Statement from Patrick & Jamie Nachtigall,
(Church of God Regional Coordinators for Europe/Middle East)
Recently, the news from Egypt has been disturbing and many have been concerned about the security of Ken and Keli Oldham who serve on the Three Worlds Team as Pastors to the Middle East. We are happy to report that the Church of God congregations in Egypt and the Oldham family are safe and they remain encouraged and strong in faith. Though there have been great disruptions, The Oldhams’ ministry has been flourishing during this year of crisis.
As Regional Coordinators for Europe and the Middle East, we take the physical, emotional, and spiritual safety of all of our missionaries very seriously. In the current situation of the Oldhams and Egypt, we assess the risk level in a number of ways:
- Examining the statements released by the U.S. embassy in Cairo
- Getting the latest information from corporate security services
- Speaking with staff at the school where Grace and Titus are enrolled (this school is a designated meeting area in case of emergency for US citizens and has a lot of experience enduring crises in Egypt)
- Assessing the danger level of the suburb where the Oldhams live and the areas where they work
- Talking with a large network of connections which includes local Egyptians, business people, and U.S. government employees
- Examining the safety of the roads leading to the international airport
- Maintaining regular contact with the Oldhams via text message, skype, email, and personal visits
Our greatest and most immediate need is regarding their youngest son, 10-year old Zeke Oldham. He has been attending a small Christian school in a different part of town from where his brother and sister study. We have become increasingly concerned about that for a number of reasons: in the case of emergency the Oldham children need to be at one location where Ken and Keli can quickly get to them; the school is located next to 2-3 Islamic schools and has experienced some harassment in the past; the school property is next to a large square and has only one exit, so the children can be easily trapped; there is a chance the school may have difficulty opening this fall due to a decline in enrollment. Grace and Titus attend an international school much more secure and experienced in dealing with crises. Consequently, we are making the decision to move Zeke Oldham to the school where his siblings attend.
Recent events have made the financial situation difficult for the Oldhams and this move toward a safer school will increase the financial strain on the Oldhams and their Living Link budget. We are asking churches and individuals to give a one-time donation, raise their level of support, or even better, join Ken and Keli Oldham as Living Link partners. If you are unable to help now, a pledge to give in the future would also help immensely. We believe it is vital to move Zeke to his new school as soon as possible. In the coming days, Patrick will be on the ground in Egypt visiting with the Oldham family and checking in on their safety and discussing these issues.
When Ken and Keli Oldham decided to become part of the Three Worlds Team spearheading our efforts to minister in the Middle East, they knew they were moving to a volatile part of the world. They continue to feel called to the Middle East and the ministry opportunities continue to grow. Our churches and congregations in Egypt are safe, but they are suffering economically and are under tremendous stress. There is much to be done and Three Worlds and the Oldhams remain committed to staying there as long as possible while taking the safety of the family—especially the children – into consideration. We can assure you that there is a “red line” which if crossed will result in the Oldhams being re-located.
Please join us in supporting and praying for the church in Egypt and the Oldham family.
Patrick and Jamie Nachtigall
Regional Coordinators for Europe/Middle East
To assist the Oldhams please contact:
Living Link Coordinator, Church of God Ministries
Checks payable to Church of God Ministries may be sent to:
P.O. Box 2420
Anderson, IN 46018
Memo: Oldhams – 42.10024
Or contribute online: http://chogmissions.org/node/44
FOR FURTHER SPECIFIC QUESTIONS, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT THE NACHTIGALLS OR OLDHAMS DIRECTLY. CONTACT LINKS ARE PROVIDED ON THIS WEBSITE.