Back to the routine?

We are almost over jet lag! This seems to get harder each time. Maybe we just don’t bounce back as quickly these days.

Some things are just the same. Universtiy Church is still the welcoming, loving place we remembered in our hearts. ANU continues to be a great place to work. We still have baboons, blooms, butterflies, birds, and lizards.

Some things are different. Since when does the local store carry Pop Tarts – brown sugar cinnamon even?! When did Mugg & Bean – on the Go (a South African chain) come to Kenya? How does the road to ANU rate a gas station (it’s coming!)? Changes happen even in three months.

Thanks to all who hosted us during our home assignment. We appreciate you!

Looking forward – Prayer requests/praise

We need to get our passport stamps to show we are residents. This should be straightforward, we will be heading to the offices early next week. Pray this goes smoothly, because…

Greg is heading to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to teach a class. He needs to get a visa which requires about 10 days to process. Literally, he should get his passport back the afternoon before he flies. — Praise, when Greg and Khulani went to the embassy yesterday, they were not given much hope until the woman saw that he had been invited by the Church of the Nazarene. Her daughter attends ANU. She went out of her way to help – including keeping the office open 30 minutes after closing – so the initial paperwork could be filed.

I (Amy) will be super busy this fall. I have been assigned three classes to teach in addition to the Writing Lab and my Ed. D. studies. Pray for stamina for me.

Miles…and smiles

FocusThis missionary home assignment has been one of miles…and smiles, too.

Miles

From April 20 through July 29, we’ll have clocked just under 11,000 miles in our faithful 2007 Ford Focus. Here are some more tidbits:

  • spoke in 13 states at 48 venues, including 2 family camps and 1 District NMI Convention
  • slept in 42 different beds
  • ate lots of good food prepared with love by Nazarene brothers and sisters
  • met young people with a call to cross-cultural service
  • found individuals in many churches who have been on a Work & Witness trip to Africa Nazarene University (ANU)

People everywhere have been so gracious and interested in our missionary work at ANU. We owe a huge debt of gratitude for their hospitality, encouragement, and support through prayer and giving. We’ve been treated like royalty. Thanks for being part of our team!

Smiles

 

Rose Handloser
Left to Right: Rose Handloser, Vangie Hannah, and Greg (photo by Amy)

 

In Milford, Deleware, the NMI President (Vangie Hannah) took us to a nearby rest home where we met Miss Rose Handloser. Rose served for 30 years as a missionary in Africa, with time in the Transvaal and at our Regional Office in South Africa. She worked closely for many years with Dr Richard Zanner (former Regional Director) and developed Christian education curriculum for all ages. We walk in the footprints of those like Rose who invested decades of their lives to advance the cause of Christ.

 

Clay
Greg with his nephew, Clay

We’ve said our goodbyes to most of our family as we head back to Kenya next week. I’m especially proud of my nephew, Clay Crofford. He’s getting better all the time at playing the guitar, singing, and leading worship music. In mid-August, he reports as a first year student to Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) where he’ll study for pastoral ministry. Keep up the good work, Clay! 

 

Prayer requests

Ask God to give us strength and grace as we wrap things up back here in the U.S., pack suitcases, say our final goodbyes to John and Brad/Em (our sons and daughter-in-law), then transit for 48 hours.

Ask the Lord to help us plug back in quickly to our Kenya assignments, Greg continuing as Dean of the School of Religion and Christian Ministry (SRCM) and Amy lecturing in English, overseeing the Language Lab, and pushing ahead on the Ed.D. online through Trevecca Nazarene University.

Virginia is for (missions) lovers.

We had the privilege of speaking at the Virginia District NMI convention. It was a joy to see so many passionate people – young and old – speaking and singing about the need to be involved wholeheartedly in the work of God locally, nationally, and globally. The difference made by this generous group of Nazarenes lead by District NMI President Dr. Charlette Holter and District Superintendent Phil Fuller may not be calculated before we are all in heaven, but I am confident it will be enormous..

  • Please pray for the Virginia District, and your own district, as they and you strategize to reach your neighbors for Christ locally, nationally, and globally.
  • Please pray for us as we finish our time in the United States and head back to Kenya in less than two weeks.

