Dear Family and Friends,
The Lord is good a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in Him.
Thank you for your continued prayers and financial support as I continue to serve the Lord here at Teen Missions. Teen Missions celebrated its 40th birthday this summer. I have been going on teams since 1977, so I guess that makes 33 years for me here in the ministry. The time has gone very quickly with so many opportunities to serve in so many areas.
Mustard Seeds started the summer for me. We had 22 children ages 4 – 6 along with a family member or guardian. Our program revolved around the wordless book colors, but our theme for telling the wordless book colors was through our cowboy camp. The Mustards Seeds slept in newly-built covered wagons. We had stick horses to ride and a corral built by Dad to run the activities. We even had a missionary from another country come and tell us about their home country. The obstacle course was run each day, and there was time in the swimming pool for the cowpokes to cool down for the day. Ending the day with our evening rally, we had cheers, music and a speaker. We even had a fireplace to sit in front of for our Bible hour. There are five colors in the wordless book so we have a Bible story, memory verse, craft and a game that emphasized each color. The goal is for each child to be able to use the wordless book and be able to share verses that could help someone know Jesus Christ. The children are such a joy to work with and they were eager to learn. It is a very full three days and everyone is pretty-much ready to hit the trail to go home when it is over.
While my Mustard Seeds was finishing up, it was time for my teen team to arrive. There were six girls and one guy on the team as well as the other leaders, Nelson Chimbilia, national staff from Zambia, and Stacy. There was a special group that came to train the team in drill ministry. This is a popular activity among the inner-city teens. They learn precision marching, hand movements and a few formations. Teams normally spend six months preparing for competition, but the team only had seven days to learn from the teachers, then they continued learning on their own after the teachers left. By the end of Boot Camp, the team was ready to train the AIDS orphans in Zambia.
The first village we went to was about 10 hours from the TMI base. There is a preschool at this unit so each morning in the cold they would walk, many barefoot and with no sweater or jacket to keep them warm. They waited patiently as the team would finish devotions and get ready to learn the drills. They were shy at first, but soon they were responding to the team members. The team not only taught drill, but played some games with them and always finished the morning or afternoon with an evangelistic program including puppets, music and a testimony. They always followed with a invitation for anyone to give their heart to the Lord. There were usually between 40 and 100 at the end of each presentation.
We stayed at each unit for about five days. At Mumena, the second location, the facilitators were orphans themselves and had gone through our Bible School and were now serving their internship. What a privilege to see these facilitators helping the children as they once had been helped. We helped with the Sunday School that they run every Thursday and then traveled to our third and final location.
We arrived in the afternoon, but didn’t start teaching the drills until the next morning. The team members said that this was the easiest group they had taught yet and it seemed that they were able to teach all the movements in just one day. Plus there were around 125 children that gave their hearts to the Lord. Around 8:30 that night, our evening was interrupted by an armed robbery. The thieves first went to the facilitators house, where they beat them up pretty bad and then the thieves told them to take them to the white people. My tent was the first one they came to so they began asking me for US dollars, which I told them I didn’t have. (I didn’t know that they had beat up the facilitators, nor did I know they had a gun). But as I continued to shout that I didn’t have anything, our leader Nelson came out and with a flash light scared them away even though they threated him with a gun. Once the thieves ran away, the facilitators jumped in the truck and went for the police. After talking with the country coordinator and our Director it was decided to pack up and go back to the TMI base. We are so thankful that even though the facilitators were beat up, there was no blood shed. I continue to be thankful for the prayers that say “Please keep her safe”! Thanks for being a part of God’s watch over the team.
Returning to Florida for Debrief, I had a day and a half turn around time to get packed up and ready to fly to Canada. It has been about five or six years since we have been able to run our Missionaries to America program. It was decided to try and get some young people into Canada. Nine team members were granted visas, seven from Indonesia and two girls from Korea. Dad and Mom came along to help me with the training. Dad taught the four guys the preaching class which he calls “homiletics”. Mom prepared all the meals for the team and Barb came for eight days to train the team in music. She was able to teach them 15 songs and with movements. Training started on the 14th of August and finished up on the 6th of September and was held at our newly-acquired camp in Outlook, Saskatchewan. It was a bit colder than Florida, Indonesia and Korea, but it was a great time having classes with the team. We were able to work through the TMI policies, testimonies, counseling, culture change, dirt changes and they learned three Indonesian songs and three Korean songs to add to the songs that Barb taught them. Oh, and we of course had to learn puppets and especially “Jesus Loves the Little Children”. We had a practice presentation the Sunday before I left so they were very ready to go on the road. They were excited to really get on with the ministry that God had brought them here to do. We are praying the team would be able to come into the States for three months. Those who have had the team in their area know what a blessing it is to be with the Missionaries to Canada/America.
We were so close to my brother that I was able to go with Dad and Mom to visit my brother and his family. It was especially precious to go see my nephew that received a liver transplant in May. He is still slowly recovering, as they say it will be a full year before he will really start feeling better. It was great to see him up and walking around. It will still be a long journey as he was back in the hospital the day we flew back to Florida and as I write this, he is still there with some kind of infection after they removed the last drainage tube. So we appreciate your continued prayers for him to be healed.
Back now in the office, I’m trying to catch up on the priorities for the office. It ‘s time to do renewals for the orphan sponsorship, get out information for those who have signed up for the adult teams, try to get photos and letters out to those who have sponsored specific orphan projects, enter new orphans into the sponsorship program and continue to make the list of things that we need to do in our office. There is always plenty to do and it is a privilege to be a part of the team here at Teen Missions.
Many thanks for your prayers and financial support that keeps me keeping on.
Because of His great Love.