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King University News :: Answering The Call :: Strangs and Arndts Embark on Mission to the Maasai After Year-Long Planning

Helping students understand King University’s mission of transforming culture in Christ is one of the Rev. Dr. Fred Foy Strang's favorite things about his service at King University. Later this year, Fred Foy and Cecily Strang, along with two King alumni, Chase (’08) and Audrey (Moore) Arndt (’11), will join together in enacting this vision as they answer the call and embark on a 3 1/2 year missionary deployment in an underserved area of East Africa.

Fred Foy and Cecily have worked as missionaries to the Maasai for the past 30 years. “Ever since our return from missionary service as young adults with young children, Cecily and I have been open to and explored ways and means to return to Africa in a full time capacity,” commented Fred Foy. “This opportunity with Chase and Audrey really began to develop about year prior as we committed to prayer and seeking God's hand of direction.” In November of 2013, The Antioch Partners (TAP) accepted the Strangs and Arndts as missionaries. Their mission will take them on a journey to serve the indigenous Maasai near the borders of Kenya and Tanzania.

God's call on the Strang's lives to serve in cross-cultural ministry has been evident since childhood. As youth, Fred Foy served Hispanic migrant farm workers while Cecily grew up as the daughter of Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) national missionaries to Appalachia in both Kentucky and West Virginia.

In 1982, Fred Foy first began his service with the Maasai people in East Africa. Not long after, Cecily and Fred Foy met at the New Wilmington Missionary Conference, were married in 1984, and, after a time of academic preparations, moved to Kenya with their new, growing family to live and work with the Maasai in the Great Rift Valley. The Strangs served in partnership with the PCUSA and the Presbyterian Church of East Africa.

At the conclusion of this time of mission service, the Strangs returned to the United States, serving church congregations and the university in American culture. They began their service at King University in 2005 – Fred Foy as chaplain, professor of Missions, Philosophy, and Religion, and dean of the Peeke School of Christian Mission; and Cecily as a lecturer for King’s School of Nursing.

Throughout these varied posts, the mission to serve the underserved among the Maasai has been vitally connected. The Strangs have returned to East Africa every year--with mission teams, with their two boys, Jesse and Jacob, and in solo ventures.

“The deep relationships cultivated over the past 30 years are astounding and humbling,” said Fred Foy. “It is a joy for us to be able to return to full-time missionary service with The Antioch Partners, a mission sending partner of the Presbyterian Frontier Fellowship and Outreach Foundation. Also, it is a special joy to be serving with a dynamic young couple, Chase and Audrey Arndt.” The Arndts have been in partnerships with the Strangs in study, service, and mission for a number of years and this TAP team effort is an exciting new venture.”

Chase and Audrey also have been led by God’s hand to service in Africa. Audrey went on her first mission trip to Africa in 2008. During her time at King, Audrey connected with Fred Foy, learning of his mission work in Africa.  “It was clear immediately this connection was no accident.  It felt like the Lord had led me to this place. I knew I would indeed go back to Africa.” Upon graduation from King in 2011, she and two of her classmates journeyed to Africa to serve for several months in the City of Hope, and later, at an orphanage called Forever Angels. After Audrey’s return to the states, she and Chase married in 2012.

During an interview in 2012, Audrey commented on Chase’s and her future plans. “We definitely plan to go back to Africa, or maybe somewhere else, depending on where God leads, to do additional mission work.”

Fred Foy, an ordained Presbyterian minister with a Ph.D. in African Christianity, will be working with indigenous Christian leadership training and the development of the Oldoinyo Kiti Research, Study, and Training Center on the Kenya-Tanzania border. The Oldoinyo Kiti center is being spearheaded by local Maasai community leaders and the Maasai Special Projects Fund, Inc. (www.mspfonline.com). Cecily, an RN, will be working with Maasai people and others in community health with special focus on malaria care and health education.

Originally from Eufaula, Ala., Fred Foy received his Bachelor of Arts from Furman University, Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, Doctor of Ministry from Reformed Theological Seminary, and his Master of Science and PhD from the University of Edinburgh. Cecily received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Tennessee (UT) and her Master of Science in Nursing from King. Cecily worked for a number of years as a Registered Nurse in labor and delivery. She will complete her PhD in Nursing Research at UT this year prior to leaving for the mission field.

Chase Arndt will be working as the site superintendent for Oldoinyo Kiti. He will also assist Fred Foy with the leadership courses that will be taught. Chase graduated from King in 2008 with his bachelor’s in Health Science and Chemistry with a minor youth ministry. He then went on to receive his master’s in Intercultural Studies from Columbia International University.

While in Africa, Audrey will work with the schools and assist faculty in ways to best deal with mental health issues among the youth and children in the schools. She received her Bachelor of Arts from King in 2011 in Interdisciplinary Studies with a minor in Elementary Education. She is currently completing her master’s degree in Counseling and Human Development at Radford University.

“The King University connection that Cecily and I share with Chase and Audrey is just wonderful and fits so well with King’s mission and vision of transforming culture for Christ,” commented Fred Foy. “We are excited to return to King’s campus on April 23rd for the final chapel of the spring semester. The service will serve as a missionary commissioning ceremony with the laying on of hands for the four of us. Members of the Presbytery, Antioch Partners, and the Maasai Special Projects will be part of the service. It will certainly be a special time.

“There is such an enormous need that it is just so compelling to go and help equip the people there to have some type of sustainable change in their life, added Fred Foy. “I will continue in an adjunct role with the Peeke School of Christian Mission. While in Africa, we will host mission service trips with King. We will have many different avenues in which people will be able to help including a medical component. We are also trying to put together some modular training components in which students could spend an extended period of study in Africa for credit at King. We are looking at these projects as something that could continue over the long-term.”

The Strangs and Arndts are embarking on a missionary deputation sabbatical during the spring semester to secure prayer and financial support for this mission endeavor. They have requested our prayer and support in this venture of faith! Please commit to lifting them and the people with whom they work in your prayers. Also, financial support is needed for their outgoing expenses, project expenses, personal living expenses, and the capital expense of construction of the Oldoinyo Kiti Research, Study, and Training Center. If you would like to donate and follow their journey, visit The Antioch Partners at www.theantiochpartners.org/strang/). For additional information on the Maasai Special Projects Fund, Inc., visit www.mspfonline.com.

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