Autumn has arrived. At least it has everywhere but Florida. It is still nearly 90 degrees here, but we do have slightly lower humidity–that’s the only way we know it is fall here. It was nice to be in Ohio last year during September to see fall arrive there. We miss the changing leaves, cool nights for Friday night football and apple picking at Hirsch’s Fruit Farm.
We had an AMAZING summer in Borneo. I must admit that when we were first approached about leading this team, I was apprehensive at the very least. I knew that this was to be a very rustic and primitive location and that the project would be demanding and challenging. However, when I started to pray about it, God filled me with such peace about everything. And where God guides, He certainly provides. His provision and providence were evident in every detail this summer. God truly hand-picked this team and provided everything we needed. His reassurance came through the verse in 1 Peter 4:7 “Cast all your cares on Him for He cares for you.” and in Philippians 4:6 “Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication make with thanksgiving make your requests known to God.” I learned to walk by faith and put everything completely in God’s hands. It was awesome to sit back and watch Him work through this team.
We worked alongside 11 Indonesian staff, students and interns from our Sosok base. We hadn’t planned on having 11 extra mouths to feed and only brought enough meat and other “American” food to feed 24 people. Kayla Graves, our assistant leader, and I would pray over every meal and ask God to stretch the food to not only feed everyone, but fill them as well. We were always amazed that there were often not only seconds, but thirds and leftovers! God multiplied!! Thanks and praise to the Lord!
Our project was to start construction on a building for a new Bible Missionary and Work Training Center in West Kalimantan, Borneo. The property is strategically located near the only border crossing between Indonesian and Malaysia. The school will provide an opportunity for Christians in Malaysia to be trained to be pastors and missionaries in Malaysia. The property, 18 acres of remote jungle, was purchased just a few months before the summer. We didn’t expect to have bathrooms, bathing facilities, a kitchen or any modern conveniences I was praying one morning during devotions, I was expressing all my anxiety about this to the Lord and felt His peace come over me….Trust me. So I did—I gave all my worries to the Lord. When I checked my emails later that morning, I found an email from the staff in Indonesia. Two students had gone out to the property and they had constructed two bathrooms, two bathing stalls, a storage building and had installed a solar panel for lights at night. God had indeed taken care of all my cares. And our tent was a very comfortable “home away from home.” HE IS SO GOOD!!! That was just the beginning…God protected us, provided for us, equipped us and strengthened us. The team worked very hard and never complained. They were able to set 62 poles for the building, dig and pour the footer, set the cap beams, dig a 9’x12’x9’ deep septic tank, leveled the floor for the building, and dig drainage ditches. They had to push several dump truck loads of sand and gravel up the hill to our work site and God provided “superhuman” strength for them to accomplish this. That, and the motivation to not have to carry the sand and gravel up by hand in five gallon buckets, which they had to do for days when we first arrived! What an accomplishment by 17 teenagers! Make sure you check out the insert to our newsletter. It includes some of our pictures from our time in Borneo this summer.
Our team had several opportunities to encourage the believers in a country where Christians are often persecuted. In fact, while we were there, a former BMW student was arrested in another area of Indonesia and beaten for preaching the Gospel. Miraculously, she was released after only five days. How often do we take our freedom for granted? What a privilege to worship, pray and serve the Lord without fear or oppression. On Saturdays and Sundays, we would walk three miles over rough, mountainous roads, to the local village and share with the people there. Saturdays were spent playing soccer on the village field and on Sundays we would worship in the church there.
Nine of our 17 teens “Bridged the Gap” during Debrief which means that they committed their lives to full-time Christian service! We are so humbled to have the privilege to lead amazing teens each summer and watch God work in their lives.
The day after our team left, we took Taylor to the airport for her flight to China to begin her new job teaching at an International School there. It was hard to let her go, but knowing she is being obedient to the call God put on her life and pursuing her dream of ministering in China makes it much easier. She is doing great there and loves her job. She is teaching computers to K-3, teaching English to 3rd and 4th graders and tutoring in Math.
Canaan has transferred to UCF and is attending classes at a local regional campus. He is living at home and looking for a job. He has changed his major to History and has a strong desire to go back to Russia and serve there. It was both a blessing and an awesome privilege to lead the team with Canaan this summer! He did a great job!
Madison has started Junior High and loves her new school and is on the basketball team. We never dreamed our kids would wear any team colors other than the black and gold of Paint Valley. God has led us on the greatest adventure of our lives! This year, on our Borneo team, she was a team member for the first time. She had a great time and is already looking at teams for next summer.
Zoe served on a Peanut Team this summer–Nehemiah Trusses Team. She struggled with lots of homesickness this summer, but still enjoyed her team. She had a great time in Borneo and learned all 40 teen verses in THREE DAYS this summer. She can still say them when quizzed on them. She is in the third grade and enjoys school.
Please pray for our family that we will always be obedient and willing to go wherever God sends us. We never want to become too comfortable where we are. We want to always be ready to serve where we are needed. Recently, we were approached about an opportunity for our family to move to Africa for an extended time. Although, after prayer and consideration, we were willing to go, but we were asked to stay in Florida and help with the Bible School instead. This verse serves as a constant reminder of the prayer of our family as we seek God’s direction for our family:
2 Timothy 2:4—No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this world that he may please Him who enlisted him as a soldier.
Our family is preparing for some changes in our responsibilities here at Teen Missions. In January, we will move to the Teen Missions property and live in an “apartment” there. Shannon and I have been asked to oversee the Bible School and Conference Center. Currently, there are 25 students. Please pray for us as we assume our new responsibilities and for the 25 students that are enrolled here.
Thank you so much for being part of our support team. Our ministry at Teen Missions would not be possible without each one of you. Your support, prayers, friendship and encouragement make it all possible.
The Bobb Family