Thursday, March 10, 2016

Prayer Update

To our supporters,

Thank you so much for all the well wishes and responses. It means a lot. This was not in the plan. We have so much more to do here. Jeri's hospitalization was not how we intended to leave Africa. Our plan to leave involved establishing a reserve fund to purchase return tickets getting set up back in America. Part of Jeri's reason for returning was to fundraiser toward that investment. Now this emergency is thrust upon us. We need to get home and money we would have received and saved over time is required immediately. We likely have a month before Jeri's recuperation plan is in place and our affairs in Uganda are settled.

Would you consider a final gift to bring us home? We will always serve the kingdom but this is going to take us out of full-time service. We have a lot to process and get though before we settle back in the States but in the diminishing capacity which Jeri sees herself facing we don't see a way to continue forward as donor supported missionaries.

We felt God had a third act for us but didn't know how and when this season of service would come to a close. The return of Jeri's MS may be the most definitive answer possible, short of how we began this journey fourteen years ago. We thank all of those who have supported us through prayer and giving. You have been the most generous people we could ever know and we are humbled by your faithfulness. We will be here until we get enough so if you can't give one lump sum please continue to give monthly until we save up the total amount.

May god bless you exponentially as you have blessed us,
The Clarks

Please Pray: Jeri is in the Hospital

It was going to be a lovely brief trip back to America with the opportunity to deliver a friend's baby and connect with family and supporters. Even before Jeri really got to see people her Multiple Sclerosis (MS) put her in the hospital. She is currently at East Texas Medical Center finishing up a five day steroid treatment and looking forward to several weeks of rehabilitation.

Jeri's last bout with MS was a flare up July 4, 2011. After a summer of follow up meds and a fall of recuperation the MS went into remission and she has been symptom free for almost five years. We came to Africa with a clean bill of health and are grateful for the health God gave her for as long as He did. Without presuming too much we count it as grace that she was in America during this attack and had availability to adequate medical resources. There is no treatment here and would likely have required her to be medivacked to South Africa.

As she moves toward recovery we will try to match her progress with our next step. She cannot come back to Uganda. So if Jeri can't come to the family the family must go to Jeri. I spoke with her this morning and then sat down with the children. We talked about what our next steps might be. They miss their mom and now even more so that she is hurting. They are also very sad about leaving this place. Over the past two years of other expats coming and going they had finally began to firm up friendships. But they want to get home to be with mom.

I sat down with the Hopeland Director soon after and wept on their couch for hope and God's guidance. We are going to start settling our affairs here. We wanted to email you before we posted on Facebook because you have been so faithful to pray in the past. Please pray for Jeri. She needs healing. We'll send out another update soon. Thank you.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

March Update from the Clark Family

Welcome to March. If you are reading this and you have not seen my wife find her on Facebook and seek her out. When you meet her tell her we miss her in Africa. If you have the time, buy her coffee or a meal. She is on assignment now to deliver a baby and visit those who sent us but she can still take time to make connections. Please keep her busy. The more she has to do the less she might miss us. It was unforeseeable that her making this journey alone would amount to her feeling like the sole survivor of the African Expedition. It is the blessing of our era that we can reach across oceans and communicate almost daily but it isn’t the same as wrapping your arms around them and squeezing. I fear Jeri is not getting her quotient of daily hugs. She normally gets hugged daily by six different people, so y’all have to make an effort to compensate.

Keeping us busy here is the Sustainable Agriculture School. Eleven Africans and one white girl from central California have come to Hopeland to learn how to transform the agriculture practices of this nation. This is the same school that brought us here in 2014 and now I am on staff. For our family this is the fulfillment of the vision to bring transformation to Africa. Last school the ratio of foreigner to local was five to seven. Almost all of those seven students were able to direct one or two new students for this class. Clearly the white people didn’t agriculturally evangelize as effectively. This school was never intended to transform Americans. They are welcome and the skills we learned are good solid sustainable techniques but this is a school in Africa for Africans. As a staff we can’t wait to see what these new students are capable of next.

The children are back in the routine of homeschool, volleyball, and the local homeschool co-op. They are moving through their workbooks, some donated math textbooks, computer teaching programs, a local language teacher, reading books on their internet tablets, and once a week I lead the world history lesson. Zoe has stepped up to cover Jeri’s absence as well as finishing up her own high school curriculum. If she keeps up this pace she will graduate from school this spring and be ready for the next adventure in life. We couldn’t do this without her and also can’t wait to see what she is capable of next.

Thank you for persevering with us to see this realization of vision. It might have been enough to just be here and grow food to feed people. Seeing this school forming and repeating has gone above our expectations. When this school finishes this summer our participation (your support also makes you participants) will be a part of the blessing these Africans bring to their nation. These are relationships that have eternal consequences. Thank you for sending us to be a part of it.

Oh yeah, she is learning how to drive.