The Kids . . . a singer and a dancer

Some of you have been asking how the kids are.  Well they are doing well.  Noah is growing like a weed.  He goes to preschool 1/2 day 5 times a week, he loves the Avengers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Spiderman and Grandma and Grandpa.  He likes to run, kick balls and hit things with his bat.  Nathanael loves to walk and do anything his brother is doing except sleep between 2 and 4 am!  Attached below is a small video.  Hope you enjoy!

 

God Bless

Fred, Lydia, Noah and Nathanael

PS Please also see our updated prayer requests as we head into this new year and our updated pictures.

 

 

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Reflections and Preparations

It has been a couple of months now since we have made the decision to go back to Togo and a lot has happened.

Reflections

The biggest event has been the passing of a colleague, Todd Dekryer, from Lassa Fever, a less-deadly, but still deadly cousin to Ebola. Nothing more shakes resolve than personal loss and or something that becomes personal. We and/or our children could die in Togo! Talk about some sobering thoughts.

Arrogance and pride are strong motivating factors.  However, when you get shaken, pride and arrogance seem to loose there hold and are replaced by questions of purpose and meaning.  Purpose and meaning have sense only in the presence of something bigger than ourselves. For us this in Jesus Christ. Our purpose and meaning is to glorify Him, to provide an example of an “alternative” way to live, and to tell others through our actions and words that they are loved and prayed for.

We have been on the outside of the events that passed at the Hospital of Hope in Mango Togo but have been deeply shaken by the events. We are saddened by the loss, hurt for our colleagues who are going through this experience and resolved to continue along our path to join them in Togo.

Preparation

The preparation to go to Togo continues.

Under the title of tasks completed, we have renewed our US passports and have registered for language school in Albertville, France. We are in the process of confirming whether or not we need VISA’s as Fred and Noah hold Swiss passports.

Under tasks to be done, we are hoping to touch base with all our financial supporters over the next two months (April and May), to re-confirm their support and the timing of the support. We have to have all our support in and/or started by the end of May to ensure clearance from ABWE in time to start language school in September 2016. From there we have to get our immunization up to date and confirm airline tickets.

Under other tasks, Lydia has been busy studying for her medical re-certification exam ( May 7th -written exam and May 14th practical exam). Fred has been busy maintaining the house hold (cooking, being the “fix-it” man, a lot of yard work, assisting in the renovations of the church kitchen, volunteering at MAG church every Monday afternoon, driving Noah to daycare, filing taxes, and completing the first bible course).  If he ever trivialized the role of a home-maker, he says he was truly mistaken!

Other Stuff

But life has not been without “fun”.

Noah and Nathanael both had birthdays in March. Noah is now 4 years old and Nathanael 1 year old. We celebrated their birthdays on March 19th with a small party that included friends locally and from Indianapolis and Grandma and Grandpa Childress.

DSC09695On March 13th we participated in a Missions Conference at Gibson City Bible Church in Gibson IL. We had a great time in fellowship with the church family, two other missionary couples and the Banner family. There is one thing we often note and that is the love, support and encouragement we have received from people. Thank you very much!

God Bless

Fred, Lydia, Noah and Nathanael

PS  Do not forget to look at our picture page, prayer page and financial page.

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Thank you . . .

12728960_10208617286450608_7658140327934469575_nWe wanted to share with you the life and testimony of one of our friends and colleagues, Todd DeKryger.  He had worked on the southern hospital in Togo as a PA and surgeon for many years.  Along side him was his wife and 4 boys.  A few years ago he had a passion develop for opening a second ABWE hospital in the northern part of Togo as a continued outreach to the Togolese and a growing Muslim population.  They had opened the new Hospital of Hope in March of 2015 with a lot of hard work and prayers.  He and the doctors there have been working a lot of long hours since the opening.

At the beginning of this week we heard that he had fell ill and was hospitalized and was having surgery for further evaluation.  At that time we began to share his story on Facebook and ask for prayers.  Shortly after that he began to decline and there was a lot of prayers for him making it to the airplane to get him to Germany and a bigger hospital.  Less than 24 hours after arriving he passed away.

Todd’s wife, Jennifer, wrote a letter after his passing that summarizes Todd’s life and passion and the peace and joy that only God gives.  Please be in prayer for their family and for the Togo mission team that’s left.

