Sunday, March 1, 2015


Dear Family and Friends,

It has been a season of changes for the Koontz family and the trend continues.  This May we will fly out of Madagascar and away from the Africa Mercy to relocate to East Texas.  I (Peter) will be remaining with Mercy Ships, volunteering at the International Operations Center (IOC) in Maritime Training.  Dara will home-school Xavier, and the older three will enter the public school system in Van, the small city where we will live.

For those that are already financially supporting us we prayerfully ask that you continue to do so.  In fact, we are asking those who have not supported us financially in the past to consider doing so, as living in the states will cost more than living in Africa. Monthly contributions are excellent as they help us to plan better financially.  One time donations to assist with the huge costs involved with relocation (airfare, stocking the pantry, buying a vehicle, etc.) are also very welcome.  Though our location will be different, we will continue to serve in the same organization and contribute to the same mission: bringing hope and healing to the poor through free specialized surgical intervention.  Training hits the sweet spot of my gifts and skills, and I am looking forward to helping ensure that the crew on Mercy Ships vessels is equipped to handle the challenges of shipboard life.

The back story:
We have been prayerful for some time about our future and next steps.  We had a family meeting and collectively felt that God was asking us to close this season of our lives on the Africa Mercy and relocate to the US.  We didn't have much more clarity than that.  In the ensuing weeks we continued to discuss and pray.  God revealed that our time on the Africa Mercy is coming to a close but that He would like us to continue to serve with Mercy Ships. For us this is a leap of faith to trust God in all we do.

As you can perhaps imagine or identify with, we are in a bitter-sweet place.  We are grateful to have clear direction from the Lord and there are many things we are excited about experiencing in the United States - some of us for the first time (Xavier has never lived there and Malachi was 4 when we came to Mercy Ships) - like pets, being closer to family, our own kitchen, and being able to drive a car without having to check the sign out book to see if one is available!  That said, it is also difficult to say goodbye to such a special home, so many wonderful people, and, of course, to Africa. 

Please join us in prayer and perhaps financially as we embark on this next step in the grand adventure that God has for us.

Please also don't hesitate to contact us with any comments, questions, prayers, encouragement, etc.

The Koontz Family