staff for our Candidate Week where there will be four of the young people that I have interviewed since starting this job. I am excited about seeing it from another angle! As usual, I will be meeting with all of the parents there to talk about educating their children in Africa!

Following that, I will be Mozambique for a week to be on staff for a homeschool week – I am in the midst of preparing my workshops – so, I definitely appreciate your prayers for that!

May Update

Update from Ellen

May 18, 2010

Greetings from our current home in Pioneer Village – North Fort Myers, FL.

One of these days I’m going to get it together and spend the time figuring out how to use all of the things available to me on my computer and send you all a very spiffy looking newsletter – I promise, one of these days!

In the mean time – I want to just update you and thank you for your friendship, prayers and faithful support.

So – What’s new?

AIM (www.aimint.org) – Ellen continues her work as TCK Educational Coordinator for AIM US. That means that I get in touch with all of our families on their Home Assignment and see how education is going for their kids. I try to help out wherever there might be problems. I also attend all of our US Candidate Weeks to meet with all of our new missionary families and again help them walk through what it is to raise and educate their children in Africa.

From April 1, 2010 – September 15, 2010 – Ellen is the Interim Regional Administrator for the Southeastern US. That means that I am meeting with and interviewing many in the SE who are applying to work with AIM in Africa. In the past 6 weeks I have traveled to North Florida, South Carolina, Georgia and East Tennessee. Next week I am hoping to get to South Florida (Atlantic Coast) – and probably one or two more trips to the Western part of my territory before I turn over the reins in September.

ECHO (www.echonet.org) – Bob is still on staff at ECHO answering requests from ECHO’s “network” all over the world and interacting with interns and visitors. He will also be arranging a forum for network members in East Africa and making a trip to Tanzania June 17th – June 28th to help get the ball rolling on that.

Ellen also meets with the young married women at ECHO on Monday nights and we are currently beginning the Power of a Praying Wife.

Family – James is now officially a missionary with OCMC (www.ocmc.or) and is in Tanzania upgrading his Swahili. He has quite the challenging commute across the capital city Dar es Salaam!

Ginny is winding up her classroom studies at Taylor University and Stephen has concluded his teaching at Ivy Tech in Eastern Indiana. They will be leaving for Southern Sudan on June 17th where Ginny will complete her Masters degree with an internship in water development and she and Stephen will both serve with SIM (www.sim.org) into December of this year.

Becky and Elliott are still in St. Louis where Elliott has wound up his second year at Covenant Theological Seminary (www.covenantseminary.edu) and Becky, her second year of teaching music at Ethel Hedgeman Lyle Academy to Middle Schoolers.

July 2nd, Ellen’s dad will be celebrating his 90th birthday and we are hoping to celebrate with family in Cincinnati.

Ellen is also looking forward to celebrating her 40th Reunion for Finneytown High School the 2nd weekend of July!

Back in Kenya – As you know, we had the privilege of being back in Kenya this fall to teach at the AIC Missionary College. What a rewarding time of teaching and spending time with many that we ministered with and to in our past years. there. Things at the college and Cheptebo are moving on well and we just heard that one of the couples we worked with are now proud parents of a new daughter.

I still receive many requests for school fees – urgently is needed about $250 for Eunice Basele from Loglogo who is coming near the end of her degree. I also have many requests from Cheptebo of impoverished families with children in Secondary and Tertiary education. If anyone is interested in contributing anything to help these young people who love the Lord and want to help their families, their God, their futures and their country – please let me know and I will get the fees to the right places.

strong>Logistics – Once more we are changing residences. But don’t worry, we will continue to get our mail at ECHO (address below), continue to have the same cell phone numbers, and continue to have the same e-mail addresses. We will be moving to a different mobile home in a different park – this one has two bedrooms and two baths, so we can once more host visitors, but is further from the ECHO campus.

Spiritual Growth – Ah… why is this last? Maybe because it is easier to sum up “What’s happenin'”  – To reflect on how God is working… now that takes more thinking and reflecting. Now, what are we learning. Continually, utter dependence on God. God is Sovereign. There are many things going on in the world at large and the world we see more intimately that are distressing and concerning and can cause us to think that God is sleeping or not at work. Yet, in the midst of that, we see him alive and active in both big and little things. So – we are learning to trust when not everything makes sense… Haven’t we learned that before? Of course! And so, now, yes, we DO know that this is true – but we relearn each day as new challenges come our way.

Again, we are thankful for each one of you that is a part of who we are – yes – that is each of you! We covet your prayers and love each of you in your own unique and special way!

Blessings! Bob & Ellen Hargrave

Ellen Hargrave

c/o ECHO

17391 Durrance Rd.

North Fort Myers, FL 33917

239 464 6516

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is a child of God. And everyone who loves the Father loves his children, too.

1 John 5:1  (New Living Translation)

At the Farm

“The Farm” is my parents house and a few acres north of Gainesville. Sunday just after sunset 2 barred owls flew into the yard. This yard and the one across the road can be pretty good bird spots.

Young Buck
Young Buck

Then last night as we are finishing supper my sister looks out the window and noticed 2 bucks walking by!