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Family Gathered

When we first learned of the severity of Roberta's illness on October 10, our children were on three continents.  We thank God that they have returned home to help their mother and each other through this very difficult time.  Christiana's husband, Marten Naaktgeboren, will arrive shortly.  You can click on the images in this website to enlarge the photos.

Nearly three years ago (January 5, 2010), our daughter Christiana married Marten Naaktgeboren at our home church, Valley Presbyterian Church in North Hills, CA.  The banner photo from this website commemorates that wonderful day.  Christiana and Marten are now serving in eastern Africa with Water Missions, a Christiaan engineering organzation serving the water and sanitation needs of people in developing countries and disaster areas.  Marten is the regional director for Water Missions and oversees work in Uganda and neighboring countries. Christiana is serving as Community-Development - Health Research Coordinator.  Christiana and Marten learned of Roberta's illness while traveling between Burundi and Rawanda where they  had been working on a water system for an orphanage among the Twa (Pigmey) people of Burundi, one of the world's poorest nations.  Christiana flew home from Kigali, Rawanda, so that she could be with us.  Marten is flying home to meet us October 19.  We are refreshed in spirit to have Christiana with us and to know that Marten will be here soon.

After completing his coursework in environmetntal studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Stephen flew to Uganda to assist Christiana and Marten in their work with Water Missions. He then flew to Delhi, India, in preparation for an eccological research program in the Himalays.  The program was delayed for a number of days due to very heavy monsoons, but eventually they began their research trek. We knew Stephen was trekking through some of the most remote regions of the world and we were concerned that we would be unable to reach him.   Stephen was in a small village in the Darma Valley of the Indian Himalays when he received word of his mother's illness.  Wasting no time, he hired a driver for a 24-hour trek out of Himalays to Delhi.  After a very wild ride and a few flat tires, Stephen arrived at the airport and was able to book a flight home.  Although he did not get our message until Tuesday night our time, he was able to get out of the Himalays, to the the airport, and to our home by Friday night.  It is a great comfort to have Stephen here with us. 

Our youngest son, John, is an engineering major at the University of California, Santa Barabara.  When John heard of Roberta's condition, he shared the news with his room mates who then joined together to pray for Roberta.  The next morning he drove home to be with us in the hospital.  He has assisted us in a variety of tasks, and has been a great encouragement to Roberta. He has visited with his mother and has read many encouraging passages from the Bible.  It has been a tremendous blessing to have John with us during much of  stay in the hospital.

We are tremendously thankful to be joined by our children during this very challenging time.  The first week has been extremely intense and busy, and we know that the days ahead will hold their own challenges and blessings as we deal with the difficulties of Roberta's condition, while rejoicing in the wonderful life we have shared together.