We asked Jon and Melissa Eager to write an article for our web page so you can better get to know them. The following is what they shared:
Jon and Melissa, Josh, Drew and Rachel Eager. Who are we? We are servants of the LORD Jesus Christ, and we are missionaries serving under Africa Inland Mission in Tanzania, East Africa. We are so thankful to be able to join with you in reaching the lost for the Kingdom. It’s a joy to serve together.
We started attending the Evangelical Free Church of Hershey in the late 1990’s before we were married…actually that is where we met. Some of you at GracePoint have known us since way back then! We were married in 1999 and committed to serving the LORD in Africa. As Jon was still in medical school at the time, it took us awhile to get here. In the meantime, our two sons were born in Pennsylvania. We began working in Tanzania in 2006. Our daughter was born in Nairobi, Kenya in 2007.
We live in a rural village in central Tanzania where we partner with the local churches in our work. Jon is a Family Medicine physician. He supervises our health center among the Sandawe people as well as a second center about 3 hours away among the Rangi people. He is the only doctor in about a 30 mile radius. It’s a much needed service in a country where there is one doctor per every 33,300 people compared to 1 doctor per every 408 people in the U.S. He does everything from deliver babies to pulling teeth to treating snake bites, malaria and other tropical diseases. He also sees the usual colds and flu patients. He often has opportunities to share the gospel with patients.
Another area of service in which Jon is involved is in training health care workers. He and other medical staff run seminars a couple of times a year in which they train lay people in basic medical care. Jon has also been involved in various side projects over the years, specifically helping run famine relief in the years of poor harvest.
Melissa manages the home and in the past years has homeschooled our three children. She ministers to people who work in our home and to those who come to the door for a variety of reasons. We host teams and individuals throughout the year so Melissa also practices a lot of hospitality. She is praying about other areas of ministry in which to get involved since she is no longer home schooling.
Josh is 15 and started high school this year. Drew is 12 and is in 7th grade. Rachel is 9 years old and is in 4th grade. All of the kids are currently attending Rift Valley Academy, a boarding school in Kenya. We travel up to Kenya every 3 weeks or so to see them. While the sacrifice of separation is painful, the LORD is meeting all of our needs. We are thankful that they are able to be at this wonderful school where they have so many opportunities that they do not have here in the village.
If you would like to know about this work in which you are partners for the gospel, you can follow our blog at http://jmeager.aimsites.org/.
In addition to supporting the Eagers on a monthly basis, as a part of the tithe from the money GracePoint received in 2016 we are helping a young man named Otto further his education so that he can better help Jon in his work in Tanzania. Jon shared the following information with us about Otto.
Otto and his wife Rose have been married since 2013. They have a son, Johnson, who is 2 years old. Otto grew up in Arusha for part of his childhood, but his family is originally from Ovada, the next village over from Magambua. He grew up in the Catholic church but professes faith in Christ. He attended 2 years of laboratory technician school from 2010 to 2012 and then started working at the AICT Magambua Dispensary the Fall of 2012 as a laboratory technician. His parents still live in Ovada. His family runs a stationary shop and his wife Rose helps to run that in Ovada. They live here in Magambua in staff housing, but are planning to build their own place between Ovada and Magambua.
Ever since finishing high school, he thought about becoming a doctor, but when the opportunity to study as a lab technician presented itself, he gladly took that and has distinguished himself as a hard worker and team player. Now that he has a chance to go on for further studies as a Clinical Officer, he feels like his dream is coming true. He’s expressed a desire to stay in the rural village area so that he can serve the Sandawe people of his home area.
Otto started a three year course in October 2016 to become a Clinical Officer with future plans to assist in the overall health care needs of the Magamabua area villages. This three year course is being supported by GracePoint Church. Pray for him as he attends school during the week and likely comes home to Magambua on weekends.