Jennifer’s letter this morning:
Today, Jesus called Todd home from the work he was doing planting and harvesting in Togo. In the mystery of His will, God chose this day to reward Todd with the unequaled joy of heaven. This is the promise of God that we as believers cling to through tears and pain. Todd poured out his life as an offering to God in Togo. I know that Todd would similarly encourage us who remain here for a little while longer to also be faithful in our service to our King (Philippians 2:17). Please continue praying and ask Jesus to bring comfort to William, Grant, Luke, and Drew. Ask that His Spirit would provide peace that is beyond the knowledge of this world. Keep praying that the boys grow strong in their knowledge of God’s Word so they can live out the legacy that their father has given to them. Also, pray that our Father in heaven would send more workers like Todd to the beautiful fields of Togo where the harvest is so great!
My heart is overwhelmed with unspeakable grief – for myself, our boys, our extended family, our spiritual family and the Hospital of Hope team. I cling only to the gospel and the certain hope of our salvation through Jesus Christ. I long for the men, women and children of Togo to know the Savior that Todd served so faithfully. Even in my pain, I am confident that our sacrifice – that Todd’s sacrifice – was worth it. I believe that the great commission is a cause worth dying for. And in the midst of my grief, I fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith.

Also see a video showing Todd’s passion and vision:

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Dad’s new toy (Nathanael’s first steps)

It is sure awesome to watch a child grow.  From Noah’s first steps, to him learning numbers, the alphabet, and now the sounds letters make.  Now it’s Nathanael turn.  At 4 days shy of 11 months he is making the decision to take his first steps.  I think he is as fascinated at walking as his parent are watching him.

Psalm 127:3 Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.

God Bless

Fred, Lydia, Noah and Nathanael

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We are going to Togo! – 2016 February Newsletter

DSC08476Happy February!

Did I say WE ARE GOING TO TOGO!  Read all about it in our latest Newsletter.  Our  2016 February Newsletter  is now posted.  Let us share with you what we have been doing and how God’s been working in our lives.  Go to our website under “newsletter” tab or click here.

Please also see our updated prayer requests, pictures and financial pages.

God bless

Fred, Lydia, Noah and Nathanael

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The origin of Ice Cream! and Season Greetings.

Noah continues to be a joy for us.  The other day it was his friends and him that taught us the origins of ice cream (see video below).

Outside of that, just wanting to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  We have one more interview, one more Togo Presentation and a handful of CME (continuing medical education courses) to-go.

By the 11th of December we are hoping to be back in Madison, Indiana for some extended down time and careful / prayerful consideration of our future.

We want to say a sincere THANK YOU to all –  family, friends, those who listen to our Togo Presentation and those who interviewed us for possible jobs despite our uncertainty.

Our present prayer is that HIS direction becomes very clear!

God Bless

Fred, Lydia, Noah and Nathanael

 

 

 

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Summer Newsletter 2015

Nattiers & us

Our Summer Newsletter is now posted!  Let us share with you what we have been doing and how God’s been working.  Go to our website under “newsletter” tab or click here.

Please also see our updated prayer requests, pictures and financial pages.

God bless

Fred, Lydia, Noah and Nathanael

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At Peace and Thank You very much

If I ever thought God talks to me, I would say he does it through the peace he gives me during a crisis and/ or busy time. Our trip back to and our first month back in the USA is 11232904_10204787690271298_2664629645280174490_nno exception. Yes, we have questions about our future –will God open the door for another 30 months in France / Africa? – and, yes, we are busy –9 presentations, 7 interviews –but despite this, we are at peace. And in and with this peace we are given the confidence that He is watching over us, and that everything will work out for his glory.

Our trip back to the US from Togo was long but uneventful –thanking God! We showed up in Indianapolis with 7 of our 8 bags, and into the arms of Lydia’s parents, Dave and Ann Childress and a long-time friend, Kharon. It was nice. Thank you very much!

From there we travelled home to Madison, Indiana and got settled in to our temporaryDSC08779 home for the next 6 months. This was followed with trips to Edgewood, Kentucky; Quincy, Illinois; Bowen, Illinois; and Indianapolis, Indiana where we not only got to meet friends and supporter to share our story and thank them for their support, but tell them about our future plans and ask them if they would be willing to continue supporting us. The response so far has been very encouraging more so for the “familiar” feeling that has been felt in each of these gathering. We are left with no doubt that not only are our blogs and newsletters read on a regular basis, but that we have been prayed for and are loved like family. Thank you very much!IMG_8668

In between our travel schedule we had a Childress family re-union at the home of Dave and Ann. During this time we got to visit with not only Lydia’s parents again, but Lydia’s brother and sister and their families. Since our departure 2 years ago, the grandkids have grown from 3 to 5 with the newest members being Ezra Childress born in November 2014 and Nathanael Pfenniger,DSC08960 born in March 2015. The time was fantastic. We played on a slip and slid, ate barbecue food, shared our presentation, and had a night of fireworks that was fit for a king. I think I can say without a doubt that the grandkids most favorite person is “Granddad”. Thank you very much!

