Blueberries and F-18s: A Stateside update (6/8/15)

We are (unbelievably!) 7 weeks into our 10 week visit back to the States; so far it’s been a deeply restorative “home assignment” packed full of rest, reconnection with partners and family, and speaking engagements.

Partners:  churches

We have 3 partner churches in the US – New Hope Worship Center (Albion MI); Sea Island Presbyterian Church (Beaufort SC), and Beaches Vineyard (Jacksonville FL).  We’ve so far visited and spoken at the first two, and will be with the third over the next few weeks.  At each, we have been greatly moved by warm, generous people sharing their time, houses, finances, food, toys and company.

new hope 1

New Hope in Albion, Michigan, the church founded by Andy’s parents in the 1980’s.

Senior pastor Dave Beebe with founding pastor, Andy's dad Bill Steere

Current pastor Dave Beebe with Andy’s dad Bill Steere


Sea Island in Beaufort, South Carolina, where the roaring of F-18’s overhead from the nearby Marine Corps Air Station is called ‘the sound of freedom’ by locals 🙂 Andy’s close college friend Matt takes over as Commanding Officer of one of these squadrons this year.

Andy sharing at Sunday School, SIPC

Andy sharing at Sunday School, SIPC

Associate Heather welcomes our friends the Brown family back to SIPC after 3 years away at the Pentagon

Pastor Heather welcomes our friends the Brown family back to Beaufort after 3 years away at the Pentagon

Partners:  friends

We are joyfully and deeply reliant on individuals and families who support us with one-off or monthly financial partnership, love, encouragement, prayer, and care packages:  we receive no financial compensation from Kijabe Hospital for our work there, and 100% of our living and ministry expenses come from our financial partners.  Being with these precious people in the US (in person, over Skype and on the phone) this last month has been greatly encouraging to both of us.  We have loved our time with you, and are looking forward to being with our Florida community next week!

The Carlsons, visiting us from Annapolis

The Carlsons, visiting us in Michigan from Annapolis.  The one and only time Andy has successfully played matchmaker.

Browns, now in Beaufort

Browns, now in Beaufort

The Taubitz family,  engineers in Kijabe for 4 years, now in Michigan

The Taubitz family, engineers in Kijabe for 4 years, now in Michigan

Albrights, neurosurgical volunteers in Kijabe for years, now in Chicago

Albrights, neurosurgical volunteers in Kijabe for years, now in Chicago

Carraways, old family friends with Boeves, volunteer orthopaedist in Kijabe, now in Michigan

Caraways, old family friends, and Boeves, volunteer Kijabe orthopaedist, now in Michigan


We haven’t seen our family in the US since 2012 – so this has been our opportunity to connect with parents, siblings, cousins and grandparents.  A precious time especially for the kids, who mainly know their family from the internet and Skype 🙂

Cousins on the beach in South Haven

Cousins on the beach in South Haven

Andys sister Hanna and brother-in-law Drew

Andy’s sister Hanna and brother-in-law Drew

Andy shows his grandmother pictures of Kijabe

Andy shows his grandmother pictures of Kijabe

Resting and recovering

Without the daily mental weight of too few resources, too much to do and complex issues, it has been a wonderful chance for us both to enjoy being with each other and our children.  I don’t think we realized until we arrived in the States how exhausted we both were after a full-on last few years in Kijabe… this period of rest has been life-giving.  We’re savoring drinking water straight from the tap, swimming in lakes without hippos, eating way too many good Michigan blueberries, driving safely on roads after dark, and having some space to ponder, sleep and rejuvenate before returning to Kijabe on August 29th.

Learning to fish

Learning to fish

Safe lake swimming

No hippos in Lake Michigan, Mum!

Learning to swim

Our Austral-African-American kids can’t swim yet, as pools are in short supply in rural Kenya…but we’re learning to swim now!

Looking ahead

We return to Kijabe in just over 3 weeks, and currently have a shortfall between our budget and our monthly financial support.  This is due mostly to a very large fluctuation in the last year between the Kenya shilling and the currencies of our financial partners (AUD and USD).  Will you pray with us that this shortfall would be provided for?

We need your help to raise raise our remaining needs ($550 per month in ongoing support and several thousand dollars for unexpected major maintenance on our truck and ministry expenses) to enable us to continue serving the vulnerable and marginalized with compassionate medical care and training at Kijabe Hospital, and to continue building projects and people.

If you are not a part of our financial partnership team already but have been enjoying our updates and stories over the past few years, would you consider making your interest more concrete and joining us as a monthly or one-off supporter?  Click here to do so!

Thank you for coming with us on this journey – in Kenya, on our too-short visits home, and wherever we find ourselves on this ongoing adventure in faith!



South Carolina

South Carolina

rest 13

Lake Michigan


Author: steeres

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