Snells’S’news – Fall 2009
Dear Family, Friends, & Former Team Members,
We had a great summer of ministry. It was a true blessing to have a group of teens that wanted to share Jesus. The Northern Ireland team was one of the hardest teams that we have ever led when it comes to evangelism. It all started at Boot Camp when the team arrived in Florida for training in evangelism and construction classes. We had the opportunity to begin to see the team come together and work as a team, not just a bunch of individual teens on a summer mission trip. Our team was made up of 15 teens (10 girls & 5 guys) and two back-up lady leaders, Coleen and Susannah, from literally all around the world. Thirteen are from all over the U.S., two are Canadian while the other two are Americans living in Japan. After their two weeks of training were complete, they were ready to fly to Northern Ireland. Our host missionary was Fringe Youth Works in Monkstown, Northern Ireland. This is a suburb just southeast of Belfast City. The thoughts of the team were that we would be working with youth that are saved or at least churched. They were sadly mistaken when they arrived. The youth that they worked with were not only unsaved, but were struggling after years of political unrest in their country as well as turmoil in their own homes. Since many of these kids were not cared for, they began to get into trouble: fighting, drinking, smoking, and vandalizing property. It was our mission to implement ‘friendship evangelism’. They had heard all about religion and some knew the Bible better than our own team members. Our goal was for us to get to know them and for them to realize that we were once ‘just like them’ but have been changed by the love of Jesus in our lives and the gift of salvation. The team was never able to see anyone come to know the Lord but we trust that their efforts planted many seeds. Many of the team members learned how to defend their faith for the first time, searching the scriptures for answers to tough questions.
Despite the disappointment of not seeing ‘fruit’ from our evangelism efforts, the team did a mighty work in the community. They were able to complete various projects at the Youth Center and a local church: painting, building a stage, and organizing the Center store. We also had several outreach opportunities including a weeklong Vacation Bible School and a Family Fun Day that offered face painting, blow-up toys, games and a free BBQ to the local families.
The team’s living conditions were very comfortable compared to other TMI teams. We stayed in a church directly across from the Youth Center. We had a modern kitchen, warm showers at a nearby school, and access to a bank, grocery store, pharmacy, and post office within walking distance. The generosity of the Irish people was amazing. The team was invited to several homes to share a meal with local families. The church members of the Abbey Church (where we were staying) went out of their way to take care of us, from supplying blankets during the cooler weather, dropping off baked goods and bags of fruit, to cooking us an authentic Irish meal. The country was beautiful, food delicious, and sights like Belfast City and The Giant’s Causeway (natural rock formations) amazing. God truly blessed us this summer in so many ways. Please pray for the Youth Fringe Works and their ministry efforts to the youth in Northern Ireland.
Thank you to everyone who enabled us to minister as a family by donating the extra finances for Bekah and Drew’s airfare. They had a great time!! The team really included them as part of the team. They loved having so many big brothers and sisters. It was very difficult saying “good-bye” at the end of the summer. We still miss you Northern Ireland team!! You are awesome!!
(Want to read more about our summer trip?? Visit www.teenmissions.org and click on team reports, then click on Northern Ireland.)
Now that all the excitement of the summer has died down, we are getting settled back into a routine again. Carrie will continue to homeschool the kids this year. Drew has started first grade. He reads everything in sight and loves math and spelling. He is still in his ‘Star Wars’ stage, every stick being a light saber!! Bekah is doing well as a fourth grader. She loves all history and science lessons as well as reading. She is still very active in Girl Scouts, and both the kids love AWANAS at our church. Along with homeschooling, Carrie will continue to oversee the Personnel/Promotions department at the TMI office. She really enjoys working directly with all the staff worldwide. With twenty-nineTMI bases all over the world, staff is always changing.
Andy will continue working in the Print Shop, running the presses for all of the ministry’s printed materials. Plans are in the works to print the summer brochure on our printing presses this year. In past years we have hired the work out; however, in an effort to save money, we are looking at printing the 130,000 brochures ourselves. Andy will have a busy few weeks in November. The summer brochure is scheduled to be posted on the TMI website, Thanksgiving Day, while the printed brochure will be mailed the second week of December.
We thank all of you who gave the extra finances that allowed us to lead the Northern Ireland team this past summer. You are a blessing. We still have about a $2000 deficit from team costs and lack of funds from declining support in the past couple of months. The Lord has always been faithful and we have never been left without; however, we are at a level that is cause for alarm. We know that the Lord wants us to continue serving in this ministry. We also know that the only way we can continue is by receiving full support. It is amazing how God can use even the faithful gift of ten or twenty dollars a month to make a difference. Please pray about becoming a financial partner with us in this ministry.
The teens on our team are now making an impact for the Kingdom of God. They are being bold for the Lord and about their relationship with the Lord. Many people have and are being reached for the Lord because of faithful supporters that believed in them. This ministry will not run without people like us here on staff and we cannot do it without you as our prayer and financial supporters. Thanks for being a blessing!
The Snell Family
272 Heavenly St.
NEW e-mail address: [email protected]