….Let my mouth be filled with Your praise
and with Your glory all the day.….
Have you made a New Year resolution? Do you remember last year’s, and did you keep it? I am asking the Lord to keep me more faithfully praying for those nearest and dearest to me. For some of them, I know I am probably the only person praying for them. The death of my mother last year has brought me into contact with nieces and nephews and in-laws I don’t see very often, and it has been challenging to have some question certain ethical issues that have arisen. Thank the Lord that my faith, my ‘religion’, my life, is based on a Person, the Living Word, not a constitution or code of ethics or government mandate – not something but Someone.
The Boot Camp in Australia was again a rather smoky one, with bush fires not far from us through the first week. All went well except for a major accident the first day of training when a boy broke his leg on the Obstacle Course. We thought he had dislocated his knee, but it turned out to be a break that required surgery so he was not able to travel with his team to Korea. Then, because of the inability of the missionary to find accommodation for the team going to Chile, we had to change that project at the last minute. Instead of being in a city setting in Valparaiso, the team was north of Santiago on the edge of the desert in a town called Petorca. Also, the team that we had hoped could go into Israel and visit the Bethlehem Bible College on the West Bank, ended up staying in Thessaloniki in Greece. These changes kept us busy, as did the writing of the new brochure for next summer’s teams. Mike Reilly, our Australian coordinator, likes to have the new brochure ready for the kids when they come back in for Debrief, and this year will be no exception.
December 25th was a very special day for us. We celebrated Jesus’ birthday as well as our 25th Anniversary, even as we commissioned the team members and their leaders for their summer projects. A good number of parents and friends celebrated with us, and the founders of Teen Missions in Australia, Peter and Bev Salisbury, were honoured, along with Des and Roly Lennox, the brothers who gave us the land to begin the ministry to young people. The Sunday before, we graduated six young people from the Bible School, and it is obvious God is working in many lives through the ministry of Teen Missions in that country. As in many countries though, the need is for more staff. Mike and Rena are faithfully doing the jobs of probably three couples, and despite interest from several families, they continue on alone, with responsibilities for the Bible School and the camp ministry. Please pray for that need.
After a few days in Florida, where I thought I would be able to cool off after a warm dry Boot Camp in Australia, it is back to Australia again and debriefing the teams that are finishing up their projects as I write. Reports coming in tell of buildings getting painted, landscaping that improved appearances, fences being put up, floors getting tiled, children receiving attention and love – and so on. Teams have returned from Greece, Zimbabwe, Solomon Islands, Chile, Korea and Cook Islands.
Ecuador Teen Missions ministry is still very much on my heart and in my prayers. They have seven young people in their Bible School and one intern starting into her internship. The new student this term, Alicia, was the fiancé of the boy who drowned last summer. What an encouragement it was to me to hear that she is sensing God’s call on her life. Then we have another intern from our BMW in Florida who has gone down to help for a year. Getting a visa for her was not easy, but the Lord provided.
When I reach New Zealand again, I will have several major projects on my hands. The house needs painting; a leak in the hot water cylinder has to be repaired; NZ is switching to digital TV so if I want TV, I have to make some major changes, and because of our geographical location, there is quite a cost involved. And the new brochure has to be printed and mailed out. How I praise and thank Him for the strength and energy He gives for these activities, and for His provision too. Sarah and John continue to live in my basement and their restaurant has now made a name for itself, so they are pretty busy keeping their clientele happy. Other family members are moving forward in their lives – not always in the way or direction I would like, but as I faithfully pray, God leads and guides. Please let me know at [email protected] if there are any prayer needs in your own life. I would love to share them with you.
God bless you, keep you and use you!
In His amazing love,