As a staff, we are blessed to serve in ministry alongside some incredible individuals and families who are committed to serve the Lord through their profession in veterinary medicine. Veterinarians build relationships with people through helping them with their animals-whether that is in their local practice or across the world. We currently have 32 veterinarians and 2 veterinary technicians serving long-term in 13 countries.
Today, we would like to introduce you to long-term field staff members Dr. Bill & Heidi Janecke.
Q: Bill and Heidi, where do you currently serve?
Q: How long have you been serving with CVM?
A: We have been with CVM for 15 years!
Q: Where did you go to veterinary school?
A: Bill went to vet school at Iowa State University.
Q: What was your favorite subject at vet school? Or which was your worst?
A: I don’t think I had a favorite. I was just trying to get through it. Maybe neurology or clinical pathology.
Q: Where/how did you meet your spouse?
A: We met in college. I was the Iowa country boy and she was the girl from the big city out east. She is the extrovert, I am the introvert. My parents both worked at the college, so she knew them first.
Q: What do you and/or your family like to do for fun?
A: Our two kids both live in the states now. We like to go out for dinner or lunch with friends. We really like sitting on the balcony and reading. Heidi is an artist. I putz around the house and yard.
Q: How do you go about celebrating holidays? (US holidays, vs local national holidays)
A: We don’t celebrate too many U.S. holidays. Sometimes some expats will get together on the 4th of July or celebrate a Thanksgiving meal together. Christmas traditions have changed for us. Talita Cumi usually has a big dinner on Christmas Eve and they invite friends and volunteers. The kids and staff do a little program and then the kids open gifts. It is a lot of fun. We go there right after the Christmas Eve service at Church. In Bolivia, at midnight on Christmas Eve the whole city is lit up with fireworks.
Q: What has been the food that you miss the most while being overseas?
A: Mom’s home cookin’
Q: What is it like having children in another culture? What do their friendships look like and how do you interact with other parents?
A: We raised two kids here. They have turned out pretty good so far. I think they are glad they were raised in another culture and it has given them a unique perspective on things that many other kids don’t have. Since they went to a mission school, they and their friends have now spread out all over western hemisphere.
Q: Tell us about your favorite local dish/food to eat:
A: My favorite Bolivian dish is Sopa de Mani (Peanut soup) The peanuts are finely ground to make a creamy broth and they add meat and pasta. It is great.
Q: What is your favorite scripture?
Q: What advice would you give to someone who is considering serving in missions?
A: To consider that we are are called to serve and be “witnesses in Jerusalem, and in Judea and Samaria, and to the farthest parts of the earth”. As we follow Christ we are all missionaries, whether in practice in your home town or in Bolivia. I think it is more important to serve using the gifts we have received than where we use them. Surround yourself with strong people of faith who know you and will encourage you and help you discern how to best use your gifts for glory of God and the building up of his Church.
Q: What has been the biggest blessing to you since serving long-term?
A: I think it has been being able to serve and interact with Bolivian people. They are such a diverse group and the Church is also diverse and beautiful and struggling and broken and victorious all at once and being with them and hopefully bringing something to the struggle has formed me in a ways I don’t think I could have if I had stayed in the states.
Q: What has been the biggest challenge living in another culture?
Q: How can we pray for you?
A: That we would continue to be attentive to how to best to use our gifts in service to the Church and God’s Kingdom, discerning how we need to grow so we can be better witnesses and servants and not fall into patterns that are comfortable and safe.