Dear Friends,

 Thanks for taking the time to check out our blog.  Just to bring you up to date:  Jenn and I and four of our children will be leaving for a 3 month trip to Africa on Monday, July 20.  I will be working in rural western Kenya at Tenwek mission hospital where I will be taking care of patients, performing surgery, assisting in the training of young surgeons and giving the long-term missionary surgeons a much needed break. Jenn and the children will be actively involved in ministry at several orphanages within an hour drive of the hospital.  Most of you know that Jenn is a nurse and I am really hoping it works out for Jenn to spend some time in the OR with me this trip to learn how to pass instruments and assist me in surgery.  Our children are looking forward to seeing their friends at Tenwek and love to spend time taking hikes in the hills, playing soccer and visiting the orphanages.  My son Matt and his new bride Mandi will be at the Penn State University as Matt starts his first year of law school. 

 That said, as we prepare to leave we would really appreciate your prayers for us.  About a month ago I felt like the Lord impressed on my heart that—even though we have done this trip many times before, even though we are going into a familiar place, even though we are visiting some of our dear friends—we still need continual, vigilant prayer coverage.  So for the next few days we would be grateful if you would remember to pray for “traveling mercies” as we leave Houston, spend 2 days in Amsterdam, one in Nairobi and then drive to Tenwek.  Specifically that all our luggage would arrive (we have 4 bags with supplies for the hospital and the missionaries), that God would protect us on the drive from Nairobi to Tenwek next Saturday morning. Remember to pray that our transition would be easy and we would remain healthy and strong during our three months away.  Pray against the forces of darkness that would try to prevent us from doing what God has called us to do.  And pray that we would be a blessing and encouragement and bring healing and hope to everyone God brings across our path.

 Psalm 27 has been such a blessing to me for the last few weeks.  David says:  I remain confident of this:  I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. 

 We are looking forward to seeing what good things God has in store during the next 3 months.  We will try to bring you updates regularly so check our blog and follow us on our journey over the months to come.  Thanks in advance for your prayers.