Thanks for the Memories

Remember for my good, O my God, all that I have done for this people (Neh. 5:19, ESV).

I grew up playing clarinet in concert bands, marching bands, and jazz bands. The music we played covered a wide repertoire from classical to marching to swing and jazz. One song that has stayed with me over the years was "Thanks for the Memory". It was the late Bob Hope’s signature song.

It is good for us to remember that which has gone but now is no longer. It is good to celebrate and honor those who have served and served well. To that end, it is bittersweet to share with you that Bob and Kristi Roegner are retiring from service with the Apple of his Eye this month.

Bob has had a dynamic career of service to the Lord from missionary to mission leader to Executive Director of LCMS World Missions to pastor to his service with The Apple of His Eye, accepting the call to serve as a Bible Teacher in Israel. He and his wife Kristy were the LCMS’s first called Bible Teachers to serve in Israel.

The plan was simple, to be in partnership with Immanuel Church Lutheran in Jaffa and serve as the outreach arm of the congregation alongside the pastor there. We make our plans and the Lord just smiles. When the pastor there stepped down, Bob was invited on an interim basis to help lead that community of faith. That drew on his years of experience to help right the ship and move forward…until Covid hit. Bob and Kristi left Israel and returned to the US during the height of the pandemic. Through Zoom, they were able to continue ministry from afar until Israel opened again for people to enter.

Image of Bob Roegner and Steve Cohen standing together in Jaffa, Israel.

Bob and Kristi have given us a peek inside their work in Israel through their monthly articles in the AOHE newsletter and through our regular staff meetings. The ups and downs of life gave us all opportunities to knit our hearts in prayer with them and encourage them, too.

Those of you who have supported Bob and Kristi have also blessed us all in giving a vote of confidence for the need to include Jewish people in the overall mission of the church, including reaching out in the land of over six million Lost Sheep of the House of Israel.

Bob and Kristi's years of service have brought our work forward in witness and now as we remember, we also look forward to the next stages of our ministry including a partnership with an Israeli Jewish believer who has been accepted into a Specialized Ministry in Place program through Concordia Seminary (Ft. Wayne, IN) but taken in Sweden through Mission Provence. Please pray for Sahar. Bob has had a major influence in his life and direction for service.

Your continuing mission support, prayers, and witness will enable us to write the next chapter in our 26th year of mission service. Thank you for helping make these memories possible. And thank you Bob and Kristi for your years of service with us!

Steve Cohen is the founder of Apple of His Eye

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