Update from Africa Nazarene University

May 1, 2009 at 7:12 am Leave a comment

Hello from ANU, land of zebras, giraffes, warthogs, and their friends…

“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you’re the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust also in him and he will do this” (Psalm 37:3-5).

I want to begin today by saying a big “THANK YOU” for your prayers concerning my sister, Rona Buttry. Her recent surgery was successful and we are hopeful she will mend quickly. As of the last report to me she was still in St. Mary’s Hospital in Knoxville, Tennessee and quite uncomfortable because of a drainage tube that remains down her throat, but thankful to be on this end of the experience. I am hoping that by this time, though I haven’t received word of it yet, that the tube has been removed and she is beginning to feel a bit more like her healthy self once again. Thanks so much for your intercession on her behalf.

The campus is as quiet now as it will be all year. In just a couple of days the new students will be coming in for orientation and then by next weekend the returning students will be back on campus for the new trimester, but for now things are quiet – and it is really nice! Like I said, it doesn’t happen very often.

We do have a group from the Friends Church (Quakers) here with us for a conference, but though they are much more lively than their American counterparts, they are still much more sedate than our students when the campus is full. They too will be gone by Sunday afternoon and then for a really short time we will be a very small ANU community.

Mary Jane and I took some time to visit the home of one of our university guards yesterday. He and his wife are the proud parents of a new baby boy named “Blessing.” They shared tea with us and we had a nice time pretending to be grandparents. We have many “children” throughout the campus community, but this is one of the first times we got to “adopt” a member of a new generation of the ANU family.

However, we have some news that we need to share with you. Our time here in Kenya and at ANU is coming to an end. There are a couple of reasons for this change in our lives. First, there are some pressing family concerns that dictate to us that we need to be back in the states, so we are feeling that we should not renew our contact for a second term. Secondly, because of the financial crunch from the world economic recession, missionaries everywhere are being asked to evaluate their status as to whether or not they plan to continue in their present work. The following is a quote from a letter that came recently from our headquarters via Dr. Louie Bustle and Dr. Jesse Middendorf:

“We are looking for some missionaries that are nearing a natural point of attrition in their service (such as retirement or the completion of their current assignment) to make the transition even sooner, if possible. We are encouraging them to contact their regional director to dialogue about such a possibility.”

Since Mary Jane and I have prayerfully decided that we will not be returning to the mission field following our current term, which ends at the end of this calendar year, and since our leaders are asking all missionaries who are considering making a change to do so as soon as possible, we are immediately beginning our search for a new place of service.

As far as a timeline, we are presently committed to the school because of the tour we are doing with the ANU Choir through the States and to the General Assembly in Orlando, Florida. We will be finished with this assignment mid-July and could be available to enter into a new ministry back in the states sometime in the month of August at the earliest.

We appreciate your prayers for guidance as we make this transition. We will continue the newsletter and keep everyone posted as to our progress toward our next assignment until we leave Africa and begin the next stage of our journey.

Our ANU choir, “The Shangilia Singers,” has just been asked to sing at the General Sunday School and Discipleship Convention in Orlando. That means, besides our twenty-four concerts commitments, we are singing five times in Orlando at the various conventions and banquets. Our students don’t have the full slate yet and probably don’t grasp all that this means, but we are highly honored by being asked to sing at these events.

We also hit another milestone today. We took a check to the travel agency to pay off the plane tickets for the choir. ANU has advanced us the money until we can get the rest of the student payments and the money we will raise in our travels, so now we have crossed another bridge. Visas are in hand, tickets are purchased, and the schedule is complete. Gallatin, Tennessee First Church of the Nazarene has donated a bus for us to use, Fort Myers, Florida First Church of the Nazarene has provided us with the money to get from New York to Indianapolis, and the Tennessee District has given us sleeping bags to use for the nights we are not booked in a concert somewhere. God, through His people, is opening so many doors for us and we are grateful beyond words!

I am a little less than two weeks away from getting on the big bird and making the long flight westward. Mary Jane and the choir will follow and arrive in Indianapolis, Indiana on the 28th of this month. Once again, here is our concert slate for the tour:

May 30 – Northeastern Indiana Mission Convention (Marion, Indiana)
May 31 (am) – Anderson, Indiana Southdale Church of the Nazarene
May 31 (pm) – Northeastern Indiana Camp Meeting (Marion, Indiana)
June 2-3 – Georgia District Mission Convention (Dublin, Georgia)
June 6 – Education Foundation Meeting (Nashville, Tennessee)
June 7 (am) – Gallatin, Tennessee First Church of the Nazarene
June 7 (pm) – Louisville, Kentucky Farmdale Church of the Nazarene
June 9 – New Albany, Indiana Christ Community Church of the Nazarene
June 10 – Hartford City, Indiana Church of the Nazarene
June 11 – Rockville, Indiana First Baptist Church
June 12 – Chicago Central District Mission Convention (Kankakee, Illinois)
June 14 (am) – Kansas City, Missouri First Church of the Nazarene
June 14 (pm) – Olathe, Kansas College Church of the Nazarene
June 15 – Church of the Nazarene Global Ministry Center (Lenexa, Kansas)
June 16 – St. Louis, Missouri South County Church of the Nazarene
June 17 – Nashville, Tennessee Trevecca Community Church of the Nazarene
June 21 (am) – Leesburg, Florida First Church of the Nazarene
June 21 (pm) – Fort Myers, Florida First Church of the Nazarene
June 23 – Clearwater, Florida First Church of the Nazarene
June 24-July 1 – Church of the Nazarene General Assembly (Orlando, Florida)
July 5 (am) – Pompano Beach, Florida First Church of the Nazarene
July 5 (pm) – Venice, Florida First Church of the Nazarene
July 8 – Redlands, Florida Church of the Nazarene
July 9 – Leave Miami, Florida for Nairobi, Kenya (via New York and Dubai)

Blessings on you all! Thanks for praying! Have a wonderful weekend!

Randy and Mary Jane James
Africa Nazarene University
Nairobi, Kenya


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Update from Africa Nazarene University Update from Africa Nazarene University

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