“…with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” Isaiah 13:3
With joy and thanksgiving we drink deep and are satisfied in the goodness of the Lord. His truth is refreshing and in His promises we find hope. These past few months bear witness to a great number of God’s promises as He watched over all of our family while we were apart. On August 29th the five of us were reunited with joy after nearly three months of separation. Our home echoed with tears and laughter for the next few days as we reminisced about our summer adventures. Each of them would like to share briefly of their experiences.
Caleb’s Corner – I had a great summer in Arizona, I even enjoyed the three day road trip with 26 kids on a hot, crowded bus. In Arizona we were working on a church on an Indian reservation. We painted the outside of the church and built porches to protect the doors from rain. We also dug out the septic tank and pipes to fix the plumbing. My favorite part was our visit to the Grand Canyon on the way back to Florida. It was beautiful! Over all, I had a great summer.
Sarah’s Story – I spent my summer in Malawi, Africa with 17 other youth and four leaders, two of which were Malawian. Our main project was to further the construction of a Teen Missions Bible School in the mostly Muslim village of Mangochi. My team back-filled the floor of the Bible school’s classroom, tied the steel grid-work for the floor’s support, mixed and leveled endless wheelbarrows-full of cement to finish off the floor, and laid bricks for one of the walls. It was hard work, but we were all proud of what we had accomplished in the end. The moments of my summer that I enjoyed most were the moments my team was able to spend with the Malawian children. We got to play with them often, teach them Christian songs, and hold their hands as we walked through the village. We shared the Gospel with the Malawian people using dramas, puppets, and personal testimonies many times. Their response was overjoying, and many of them chose to accept Christ as their Savior. The most incredible thing about my time in Mangochi has to be the fact that only a year ago the Malawian Teen Missions staff at the Bible school were being threatened with death by the Muslim leaders of this same village where we got to serve! Now, the chief of the village himself was excited to come and visit our team and see what the Christians were doing for his village. God is working wonders among the people of Malawi, Africa!
Gab’s Gazette – I went to Serbia this summer with seven other team members, my parents, and two assistant leaders. Our job was to help the Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) camp with random projects around their property. We tore down an old smoke house and a lean-to and rebuilt the driveway on the property. We trimmed the trees and cleaned out a dusty attic full of bees. It was a lot of work, but it felt very rewarding to see the difference on the property when it was all finished. While we were there, CEF held two camps. We had the opportunity to present a few puppet shows and make animal balloons for the children. The hosting missionaries have been in Serbia ten years now and had only seen seven people come to the Lord in that time. During the camp we saw about 20 children accept Jesus.
Italian Tidbits – Italy was incredible but very exhausting indeed! We traveled from the northern alps of Italy to the southern island of Sicily and back north again in just three weeks. We visited nearly every train station, toured on several buses and took a ferry to accomplish our travels. We met with several ministries and youth camps throughout Italy and were able to share our vision with them and the heart of Teen Missions to plant a base in the country. We were encouraged to hear their testimonies of faith and glean from their wisdom and experiences regarding the Lord’s work through them in Italy. Each of them testified of the difficult spiritual ground and shared their battles of discouragement and overcoming victories. Many of them shared that Italy is a very difficult mission field, people full of humanistic ideals and obstinate to the Gospel. It is called the “missionaries graveyard” among the Believers, due to the hardened hearts of the people and the discouragement of many missionaries who come and go.
Another ministry opportunity in Italy is among the many refugees that are fleeing into the country from the middle east and northern Africa due to the unrest in their own countries. There is a great deal of need for hope and relief among the suffering who are coming from countries that are closed to the Gospel and arriving on the shores of Italy, a free market for sharing your faith.
None of this came as a surprise to us, as this was our initial prayer to the Lord when we asked Him “what next” upon our departure from Belize. We had prayed that the Lord would send us to an unreached nation, a difficult people… those with a great need to hear His Truth. We believe the Lord has answered our prayers and is beginning to open the doors for us. We don’t have clear answers to the exact city in which we will live, nor when we will go, or how we will get there, but we are trusting in God’s sovereign hand to lead the way.
We covet your prayers during this time as we seek the face of God and His timing and clear direction.
Specific prayer requests:
• Favor in the visa application process, which has a number of hurdles, including David’s ordination as a minister • Increased monthly financial support • Wisdom and peace in this time of waiting for each of us
You are such a vital part of our lives and without your faith and support that stands together with us, this work would not be possible. Thank you for bearing your cross and running this race with us as we look to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith!
David, Becca, Sarah, Gabriela and Caleb