“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 1:1-3
Dearest Friends and Family-
What a fall and winter it has been! The Fast family continues to be on our toes as we step through the doors that the Lord is opening for us. Through the ministry that we’re part of we continue to witness people come to a saving faith in Him throughout the West Coast and many more prepare to respond to Christ’s call on their heart to spend a summer on a mission trip with Teen Missions.
It has been a busy fall as Ryan has put over 13,000 miles on our Teen Missions vehicle. He has traveled through 17 states and shared with over 60,000 young people about the ministry of Teen Missions. We wanted to share with you some brief testimonies of the work that the Lord has done in various locations through us this fall.
October – Grand Junction, CO “On Tuesday morning I went and shared with students at Grand Valley Christian School and some local area homeschoolers. The speaking went very well, and the principal even allowed me to run almost a 1/2 hour over our scheduled time because the students were engaged and asking so many questions. Subsequently, I have seen five students sign up for summer teams! The principal asked that Teen Missions return to the school every year and told me that if she could she’d send all her students on a trip with TMI!”
November– Sacramento, CA “While sharing about Teen Missions at the Winter Jam Concert in Sacramento, CA, I noticed a young lady who kept on walking past our booth. She wasn’t going in to the concert or listening to any of the speakers. At first, when she realized that we were there to talk with people she wouldn’t walk anywhere near us. But as the evening went on Stephany eventually started coming near our booth and we struck up a conversation with her. During one of those conversations I asked her why she wasn’t in the concert and she replied that she was “forced” to come to the concert and that she wasn’t interested in any of the bands. As the evening went on the young lady kept on hanging out around our booth and as I talked with her I suddenly became aware that she had a huge hole in her heart that could only be filled by Jesus. After confirming with her that she was not a Christian, I asked her if she even knew what it really meant to be born again? We talked for a while about what it meant to be totally surrendered to Jesus, how it changes your life, and how to go about entering into a relationship with God. When I asked her if she wanted to pray to receive Christ she said she just wasn’t ready yet but asked me to text her about what we had just talked about and how to pray if she wanted to receive Christ. So I did exactly that. I asked her if she had prayed to receive Christ yet and she said no. So at this point I chalked this experience up to ‘planting the Gospel seeds,’ prayed and left it in God’s hands. The next evening we were at our next convert in Fresno. While there, God really laid it on my heart to share the story with the pastor who is the primary preacher of the gospel for the concert series. During the Youth Leader reception in Fresno, he along with over 200 youth leaders, prayed for Stephany. The next day I received a text from Stephany saying that she had prayed to receive Christ! All I can say is all glory be unto our God and King, Jesus Christ, for performing this work in her life!!!! Please join me in praying for her, that God would surround her with loving and joyful people who can now launch her down the path of discipleship in Jesus Christ.” – Sacramento, CA
December “During my sharing at youth groups over the past few weeks I have been challenging the youth to go out and share their faith in their own communities. I’ve done this by asking them if they wanted to go on a ‘free mission trip?’ I then invite them to pray for a friend of theirs who doesn’t know the Lord yet and then come up to the front and take a permanent ink pen and write the name of that friend on their hand. Then before that ink wears off they are to go and share their faith with their friend. Well in response to this I recently got the following message: ‘Hey Ryan, You gave us at our youth group a challenge when you spoke two weeks ago. I’m pleased to say that the friend’s name I wrote on the palm of my hand, accepted Jesus into her heart and declared Him her Savior on the sixth of December! Now, I’m trying to get her to come to our youth group! Thank you SO MUCH for giving us the challenge!’” – San Jose, CA
Looking Ahead During January Ryan will be traveling out to the East Coast to promote Teen Missions on the Winter Jam Tour (www.jamtour.com). This tour will travel through 14 cities during the month of January along with 10 Christian Bands. This tour attracts many youth because it only costs $10 to get in the door. We partnered with this tour on the West Coast this past fall and visited four different cities. Ryan had the opportunity to share with over 30,000 youth! Pray that God will open the door for more young people to participate in summer ministry programs through Teen Missions.
We have been asked to lead the Russia Sports Team this summer. We will be Training National Teens (TNT) in work and evangelism skills and then joining one of these national teams as they put on sports scrimmages in local towns and villages as a means of evangelism. We praise God as He has answered our prayers in amazing ways! Through the generous gifts from many of you He has provided all of the funding that is needed for Micah and Abby’s travel expenses to join us in Russia this summer!
Micah is also looking forward to his first summer participating in the Peanut program through Teen Missions. The Peanut program is a mission camp for 7-9 year olds that lasts for eight days and takes place at The Lord’s Boot Camp. Micah will be participating in the “Covered Wagon Circle Sidewalk” team where he will be working on constructing a sidewalk on the Boot Camp property. He is VERY excited about this and often asks why his team can’t go out of the country like the teens.
At the beginning of January we celebrated two years as full-time staff with Teen Missions. It has been such a blessing to see where the Lord has brought us in those two years! As many of you know, throughout this time Erin’s brother has graciously allowed us to live in his basement while we explored the West Coast ministry of Teen Missions. This has been an amazing gift for us to have the ability to live in such a great space while we built our ministry and financial support. Our director has confirmed for us that it is his desire that wecontinue our ministry out here on the West Coast and that we should begin to look for a more permanent housing location for our family. We are asking that you might join with us in prayer, that the Lord will lay it upon the hearts of individuals or churches to join with us financially in a greater way. We will need to raise an additional $500/month in order to support living in a home of our own. Would you pray with us, that if this is the Lord’s will, it will become a reality?
Home Front Micah and Abby continue to be such a joy in our lives. Micah enjoyed playing fall soccer and taking swimming lessons during the winter. Abby began taking swim lessons with Micah this winter. Although she is not a very strong swimmer she LOVES to socialize with her little swimming friends each week. Micah is enjoying exploring the world of legos and riding a dirt bike for the first time by himself.
We pray that this letter finds you well. We continue to distribute an e-mail update of our ministry about every six weeks. If you are not receiving this and would like to receive more frequent updates of the work that is going on out here on the West Coast please drop us an e-mail at [email protected] net.
Love in Him, Ryan, Erin, Micah & Abby!
-All of the summer expenses for Micah and Abby have been raised
-Ryan has been given the opportunity to share on the Winter Jam tour
-Doors are opening up in amazing ways in California to share about the ministry
-Wisdom in raising Micah and Abby to follow the Lord
-Safety for Ryan as he travels
-Direction as we seek increased financial support for a home