The Bland Diet – Spring 2009
It seems like only yesterday it was New Years—now it’s April and just about a month until Boot Camps begin in the U.S. It isn’t that there haven’t been Boot Camps, as we have run 30 overseas this past year; most of them in December and January. We have also seen the starting of four new Bible, Misisonary and Work (BMW) Training Centers, including one in Indonesia and one in Nabire, Papua, on the Island of New Guinea. Our first BMW in Siberia started, as well as our second BMW in southern Madagascar. There is also a new one underway, in an area that we aren’t able to mention. Hundreds of young people in 22 countries around the world are being trained to reach their nation, as well as go to other countries to minister. The BMW in Cambodia is being run by four graduates, two from Indonesia and two from the Philippines. Our Florida BMW has 22 students and this semester I have the privilege of teaching Biblical Geography, which is very enjoyable. It is not often that I can get tied down for a 13-week semester. Rev. Howard Vanderpool, who attended Arizona Bible College with me, resides here now and will take my place in the classroom for two weeks while we travel to set up the Tabernacle at TTT Ministries in Evansville, Indiana, and do investments in the area. George Dooms, the director of TTT, is a long time friend from my Youth for Christ days.
The Teen Missions base in the Philippines will soon finish a five-six year construction phase. Besides running a Boot Camp, BMW and 16 neighborhood Bible study groups, they will begin hosting retreats which will make the property self-supporting.
TMI Indonesia now has six BMW Schools with over 500 students. They are sending out missionaries from the largest Muslim nation in the world. They also run around 500 Good News Clubs. At the new BMWs in Nabire, Papua and Vangandraino, Madagascar, the students live in tents. They go to school in the morning and work on building a permanent school and base in the afternoons, and also do outreaches on the weekends.
An Adult Foot Washing Team just returned from Zambia. All of the team members said their lives will never be the same. Neither will the scores of AIDS Orphans whose feet were washed, treated and fitted with a pair of shoes. For most orphans, it is the first pair they have ever had. Several teen teams are doing foot washing this summer in Zambia, Malawi and Cameroon.
Bernie has some health problems. She had to have a couple teeth cut out and bone grafts done to have implants. She looked beat up but is starting to heal now. Cathy and Randy spent Easter week with us. They have both been sick but are on the mend.
Our major project is getting ready for the five Boot Camps here. We are putting in a new 40 ft. tower (in the lake) for the carousel rope swing. We are also putting up five of the six Big Tops for Boot Camp this week. We have purchased a new Big Top #1. It is to arrive from Miami, Oklahoma in a week and will be put up Saturday, May 2. It is 22 feet less than a football field in length, and true to TMI, it is red, white and blue! The dinosaur man, Paul Veit (a creationist speaker), will be at Super Boot Camp and Family Camp. He was one of our TMI kids who was sent to Boot Camp and met Christ there. Now he is a national speaker and we recommend him to any church. His message is a great help to those in public schools who are bombarded with the evolution theory.
We are seeking the Lord’s will on what we will do this summer. So far we believe that we are to run the five Boot Camps here, then go out west on a set up trip for next year’s teams. We hope the Lord includes a trip to Shelbyville, Kentucky to attend the National Bland Reunion and my favorite time at the Alma, Ohio Homecoming, where our roots are. This usually includes a Sunday night at Mt. Tabor church, a place that is home to us as Bernie was raised just down the hill. Lord willing, we hope to go to Malawi, Africa, for January and February of 2010.
On April 1st of this year, I took Bernie out for dinner. The special occasion was that 60 years ago on the same day, I had a blind date with Bernie. Beware what blind dates can do on April Fool’s Day! I think it is going to work out OK though…many thought otherwise!
Blands’ planned schedule (if it is the Lord’s will)! Pray for us!
May 2 Put up the new Big Top #1
May 5 Evansville, Indiana to lay out Tabernacle
May 6-8 Dayton and Troy, Ohio to handle four church investments
May 9 Bernie’s 60th Alumni banquet at Huntington High School
May 10-15 Indiana to put up Tabernacle
May 16 Tabernacle Opening in Evansville
May 19 Fly to Florida
May 20-22 TMI Annual Board Meeting
May 23-28 Boot Camp preparation
May 29 TMI staff picnic
June 1-5 Leaders Seminar
June 11 60th Wedding Anniversary
June 6-21 Early, Peanut and Mustard Seed Boot Camps
June 22- Super and Preteen Boot Camps
July 6-15 Help Florida teams build and set covered wagon camp (eight wagons) and make a 10′ smiley face that says “Smile, Jesus Loves you” at the front of our property.
July 17-18 National Bland Reunion in Shelbyville, KY
July 19 Open for Sunday AM/PM service in southern Ohio
July 21 Fly to Florida for team Debriefs
July 22- Team Debriefs
Aug. 11 Fly to Ohio
Aug. 13-14 Ohio Christian Union Council, Greenfield, OH
Aug. 16 Open for services
Aug. 17 Set up trip to AK, OK, CO and Vancouver, Canada (Cathy, our daughter, will join us)
Sept. 6-20 Meetings and business in Ohio area and my favorite time, The Alma Homecoming and National Crawdad Race on the 13th at the Alma Astrodome.
Sept. 21 Fly back to Florida
Sept. 22-25 TMI staff field conference
I hesitate to put our schedule out as it may not be HIS schedule, but this is the plan and we need your prayers whatever His plan is.
Bob & Bernie