"I have but one candle of life to burn, and I would rather burn it out in a land filled with darkness than in a land flooded with light." --- JK Falconer

Saturday, July 16, 2011

West Virginia

Ok - here we are in WV. In Morgantown - a beautiful city. But the time we have to explore is very small. I managed to plan for much of our time here so that we spend little time actually in the city (including a week of camp for Drew in Wisconsin - see above photo)! Which has been okay since the apartment we have is quite small. It works, but I miss floor space for the boys. We did manage to get downtown today to enjoy Kid's day. This was a lot of fun - free activities and games. If you have ever seen You've Got Mail, it reminded me a lot of the scene when Tom Hanks takes the two kids to the fall festival on the streets of New York. On top of that, we got to speak French with an Aftrican mom who was in line behind us for the sno-cones. She was from Burkina Faso and her husband is currently in Togo. Too fun.

And I should mention that Andy's class is going well. He is enjoying the class - learning lots end hearing many inspiring stories. We've also made some friends with folks who have been in some really amazing places...and who are going to some really amazing places. There is even a family here who has been studying French in Quebec. Great to see boys Drew's age speaking French! This is what we are hoping for ourselves by the end of next year.

And our fundraising updates?
Monthly support: 81%
Outgoing support: 105%
And just today we got clearance to get our plane tickets. So we go ahead with our plans, stepping out in faith that the rest of the support will come in. Thank you to all who have given this past month. Our extra in the outgoing support is a great thing to have.

We hope you are all enjoying your summers! Plenty of sun to be had.
In Christ,

ps. No, the photo is not of WV. It is of Albertville where we plan to be in 6 weeks!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Update #3 - Cheers!

I'm keeping this short because life is FULL right now! We've just had the big moving sale - the house feels empty, but not empty enough as we still need to sift through stuff to get down to our three bags per person. Move out day is just around the corner.

Update on fundraising:
Monthly support: 75%
Outgoing Support: 90%

We continue to feel blessed by those who give. We are applying for our French visas even though we can't buy our tickets until we get our support in. We are moving ahead in faith that all will come in as needed. I was at a homeschool conference last week and got to chat with other missionaries there. Based on others' experiences, our support has come in much quicker than average! Makes me want to be a cheerleader for those who have signed up - "Our team is great! We've got spirit, yes we do!" So thank you, supporters. We are truly grateful!

ps. Mom got to help with the boys when I was at the conference - boy did they love that! We even helped her celebrate her birthday with a key lime pie.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Fundraising update #2

We are in May. We are three months away from leaving for France. I am starting to feel the excitement and anxiety rise! To be honest, life is so very busy that I have precious little time to worry about this big move we are about to make. Living in the moment - for better or for worse - is something I am good at. But it does not change the fact that we need our support to be in before we can leave. Where are we at?

Monthly support - 71%
Outgoing Support - 86%

It is looking very good, but we are not done, yet. We still have many who have told us they will support us but who have not yet turned in any pledge or gift. And we are waiting to hear from our home church about support. We know they want to, but how much they can give is still being worked out. So please keep praying.

Oh - and an update on the house - it is sold. We moved up the closing date and it is officially not ours anymore. We are moving out on June 13th. The more people we tell about the selling of the house, the more we realize just how rare it is to sell a house so quickly. We are very thankful as it has freed us up to work on other things. Sometimes I think God spoils us, but don't tell Him I told you that:)

We hope you have all enjoyed a good Easter and a wonderful Mother's Day.

Andy and Tony's trip to South Africa

This is Andy's wrap up from his most recent trip to South Africa. And yes, he brought Tony. They were part of a team that included three other kids, so it was not as crazy as it may sound! This trip is in partnership with ACM (Africa Christian Ministry), lead by Isiah and Mercy Mafu in eSikawini, South Africa.

Dear friends and family -

We have been home from South Africa 10 days now. I jumped straight into 10 days of call and haven't had much time to think! This morning was my first day off and I was sitting on the back porch enjoying the quiet, the sun, and our Philip Yancey book about Grace. CS Lewis once said it is the one belief unique to Christianity. What is so amazing about it? A Father who swallows his pride and filled with compassion RUNS to the son who hated him, humiliated him, wished he were dead (I want my inheritance now, thank you), not even giving his son a chance to speak before expressing his joy at the son's return. What had the son done to earn or deserve that kind of return? Nothing. Our God loves us with amazing grace. It was nice to have a morning to just sit and think about that......

Thank you for your prayers and support. Tony and I had a wonderful trip. He was amazing, so well behaved. And I surely needed his company and his infectious laugh as we dealt with typical "hiccups" along the way. (Delayed flight out of Greensboro, overnight stay and up at 0430 -- broken clutch and a 5 hour tow and van replacement). I was reminded many times by Tony or through Tony that when I lose my temper it is usually because I am too stressed or anxious or hurried to show grace. How often does our loving Father lose His temper with us? Tony was "SO EXCITED" to see the animals at the game park -- smart mommy packed some Diego binoculars that he treasured just for that purpose. He laughed and squealed in the waves and tumbled and rolled down the sand dunes at the beach. He whispered "I love you" at night even though deep down his heart still ached for his mom back home. Frisbee, piggy-back rides, tag, climbing trees. We spent more time together during this trip than ever before and I will always treasure it.