We are profoundly grateful for the new friends we have made and the support we have been given in this home assignment. Thank you!

Together

As missionaries, one of the harder aspects is living far from family. Up until late February when John returned to the U.S., our Sunday Skypes involved us being on three different continents (North America, Africa, and Asia). Now we’re only on two continents (North America and Africa), but the distances are still challenging.

We’re grateful, though, that the five of us got to spend this past weekend together, our “reunion within the reunion” during a larger biennial Crofford family get-together in Maryland. Greg’s parents celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary and all six sons and most of their children (and grandkids and great-grandkids) were on-hand to celebrate – What a blessing!

TODD REUNION-18
Left to Right: Front row – Greg & Amy. Back row – Brad and Em, John

Prayer requests

Pray that we’ll finish our deputation strong. We have five or six engagements left as we tell the story of Africa Nazarene University, visit the dentist and eye doctor, and pack-up our things to meet the baggage weight requirements for the airline.

Pray for safe travel as we shortly journey back to Kenya.

Pray a blessing upon those who have been standing in the gap on some of the face-to-face duties at ANU while we’ve been doing itinerant missionary PR work in the U.S.

The 4th of July

I love spending the 4th of July at the Upstate New York Family Camp in Brooktondale New York. The merry-go-round has been rebuilt a few times since I was a child. The tree-people decorations are new, but the day of fun hasn’t changed one bit. Camp ended today, as always, memories will continue.

It was great to be with Rev. Norman Moore – camp speaker – (see the last picture), the ENC team, and the entire Upstate New York family.

Please keep us in your prayers as we head to Pittsburgh District for a mini-tour of our LINKS district, a week of vacation, an NMI convention in Virginia, and a tour of the Mid-Atlantic District before heading back to Nairobi on August 1.

Please also pray as we continue our work and studies as we travel.

Thanks for keeping in touch!

P.S. The adults won the ballgame in the 12th inning. Youth, better luck next year.

Anniversary at Boldt castle

This past week, we enjoyed three inspiring days at ENC for the PALCON (Pastors and Leaders Conference). We were so busy taking it all in that we neglected to snap any photos! So this week, I (Greg) decided to give you a few views of Boldt Castle in the 1,000 Islands, a scenic and lesser-known part of New York State.

Boldt castle
Boldt Castle is now administered by the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority.
staircase Boldt castle
The interior has been tastefully and beautifully renovated.

If you’d like to know more of the tragic love story behind the castle, click here. Our visit in early June to the castle was a fun 3 hour boat trip along the St. Lawrence Seaway for Amy and me as we celebrated our 33rd anniversary.

little island
One of the smallest of the nearly 2,000 islands in the lower St. Lawrence Seaway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prayer requests

  1. Next week, Amy will be speaking in several sessions at the Upstate NY District Family Camp in Brooktondale, NY. At the same time, Greg will be at the MidAtlantic Distrct Family Camp in Oorstown, PA. Pray that the Lord will use us to help cast the vision for world mission and that God will call and equip a new generation of missionaries.
  2. We have just over a month to go before we return to Kenya. Ask God to help us finish strong and to protect us on the road as we continue to share about the amazing things that God is doing through Africa Nazarene University.

 

 

I love (public) libraries!

When asked what I miss about America when I am in Africa, a list topper should be public libraries. Benjamin Franklin and friends started the Library Company of Philidelphia in 1731. This organization became the foundation for the public library system that we have today (http://www.ushistory.org/franklin/philadelphia/library.htm).

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The American Library Association (ALA) estimates there are 122,566 libraries in the US: 9,214 public, 3,827 academic, 99,180 school libraries, 8,906 special libraries, 289 Armed Force libraries and 1,150 government libraries.
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We recently spent a few days at one in Warwick, New York. Literally, the Albert Wisner Public Library is one of the best. It is a wonderful place to work. In addition, it showcases a local artist, has a used bookstore in the lower level, and a community jigsaw puzzle (not shown).  Visit your library! 🙂

Today, we are at Eastern Nazarene College for PALCON. Keep the pastors and leaders of this educational region in your prayers. Good things are happening. We will share more about this event next week and how we happen to be here.