Dear Friends, Family and Former Team Members,
January marked my tenth anniversary with Teen Missions! As I look back over the last ten years it is hard to believe everything God has asked me to do and everywhere God has taken me around the world. I decided to dedicate my prayer letter to the most frequently asked questions I receive.
With Teen Missions, I have been to 21 countries.
Which countries have you been to?
1993 France, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany
2001 Ethiopia India
2003 Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda
2004 Guatemala, England, Malawi, Mozambique
2005 Zambia, Ethiopia, South Africa, Malawi, Mozambique
2006 Zambia, England
2007 Malaysia, Cambodia
2009 Suriname, Canada
What is your favorite country?
I don’t like to pick a favorite anything, because my favorites always change. But, I can narrow it down to four. My favorite country to take a team to is Cambodia. There is so much history everywhere you go, it was really interesting to learn about all the events that occurred in the not so distant past. The most unique summer I had was experiencing India for the first time. The sights, sounds and smells are hard to forget. But really, my heart is in Africa. I believe Zambia is the poorest country I’ve been to. But you wouldn’t know it by all the smiles on the kids faces and how every village welcomes you with generous gifts from their harvest. Malawi will always have a piece of my heart. I have so many good memories from living there for almost two years and I miss the friends I have there. I would love to have the chance to go back to visit any of these countries.
Where are you going next?
I have been asked to lead a team to Haiti this summer. Our team is going to help with construction on a two-story school building near the village of Saint Marc, located about 50 miles north of Port Au Prince. We will have opportunities to share with the Haitians through drama, puppets, singing and presentations. We will be sleeping in tents and bathing and laundry will be done using a bucket. We might have the chance to swim in the Caribbean Sea. We will be flying to Haiti on July 8 and returning to the States on August 4. The team is already filled with 10 boys, 15 girls and four leaders.
What do you do at Teen Missions?
One thing I do is newsletters. Everyone on staff has the opportunity to write three newsletters each year. I am responsible for the design, putting the outside to film so the color side can be printed on the press, then I print the black and white inside on the copier. I’ve put more than 16,000 copies on our copier this week–just for newsletters. That’s a lot of hours of loading paper to keep it going–just ask everyone else in the office who need to use the copier too!
Another one of my assigned jobs right now is taking care of all the promotional materials for the three Tabernacles that will open in May. One Tabernacle is going to Canada, one to Orangeburg, South Carolina and one will be in Hudson, Wisconsin. They will be open for tours from May 15 – October 15. The life-size replicas are a great evangelism tool, as Christ is represented in each piece of the Tabernacle design. Donations from tour guests go towards AIDS Orphans and Street Children.
I am also updating our display room with many of the more recent photos we have received from our overseas bases. This is no small project and will hopefully be done before we begin our 1000 hours of prayer, when we pray around the clock for 42 days before Boot Camp.
Winter Jam has proven to be a great venue for promoting Teen Missions. We are represented on stage to an average of 10,000 people four times a week in 24 different cities all over the eastern United States. I helped put together a group of banners, table-top displays, promotional flyers and sign-up forms, hoping to attract many people to stop by our booth. We have expanded to reach teenagers through our new texting option. If they text us, we can send text messages straight to their phones. This will give us the chance to link them either to our website or to our promotional videos.
I just finished teaching a class on First Aid, CPR and Tropical Diseases for the first six weeks of the winter term for the 24 students at our Bible school. Once a year I also teach a Lifeguarding class to keep up with our need for Lifeguards each summer. I am working on getting waterfront certified as a lifeguard instructor. We are hoping to use our lakes more this summer than we have in the past few years.
What’s else is happening at Teen Missions?
Just last week we watched as the crane loaded our third shipping container onto the truck. The container is going to Zambia full of more than 10 tons of clothing, blankets and shoes. It should arrive just before it gets really cold there. The fourth container is already sitting out front waiting to be filled. We are currently working on getting all the clothes baled and then loading up the container. It is really neat to see all the donations come in, packed up and sent out to help the orphans in Africa.
Thank you for all that you do in supporting me in this ministry.