Hello from the cold and wet Pacific Northwest!
It’s hard to believe that a year ago we were writing our first newsletter as full time staff with Teen Missions. So many of you have been walking this journey with us and we thank you!
Upon our return from Belize, we dove into promotions with both feet. We traveled to Spokane, Colorado, Wyoming, Seattle and Montana. Many of you receive our monthly e-mails so we thought we would share with you some fun highlights of our work this fall:
While driving through Ft. Collins, CO, we were shocked to find the lights of a police car behind us as they tried to pull us over. We were worried about what we had done wrong. Instead, the police officer approached our car and said she had seen our Teen Missions magnet on our car and that she had participated in a TMI team in the 80’s and she just wanted to stop us to say “Hi”.
We were invited to speak at a youth group in Douglas, WY, where they publicized “Elk Sloppy Joes & meeting a Missionary.”
We were invited to speak at the Outdoorsmen Church on Montana. This church focuses on the outdoor loves in Montana and meets in the middle of the week so that hunting on the weekend remains uninterrupted. Ryan had to compete with last year’s prize deer overlooking his shoulder and someone’s prized bear guarding the front door.
Beyond these fun experiences in our ministry, we have been privileged to be the Lord’s instruments as we have witnessed 15 young people commit their lives to Christ. We have shared with youth about our ministry and have noticed that we have 50% more registrations at this point compared to a year ago. Finally, we have been surprised at the opportunities that the Lord continues to bring to us.
What does our lives as West Coast Area Representatives look like?
One year later, we are amazed at the doors that the Lord has opened for us. We continue to live in Portland and are blessed to be spending as much time ministering together as a family. Our roles as west coast promotional representatives with Teen Missions have really begun to solidify over the past few months. Ryan spends his days on-line and on the phone setting up visits with local churches, schools and Christian groups. He is excited to use his passion for sharing with others about what it would look like to invest a summer of their lives into full-time ministry. Erin uses her gifts while balancing life as a mom. You will typically find Erin up late at night as she sends out e-mails & completes paperwork for Ryan’s speaking engagements. Ryan thinks she’s the best “administrative assistant” he’s ever had (and the cutest!).
If you ever meet up with us at a missions or youth conference you will find Micah with a stack of TMI brochures in his hands and an eager look on his face. He has decided that it’s his job to track down youth and hand them a brochure. Who can tell a 5-year-old “No?” When our kids are not hanging out with us at our speaking engagements they remain active little kids. Micah continues to do an amazing job in Kindergarten and has surprised his teacher with how far he has come since he arrived in September. He is now beginning to write letters and a few words. He loves to read books, which means he usually makes up a story based upon the pictures he sees, but his vocabulary continues to grow by leaps and bounds! He just started his second round of swimming lessons and swims like a fish, now wearing goggles and kicking off from the side of the pool.
Abby loves being the center of attention. Her vocabulary continues to amaze us as she makes complete sentences on a regular basis. She is our little “spit fire” and we find that she is going to take a little extra attention to guide and mold her strong will and energy. Abby has discovered the joys of singing and you will typically find her in the back seat of the car asking to sing “Spider Mommy”(aka Ittsy, Bittsy, Spider) or “Rock a Baby, Mommy (aka Rock a Bye Baby).
From the Jungles of Belize to the Mountains of Switzerland
For the past three weeks Micah has been asking daily if we were going to Teen Missions tomorrow. He is excited about meeting the new team and spending time with his friends in Florida. This summer we will be leading the team to Switzerland. After our training period in Florida, we will travel to Einnigin, Switzerland, where we will be working at a Youth With A Missions (YWAM) base. Our job is to assist the YWAM staff in the operation of their base through providing landscaping and maintenance on their building they have in Switzerland, which ministers to Christian workers in the area. This year we ask that you would pray specifically for the youth as they prepare to join us on our team this summer. Also, please pray that the Lord will provide the financial support we need to pay for Micah and Abby’s expenses for this summer. In addition to our monthly support, we need to raise the funds to pay for Micah and Abby’s airfare and food to join us on the trip.
As we reflect on our first year as Teen Missions staff we wanted to thank you for all that you have done for us as a family this past year. Your prayers have been felt, your financial gifts have been there right when we needed them, and many of you have opened your homes and made us feel welcome when we were far from our own. We pray that the Lord blesses you and your family as you enter this New Year.
Love in Him,
Providing a vehicle for use in our ministry Opportunities to share with over 1200+ youth this fall alone
Safety for our family and Ryan as we travel
Our monthly support will rise to 100%