As we head into the month of August our schedule will continue to be busy and it will be so until the beginning of December. Between now and then we will be making 8 more presentation, visiting Samaritan’s Purse headquarters for a debriefing of our time in Togo, possibly attending ABWE orientation program for short term missionaries, making two trips to the West Coast –the first one on August 13 to visit family and pick up our van, and the second in November to attend a week long missions conference. Intermixed in all this will be a number of interviews. We continue to be blessed not only with the support– financial and spiritually –that we have received, but with the understanding people have shown as we take the next six months to investigate, pray, and listen to God and what step He will have us take next. Thank you very much.

Please see our updated prayer request page, picture page and our present level of financial support.

God Bless

Fred, Lydia, Noah and Nathanael

P.S. Our Updated Schedule:

August 6 to 10 Rogers Arkansas
August 13 Fly out to Vancouver BC
August 16 Temple Baptist Tacoma
August 20 Tacoma Family Medicine Residency Tacoma
August 24 to Oct 2nd Multiple states and family medicine clinics
Oct 11 / 12 Milton United Methodist
Oct 13 – 15 Samaritans Purse Headquarters
Oct 17 to 19 Kirksville Missouri
Oct 23 to 26 Fisher Illinois
Oct 28 to 30 ?? ABWE orientation
Nov 7th IWU Marion Indiana
Nov 8 to 15th Temple Baptist Tacoma Washington
Nov 16 – 23 ?? Grandview Michigan
1st week Dec MAG Madison Indiana

 

 

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We are going . . .

Oh how time flies. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow is upon us. We just started work and now we have just finished work. Our last day of work was June 14th. For the last two weeks we have be doing some visiting, saying our good byes and packing.

DSC08158We were blessed with a trip to Mango in northern Togo where ABWE has opened a new hospital. It was a long tripDSC08270 but well worth it to see what God was doing there through ABWE. It is a beautiful 60 bed facility that is attracting literally bus-loads of sick people from not only Togo but the surrounding countries. On the way home we visited a nature reserve in Kara. There we got to spend some time with three elephants (the only ones in Togo!), who we got to feed and pet. Upon our arrival home we hosted a DSC08366three day open house for the national hospital and clinic staff to come and visit prior to our departure. Seventy-two people showed up! It was truly a refreshing time to spend with so many. During this time words were shared, laughter was had, prayers said, and tearsDSC08382 shed. One thing is for sure that we will miss this place and the people here!

From there we have been packing –reducing our house down from multiple rooms to seven suitcases –and planning for our return, writing emails, setting up doctor appointments, and church presentations and reaching out for funding (to see our present needs and commitments click here). It feels like we are leaving one busy place for another. At the same time we are excited, nervous, happy, and anxious in anticipating the transition/change that is in progress, not sure of where we will end up but at peace that God is in control.

God Bless

Fred, Lydia, Noah and Nathanael

Pfenniger

P.S. Our present schedule is such:

July 4th -5th                                            ⇒ flying home, Madison Indiana

July 7Th                                                  ⇒ Florence Kentucky, Grace Fellowship

July 9th / 13th / 14th / 15th / 16th           ⇒ doctor / dentist appointments

July 16th-19th ?                                  ⇒Florence/Edgewood, KY

July 22 to July 27th                             ⇒ Quincy Illinois, Bowen Christian Church – Quincy Family Medicine Residency Program

July 29 to Aug 3rd                                 ⇒ Madison Indiana, Childress family reunion

Aug 5th to Aug 10th                                ⇒ Rogers, Arkansas

Aug 13th ??                                             ⇒ flying out to Vancouver BC

Aug 15 /16 / 17                                      ⇒ Tacoma Washington, Temple Baptist Church

Aug 18th to Oct 7th                                  ⇒ Travel back to Madison Indiana visiting family / friends / supporters / clinics; exact schedule – route still to be defined; need to visit multiple states

Oct 11 / 12th                                            ⇒ Milton, Kentucky, Milton United Methodist Church

Oct 16 / 17 / 18 / 19 ??                         ⇒ Kirksville, Missouri

Oct 20 to 26th ??                                    ⇒ Fisher, Illinois

Oct 27 to 30th                                         ⇒ Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (ABWE)

Nov 7th                                                     ⇒ Marion, Indiana, Indiana Wesleyan University

Nov 8th to Nov 15                                   ⇒ Tacoma Washington, Temple Baptist Missions Conference

P.P.S. See our updated (or soon to be) pictures and prayer page as well  AND please email us (mail@fredandlydia.com) if you would like to see if we can “squeeze you in” to our visiting schedule 😉

 

 

 

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Spring Newsletter 2015

Picture.tifAnd he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us . . . . 
Acts 17:26-27
 

Our Spring Newsletter is now posted!  Let us share with you where we’re going and when and how God’s been working.  Go to our website under “newsletter” tab or click here.   Hope you are having a blessed new year.

Please also see our updated prayer requests as we head into this new year and our updated pictures.

God bless

Fred, Lydia, Noah and Nathanael

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