Homeschool Week Kenya 2011

Studious Children
Homeschool Week at RVA

The children of missionaries—our treasure! My ministry in these past years since we left living in Kenya full time has been the children of our workers in Africa. Those sharing the Gospel are living in remote areas of the bush with unreached people groups. Others are in teeming cities. Some are working at schools for the children of missionaries.

Blazing hot, damp and chilly, desert thorns, lush hillsides and mountains, humid beachfront property… Resistant people groups, believers who want to continually learn more and more. Children who learn academics easily—those who struggle with paper and pencil… Americans, Koreans, Brazilians and Brits… Preschoolers and those deciding what their next step after Secondary School will be…

Coming alongside our families to encourage, support, teach and love… in Africa and in America… Skype, e-mail and sitting down together to chat… This is how I spend my days! What a privilege.

This past week, I have had the privilege of being in Kijabe, Kenya at Rift Valley Academy with more than 40 or our school aged children. I was joined by our team of educational consultants and some of the staff of RVA.

Mayfield Guest House

During this week, the children had their own academic program as well as joining the elementary school of RVA for classes. Standardized testing, as well as in depth individualized educational assessments were available. Reading methods, math games, transitions and organization were some of the topics covered in workshops for the parents.

Pray for our families… Many are working in difficult and isolated circumstances—educational choices available might not be in their mother tongue, children may have learning challenges—mothers feel isolated in alone.

Praise God for weeks like this when families can spend time together and encourage each other. Pray for me as I attempt to help our families to reach the people to whom God has called them…


God Bless! 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 ( – 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 ( – 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 ( 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 ( 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)

In Niger

In a message dated 1/11/2009 2:11:17 P.M. Central Standard Time, writes:

As I write I am hearing the imam call the faithful to worship from the closest mosque. Our three day program for Homeschooled Missionary Kids here in Niger is finished – Wow – It went so quickly! The children we worked with were from 5 – 11 years. Their parents’ passport countries are Australia, Korea, England, Canada, Singapore and the US. They work in Niger, Burkina Faso, Benin and Ghana and are involved in church planting, agriculture, theological education and support services. Many of the local people in this part of the world are from other religious backgrounds. The climate is hot – conditions harsh – Challenging places to minister… It was so good to be able to bring support to these folks. While Debbie, Joanna, James and I were working with the children, a great team was working with the parents enabling them to do a better job of educating and raising their kids in this part of Africa. Thanks to many of you for enabling me to do this important work!

We have been served well by the local missionary community – transporting, feeding, exchanging money – wow – missionaries have really gone out of their way for us.

Today was spent relaxing…

Actually an unbelievable day thus far! We left at 7 AM to go look at giraffes about an hour from town. I almost didn’t go as we saw giraffe quite frequently when we lived in Northern Kenya – but I love giraffes and also the group here – so decided to go –

The first giraffe we saw had two legs and hooves sticking out – yes, she was in the process of giving birth!!! Our guide, who has done this work for twenty years, said that he had never seen a giraffe give birth! – Mama hid from us for a bit when the actual birthing happened – but then we found her about a half hour later with her new calf! We watched mama licking the calf as he made wobbly attempts at standing – but unfortunately, we needed to leave before he/she got completely on his feet – This was certainly a first for me!

camel_ride Next we went to a campsite where those of our group who had never had the opportunity to ride a camel got their chance – and the rest of us relaxed under some mango trees enjoying a picnic of shish kebabs over a fire… A boat ride followed on the Niger River viewing hippos. Now many of my colleagues are shopping – but I opted for a shower and chance to catch up with you all! In an hour or so we will go to the weekly English worship Service at Sahel Academy –

Tomorrow, we will provide an in-service for Sahel Academy and its students. The team who worked with the parents will be doing some training with the staff of the school. Joanna and I will be part of the team working with the Sahel elementary school students. This time I will be helping with the program, not in charge of it which will take off a bit of the stress.

I appreciate your ongoing prayers as we have two more very full days – Joanna is not in top notch shape physically and is resting right now… A couple of other staff are also not feeling well. Now am hearing an exuberant Christian worship service with drums in the background…

God bless – Love – Ellen