Dear Friends, Family and Former Team Members,
No, I don’t even want to think about the fact that it is already 2012. Where did 2011 go? On a brighter note, the Lord accomplished many things through the ministry of Teen Missions—through the lives of the Mustard Seeds, Peanuts, Preteens, Teens, leaders and volunteers who participated in our program during the summer of 2011. Many came to know the Lord through their ministries and the Lord worked in their hearts through their experiences. The AIDS Orphans and Street Children ministries brought hope to thousands of orphans in Africa. The Motorcycle Sunday School Ministry saw hundreds come to know Christ in remote areas of Africa. The participants in our overseas Boot Camps saw changes in their own lives and many come to know the Lord through their summer ministries. Our 2? Bible Schools trained hundreds in the Word of God and again, they ministered in countless areas of the world. It is exciting for us to be a part of this ministry. We are so thankful to those who give sacrificially and pray which allows us to be a part of such a vital ministry.
We all had a good Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year. We stayed home again this year. There are those who wonder why we don’t go up north for the holidays. Once you have experienced a Florida Christmas, it is hard to go to the cold north. It has been a while since we have been north for Christmas, so we are thinking about going next year. Again, we are not sure where the time went. We had several projects on our “to do” list, but NONE got accomplished. But we had fun…The kids continued their Christmas tradition of spending Christmas Eve out in a tent. Don’t feel too sorry for them. They had it decorated with Christmas lights and even had a TV out in it. Somehow, I don’t think they would continue that tradition if we went north for the holidays.
Lindsay: She is doing well in college. It was great to have her home for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Since she had to be at school at the beginning of August, it was a LONG time for both her and us before she was able to come home. Her soccer team did not have a winning record this season, but they did beat the second place team in the quarterfinals. It was definitely a building year for the team and they also had a lot of injuries. We are thankful that Lindsay stayed healthy for the most part (a bum ankle for a couple of the games). She started in every game and played for most of every game. We were able to go up to visit her a couple of times. She has made some great friends and seems to enjoy the independence that going away to college allows. Please pray that she will follow the Lord in everything she does and that she will allow Him to work in and through her.
Colton: He is still growing—he is now just slightly shorter than Paul and his feet keep getting bigger. He was over at someone’s house and their dog chewed the back part of one of his shoes. They offered to pay for another pair, but we declined since he does not stay in any pair of shoes for any length of time. He did pretty well for his first semester of high school. He will have turned 15 by the time you get this letter, but his grades were not quite high enough for us to allow him to get his driving permit (a great incentive for keeping up his grades!). He really enjoys reading and he got a Kindle for Christmas which he thoroughly enjoys. He is looking forward to going on the team to China this summer which will be at the same place he was two years ago. The camp has now acquired the property next door, so the team will be doing renovations for the camp and possibly running an English Camp for the village children. Please pray that he will be sensitive to what the Lord is trying to teach Him and that He will be salt and light at school.
Danae: She is doing great in school and is looking forward to going to high school next year. She teases Colton by telling him that she will be the one driving him to school! She is thinking about starting to play soccer again in the spring. She has registered for the Kilimanjaro Backpack team this coming summer. Her team will continue construction at the Teen Missions Bible School at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro. They will also be hiking around the lower part of the mountain—showing The Jesus Film and doing presentations of music, puppets, dramas and testimonies. She is really excited about going. Please pray that she will base her actions on what the Word of God teaches and that she will be a Christian example at school.
BJ: He has hit a growth spurt and is now just slightly taller than Lindsay. He continues to love playing soccer. He is so active, he sometimes makes me dizzy! He has also acquired a talent for making things out of duct tape! He is doing pretty good in school and is enjoying the social aspect more than the academic aspect. He will be going back to China with us this summer. Since he is 12, this will be his last year to go as a “family member” and he is looking forward to sleeping in when he wants, going to town when he wants and working with the team when he wants. Please pray that BJ will realize the influence he can have, even at his age and that he will be an example to his peers at school and on his soccer team.
Yes, we are going back to China this summer and we are so excited. We have … team members along with three other leaders already registered to go with us. If you ask Colton, he will tell you that we are going with him since he registered before we did! Between the three kids, we will have to raise almost $9000. Although that is a LOT of money, we are confident that He will provide. We have already received just over a third of what we need. Please pray that the rest of the support will come in. If you are interested in helping meet this need, please fill out the coupon at the bottom of this letter. The kids will also need your prayer support.
Our ministry at Teen Missions is starting to get really busy due to the coming summer months. The phone calls and emails are increasing daily. We have over…. registered for teams this summer! That is about 50 over where we were this time last year. Teen Missions has had the opportunity to be represented at many of the Winter Jam concerts and this has been a blessing in getting the word out about our ministry. Paul and I were able to represent TMI at at Missions Conference at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee. We are hoping to get some leaders from that contact.
At the end of this month, Paul will be traveling to Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Iceland for 10 days to do set up for teams next summer (2013). I would be jealous, except that he will be going in the dead of winter…Please pray for safety and good contacts as he travels.
Again, thank you so much for your part in our ministry here at Teen Missions. We KNOW that we could never serve Him here if it were not for you!
Paul, Beth, Lindsay, Colton, Danae and BJ Kostner