Deborah, Joe, and Christa Troester in front of Victoria Falls last Christmas.
The Zambezi River discharge was very low due to the area experiencing the largest drought in about 25 years.
A month ago, we announced that we were leaving our position in Zambia at the end of April and returning to the U.S. Two weeks later, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America requested that all mission personnel return immediately to the United States. It took a few days to pack and get plane tickets, but we finally left Lusaka on March 23 with three suitcases apiece (the same number we arrived in Africa with, back in 2006). After two days, three flights, four airports, and a long layover, we arrived in St. Louis and spent a night in a hotel. The next day we rented a car and drove to Carbondale, Illinois, where Deborah’s parents live. We are now spending two weeks self-isolation, just to be on the safe side.
We had several trips planned this summer, but all have been canceled or put on indefinite hold. We had hoped to visit some of our supporting congregations, but due to the pandemic, those plans have been cancelled. We are sorry, because we would have enjoyed the chance to visit with you all again.
Deborah is hoping to find a call, and Joe is starting to look for a water-resources position dealing with the developing world. Like everything else, those job searches have also been disrupted, but we will continue reaching out by e-mail and other digital means.
We are very grateful to all of you who have supported us and accompanied us on this journey of faith throughout these past 14 years. Thank you for your prayers and continued support. We pray for all of you that you, your families, churches, and communities may stay safe and healthy. When Joe was advisor for the water project in the Central African Republic, in addition to providing clean drinking water, he emphasized the importance of handwashing to prevent disease. What we taught in Africa is just as true in the U.S.—washing your hands is one of the best things you can do to stay healthy in any situation.
You are all in our prayers.
“May the peace of Christ, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”—Philippians 4:7
Joe and Deborah Troester
For the time being, you can contact us at Joe.Troester@elca.org and Deborah.Troester@elca.org After we leave ELCA-GM, we can be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Joe and Deborah have been ELCA—Global Mission missionaries serving in several African countries since 2006. Most recently, they lived in Lusaka, Zambia, where they worked with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zambia (ELCZa). Their daughter, Christa, is a senior at the University of Southern California, where she is studying French and Film & Television Production (on-line, from her off-campus apartment right now!)
Your Support Makes A World Of Difference! Here's How To Give:
In all of this, we thank God for you—for your prayers and for your financial support over the years. We couldn’t do it without you! If you have been supporting us through the ELCA, they will be contacting you soon to encourage you to continue your missionary support by sponsoring one of our colleagues. All missionaries who are sponsorable are listed on the giving page www.elca.org/missionarygiving Your gift to ELCA missionaries makes their ministry possible. More than 150 missionaries serve in over 40 countries around the world, invited by global church partners to work together hand-in-hand. Some are doctors, others are teachers, and still others are pastors, theological educators, communication specialists and more. No matter where or how they serve, every one of these missionaries needs your prayers, support and gifts to succeed in their work.
To give by mail, make checks payable to Global Mission and send to: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, PO Box 1809, Merrifield, VA 22116-8009.
To give by phone, call 800-638-3522 and donate with a credit card. Operators are ready to assist you, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Central Time.