“PLEASE GOD, LET IT STOP!” This is the headline in our largest daily newspaper as I write this letter. It is talking about the aftershocks of the 7.1 magnitude earthquake that hit our second largest city early last Saturday morning. Christchurch is in New Zealand’s South Island, several hundred miles from where I live, so we probably haven’t been praying that prayer as fervently as those who are experiencing the shakes on an almost hourly basis, some of them big ones. Teen Missions has 72 former team members and leaders on our mailing list from the quake zone. Please be praying for them, and maybe we should pray that this major disruption to our 21st century, comfortable, daily existence will remind people of Jesus’ teaching that tells us that along with famine and pestilences (like swine flu), “…. these are the beginning of sorrows.” Mt. 24:8.
After my visit to Concepción in Chile to set up an Earthquake Relief team for next year, I have been semi-prepared for the reports and pictures here. After six months, there was still major evidence of the earth’s upheaval and the resulting tsunami in Chile. Sidewalks are a mess; some roads are still closed; and collapsed buildings are sitting there because authorities are afraid their removal will result in the collapse of neighbouring buildings. Bridges are slowly being rebuilt and businesses re-opening. I watched the last bit of scaffolding come down and the flag being raised on a government building which had been lovingly repaired. We hope to be able to help the Salvation Army as they reach out to communities outside of the city, which don’t seem to be getting too much help from other places. I had flown to Concepción from Ecuador, where we had experienced a great Boot Camp. With a surplus of leaders, we went with five teams −total of 81 people. I am still waiting for reports as to how the teams did on their projects, how many people they reached for Christ and whether Debrief resulted in any kids signing up to come to Bible School. It is always great to hear the reasons why kids come to Boot Camp and this year a former team member −back for the fourth time−said she came to ‘get close to God’, to reconsecrate herself to Him and to serve Him. Another FTM said “This camp always helps me to change something that isn’t right in my life… so that God can use me more.” One new team member said in his high school English,“I love this camp – is the best in the world. Jesus is my really hero!” Please continue in prayer for our staff there – Juan Carlos Velasquez, whose three year commitment is up in January, and for Juan Carlos Amador, his two sons and wife, Gina. The latter are greatly in need of further financial support.
Then, of course, through June and into July, I was involved with the Florida Boot Camps. For the first week I had the full responsibility of the First Aid Station because there were no other volunteer nurses available. This meant I couldn’t leave the premises and I sure prayed a lot! God was good and there were no major crises during that time. He also had other people around with whom I could confer when necessary. I had flown from New Zealand early in May so that I could be present for the graduation of my second-eldest granddaughter, Stephanie, from Merritt Island Christian School; she is now playing volleyball for Berry College in Georgia.
Then the very day I left for Ecuador, I was able to hold my second great-grandson in my arms within an hour or so of his birth. Mason is bringing much joy to his parents, Jessica and Steven, and to his two-year-old brother Ethan, as well as the rest of the family. Also graduating from high school was granddaughter Erin, who has just presented us with a darling little girl, Autumn Marie, my first great-granddaughter. God willing, I will see them all at Christmas time again. My daughter Sarah, with frequent email contact, kept up admirably with the Teen Missions Kiwi registrations the three months I was away. She and her husband, John, have had to work very hard through our winter to keep their restaurant open. What a privilege it is to serve the Lord and to trust Him for daily bread! He is faithful, and so are the many of you who pray for me and contribute to my support. Thank you Lord and thank you dear friends! Serving Jesus joyfully, Elizabeth Little 128 Spencer Road RD 5, Rotorua, 3076 NEW ZEALAND