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The final week in October was fall break for our children and we took the opportunity to see some African animals at the Nairobi Game Park with some friends.  We were flying to Kenya for our 3 day Africa Area Missionary Retreat for the Free Methodist Church that is held every two years.  We simply lengthened the week and enjoyed special treats like shops, eating in burger restaurants, and spending time with friends, and finally going on SAFARI.

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After three years on the African continent our most common question from friends in the USA is what animals have we seen.  We are now able to answer more than the hippos and crocodiles that are found in Burundi.

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But as we said, that was not the only reason for our excursion.  We also were greatly encouraged and challenged by attending the African Area Missionary Retreat with other lovely people from Kenya, Nigeria, Congo, Rwanda, and the USA at a retreat center called Brackenhurst.

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Pastor Gerry and Jan Coates challenged us, Bishop and Lavone Kendall ministered, and Mike and Vicki Reynen led the program.  It was fun to be chilly as most of us work in very hot climates.  We bundled up in scarfs and coats and enjoyed some blazing fires!  The children were disappointed that we didn’t have marshmallows :).

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 A particular highlight for our children was being with fellow missionary kids, Nasya and Nathan Myers.  They came away full of joy and energy after this time of connecting.  We were particularly grateful for Chelsea Reifschneider who came as a volunteer to plan the kids activities and ministered to them by truly being with them.  She will not soon be forgotten!

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So thank you to each of you who pray for us and support us financially.  We are breathing deeper, laughing harder and pushing ahead with renewed passion and energy as we finish out 2014 and look ahead to 2015!

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