Kostners’ Komments – Fall 2009
Dear Friends, Family and Former Team Members,
What an amazing summer for everyone in our family! Once again, we look back and wonder where all the time has gone. The Lord did wonderful things all over the world through and in the lives of the Teen Missions team members and leaders!
We had the privilege of serving as a part of the summer staff this summer. There is always the question of how well the staff, that are here, will mesh as a “team” to accomplish all the responsibilities that must be done. We prayed that we would be a unified and determined team. The numbers are never very high when it comes to summer staff, but we have seen how a few can accomplish more than ever imagined. That was the case this year. Summer staff involves manning the phones 24/7, cutting endless grass (it’s the rainy season in Florida so it grows VERY fast), cooking, cleaning the lodge rooms, driving buses, monitoring emails, posting team reports, paying bills, doing “missionary barrel” laundry, working out any problems with teams and running the four Debriefs. No matter what was thrown at our “team”, we all worked together to get everything accomplished, and we even had fun doing it!
All of our kids had wonderful summers. We are so thankful for the godly leaders that they had. They made life-long friendships on their teams. They are already planning visits to see some of their team members. Here are their reports:
Thank you all for keeping me and my family in your prayers! I had an amazing time in Thailand this summer! We stayed in Ubonratchathani at the House of Blessing’s orphanage for about three and a half weeks. An average week day would look something like this: wake up at 5:00, work on the wall for two hours, eat breakfast, have personal devotions, work another three hours, lunch, library reading, work for about three more hours, then we would have Bible study, followed by free time/bath/laundry time which was an hour and a half long. Then we would end the day with dinner and team devotions where we would sing and worship and have someone from the team share a testimony. Though work was tiring and monotonous, we completed our project laying about 1600 blocks. At first, for me, it was really hard laying blocks—making it perfect and exact with its measurements, but by the end of the summer I was finally able to do it with ease. This has been my favorite work project so far! On the weekends we would go to the local public school and sing, share testimonies, teach English, perform dramas and do puppets. But the best part of this summer was playing with the kids at the orphanage. There were about 25 kids ranging from 2 to 15. We would play volleyball, soccer, basketball and badminton, do presentations for them, and make balloons! It was so much fun! Also, with the money we had left over, we were able to buy a new volleyball net, put up swings, and provide them with other supplies. Being with these kids was such a blessing and it was very difficult to leave them! This summer I believe God challenged me to be more bold, so please pray that I would be a good example for my siblings, but most importantly as a witness to my friends, especially those who do not know the Lord! This has been on my heart since the end of the summer and I would appreciate it if you would remember me in your prayers. Once again, thank you so much for all your prayers and support! Hopefully I’ll be able to finish my summer’s DVD and get it out to you all! God bless!
This summer I mowed a BUNCH of lawns. I am trying to save money to buy an IPOD. Some of the lawns were easy to mow and some were hard to mow. Sometimes the lawnmowers I used were hard and others were easy to use. I also went to a week-long camp called “Winshape”. I learned how to use a bow and arrow. We learned a lot about the Lord. It was fun! BJ and I had fun during the summer. We went biking, boating, fishing and swimming.
I had a blast this summer. Thank you so much for your prayers and support. Our team went to Malawi and built gardens for the orphans. We did four gardens and they are already eating what we planted! I also had fun playing with the orphans. I had a really good team and great leaders. I hope I can go on another team and have as much fun as I did on this trip. God has made a BIG difference in my life. I now pray more often and I am more excited to go to church. I made a lot of good friends this summer.
BJ: This summer, I went on a Peanut team. We laid sidewalks. It was a lot of fun. After my team, Colton and I went bike riding, swimming, boating and fishing. I like swimming in the lake the best. Thank you for your prayers and support for me this summer!
After the Debriefs, Paul and 13 others traveled to Outlook, Saskatchewan, Canada to work on our newly acquired property there. We now have a camp there that desperately needed some painting, cleaning and brush clearing. He spent three weeks there and a lot was accomplished!
The kids are back in school and all are doing well. Lindsay is now a Junior! No, we can’t believe it either. We will be “college hunting” this year. If you have any suggestions, please let us know! She really wants to go to a Christian school and play soccer. Colton started Middle School (7th grade). He is actually enjoying it. Danae is in 6th grade and loves it. BJ is in 4th grade. He just turned ten. We have had him for seven years! Time is going by way too quickly!
Soccer season is in full swing. BJ is playing on two teams, so he usually has 2-3 games every weekend. Lindsay is also playing on two teams (a U17 and a U18 team). Her high school pre-season conditioning starts next week, so she will be practicing every night starting then, sometimes having two practices a night.
Even though this is the “down” time for us in our ministry, we are still busy. We are in the process of choosing the teams for 2010. Once that is done, the brochure has to be written and proofed before being printed and mailed out. In the meantime, the travel plans for the teams are being worked on and finalized. The teams should be posted on our web site by Thanksgiving.
Thank you so much for your prayers and support. With these tough economic times, we know that many of you are making huge sacrifices in order for us to serve here. We do appreciate you and pray that you will get a glimpse of the eternal benefits your giving is reaping.
Paul, Beth, Lindsay, Colton, Danae and BJ Kostner