McCracken, Samuel (Fall 2011)

“He gives power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increases strength.” Isaiah 40:29

Having fun with the orphans

The scene was unbelievable, over 2,000 people were crammed onto a small piece of land, as squatters, surrounded by trash. The houses were very small and made of corrugated metal. We proceeded with our outreach, to share the love of Jesus with the AIDS orphans and street children through singing songs, puppets and dramas, as well as sharing testimonies. After the outreach, I was witnessing to three teenagers. They asked me questions about God and then they asked if I would pray for their salvation in Christ; right there, a few more souls were saved! That is one of many salvation stories from our 2011 Bread of Life team to South Africa this summer. We had fifteen Preteens, ages 10-13, as well as five leaders. We all had a very spiritually uplifting time, growing together as we reached out to many AIDS orphans and street children. We went around to different cities with our presentations, sharing our testimonies and giving love to the kids. We went to some people’s homes and blessed them by helping with housework. We traveled and hiked one mile up in the mountains to do our presentation at a children’s home. Afterwards, we had a great time playing with them and giving them stuffed animals, which they enjoyed very much. We were also able to do our presentation with singing, puppets, dramas, and sharing our testimonies at a home for disabled children. It was wonderful to see the joy we were able to bring to them as we did our presentation. They really loved seeing the puppets. One of the neat things we were able to do on our South Africa trip was to give out slices of bread with Bible verses printed on them! We had a special printer that would print the verses on the bread with a syrup based solution, so it was edible. People really enjoyed receiving and eating the “Jesus bread”.We also were able to attend and sing at a church that met in a cave! We thoroughly enjoyed our Safari at Kruger National Park and saw different kinds of animals, like leopards, impalas, crocodiles, baboons, giraffes, elephants, zebras and hippos!

South Africa Team

The 2011 Lord’s Boot Camp was a great success! About 540 teenagers, 82 Preteens, and 39 Peanuts (ages 7-9) attended. It was incredible to see God working in the lives of so many kids and to see them maturing and growing in their faith in Jesus. They had classes in construction, how to lay bricks, mix cement, dig ditches, and steel tying. They also had ministry classes teaching them how to share their faith in Jesus using puppets, drama, and the wordless book, as well as witnessing to people individually. Each person had 30 minutes of daily devotions, which greatly helped them grow in their relationship with Jesus. Every day they ran our obstacle course, which helped them develop self-confidence and build team unity. Each evening we had rallies during which they were able to sing together and hear inspiring and spiritually uplifting messages from our domestic and overseas staff. I had the privilege and blessing of also helping to lead a peanut team of 19 kids ages 7-9. We had a blast as we went through Boot Camp doing the Obstacle Course and going through the classes together and growing together spiritually. Our project was to bake lots of cookies with Bible verses for those who serve in our community. We delivered the cookies to local police and fire stations and they enjoyed them very much and were very blessed by our visit.

Team church presentation

I want to give a big thank you to all who have been praying for me and who have supported me financially. Your donations are very much appreciated and enabled me to have all the money needed for my South Africa missions trip. Your prayers definitely made a difference on our trip.

My trip to South Africa has only increased my burden for the people of Africa. I hope to serve somewhere in Africa, full time, in about two years, if it is God’s will for me. I thank God that I can live in a country where I have running water and electricity. Recently, I was on a trip to California to visit family, friends, churches, and supporters, and we had a city-wide 12 hour blackout. It was inconvenient, but reminded me that that is the way many people in third world countries live everyday.

Baking cookies for the military

I am thankful for a newer, bigger scooter that God provided for me earlier this year that gets me anywhere I need to go. I am continuing to work in the landscaping department and occasionally do painting work around the property as well. The work that I do here at Teen Missions helps the property look great for everyone to enjoy, including people that come here to use our Conference Center.

Thank you again for your prayers and support! I will continue to serve Christ with all my heart, here at Teen Missions, as long as He allows me!

In Christ,

Samuel McCracken

[email protected]

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