The trip was another success by many standards. We were able to hold most of our planned clinics - 5 in all. We saw around 1,000 patients including a record 419 kids on pediatric day. We handed out pain medications, vitamins, glasses, and every patient was prayed for. We shared the gospel at every clinic. No one got hurt. The vans made it up and down the mountain. The elephant we upset decided not to crunch or roll our van. The biggest impact for me was seeing the ACM ministry grow and multiply through the years. What started as an after school Bible Club in the Mafus garage so many years ago is now reaching 1000+ kids. Some of these kids are now adults like Sabelo who are evangelizing teens in the area through Impilo. This past weekend they held an outreach at a local high school and expected over a thousand teens - Sabelo preached on God's love. I have so enjoyed watching the youth grow up in the ACM ministry and have been challenged by the Mafus commitment to Jesus and sharing the gospel. I will always remember Mercy's motto "You can sleep when you're dead" (followed by her unique, spirit-lifting, and sometimes mischeivious whole body laughter). Cari and I are both looking forward to our time in Chad and wondering about a children's ministry like that where we will be staying. We have always enjoyed being involved in youth ministry and wonder if God will continue providing opportunities for it in the future.

So thank you for not just this year but 5 great years participating in these South Africa trips. We pray you will live and walk and work and talk and grow in the knowledge of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Our God who sees us from a long way off and has compassion on us and RUNS to us, though we haven't earned it and don't deserve it, and sometimes don't understand it. Grace and peace be with you always.

Siyabonga kakulu.
Sala hathle.

Andrew and Tony (and Cari and Drew) Robertson

From our most recent newsletter:

A basic question: Where are you from? But not an easy one to answer. Andy and I have different places where we grew up, different places where we have lived as a family and now we even have a different country entering our list. Where is our home?
In preparation for this move, I (Cari) read the book Third Culture Kids. It discusses certain values and struggles that many kids share who grow up in a culture different from their parents’ home culture. This will be true for Drew and Tony. One of these shared values is a new definition of home. Instead of home being a house or even a place, it is defined by the people with whom they live. This is true for us as Christians.
In our youth group last weekend, we read from Revelation 21. The New Jerusalem is a place where God dwells with His people. By definition, our future “home” is with God. It is less about where and more about with whom. Wow. With God. What an amazing home to have promised to us! And as we head to West Virginia, France and eventually Chad, we can truly say “there’s no place like home”, because God goes with us. We are so glad we will always be at home.

If you are not receiving our newsletter and would like to, please let us know! We can send it via mail or email.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Could our house actually be sold????

As you already know, we are in an economic downtime. When it comes to housing, the market is for the buyer. So when we put our house on the market, we knew that it could take some time. We also knew it could be still ours when we plan to leave this summer. What would we do? Cross that bridge when we got to it. As we prepared to leave for Minnesota/Wisconsin, I worked hard to get the house ready. Andy and our friend Abi helped. The boys, not so much. But I felt that getting it ready for showings while we were out of it for 2 weeks would be very wise. Just the thought of not having to get it ready each time someone wanted to see it...very appealing. But would anybody want to see it? I am still in MN. The house has been on the market two weeks. We have had three showings. Not bad. But here is the really good part. One of those who came to look at the house has given us an offer. Can this really be true? Looks like there will be a family enjoying our house when we leave this summer to move into our new one. God is so good. We certainly don't deserve it. Thank you for your prayers. As far as support, it continues to grow. We are at 40%.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fundraising update

Well - here we are in March and we are now up to 35% support raised for our annual expenses and 21% raised for our outgoing expenses. Wow! Thank you to everyone who has given. We have also been able to meet with two churches in Michigan where people overwhelmed us with their support and compassion for the people of Chad. We are continuing to meet and talk with churches and add daily to our list people to contact. Now if only I could get on track with my French studies as well as teaching the boys some basic French!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

We are headed back to Chad - this time for a good long stay!

Just in case any readers of this did not know, we have decided to move to Chad. We are still in the fundraising and friendraising stage, but it will be here before we know it! This summer Andy is taking a class on tropical medicine and by August we hope to be travelling to France for language lessons. If languages comes to us as quickly (or as slowly) as we think, we will back in Chad during the summer of 2012. We will be anxious by then to see those we met again. Feel free to contact us for more information about our preparations. We hope to use the blog as a way to keep folks updated on our progress.

So here is our first update:
We have 26% of our yearly expenses pledged!
We have 14% of our outgoing expenses (language school and moving expenses) collected!
We have already felt overwhelmed by peoples' generosity.
We still have several courses to finish including Biblical studies and home schooling. We still need to get our house ready and placed on the market for selling.

Thank you for your continued support and prayers!