Dear Friends, Family and Former Team Members,
I am sitting here thinking about when I would race with my siblings (Kim always won…) and we always started with, “Ready. Get Set. GO!” Well, we are at the end of the “get set” stage and in position to “go”. Over 650 registrations have been processed (and we are still getting new ones almost every day), support packets have been mailed out, paperwork is being returned, visas have been sent out and are starting to come in, the Big Top tents are up and are ready for occupants, the Obstacle Course is up, the rains have started and the mosquitoes are preparing for their feasts. Yes, it is starting to look and feel a lot like “Boot Camp”.
This is always such an exciting time for us! We begin preparing for this beginning during the spring of the previous year (Yes, we are already getting ready for 2014!). It takes a LOT of work, prayer, laughter and tears to get us to this point. Before we know it, those buses will arrive with the team members we have been praying for many months. We KNOW God is going to do great things in and through their lives during their ministries this summer. Many will come to know the Lord this summer and we are so thankful to have a small part in what He will do this summer!
Colton, Danae and BJ are very excited about their summer ministries. They have all of their support and we are so thankful to those who are praying for them and who have given financially so that they can go. All three needed new passports and those are already back. Pretty soon, it will be time to drag all those “Boot Camp” totes out of the storage shed and begin the process of sorting through the contents, washing the bedding, towels, clothes, etc. that they will be taking. Then we will get to go shopping for their boots and other necessities for their trips.
Colton continues to do well with his driving. He still does not have his license, but his grades are improving. He only had one C this past term. He is raking a neighbor’s yard to help with his “spending money” for the summer. He is now taller than Paul and he loves to bring that to anyone and everyone’s attention.
Danae now has her Learner’s Permit! She is not impressed that she has to “share” her driving privileges with Colton. She is finished with her high school JV soccer, but is still involved in club soccer. She is excited about an upcoming job doing “dog sitting” which will help with her spending money. She is looking forward (as they all are) to school being done for the year.
BJ continues to keep us on our toes. He had straight A’s for the first time this past term! He is doing well in soccer and his team is in the “Sweet 16” for State Cup! He ran track in school and did very well. I was thankful that their meets were not as long as the high school ones and the season only lasted about a month.
Lindsay is still studying at the community college and hopes to graduate in December. We are not sure where she will be attending school after that. She is also working a couple of part-time jobs.
We have a former team member working at Disney and in March, she was able to get all of us in without cost. What a blessing! After a fun-filled day, we drove to Weston, Florida, for BJ’s State Cup games. We thoroughly enjoyed this weekend together as a family and made some great memories. We are thankful to a staff couple for loaning us their van so that we wouldn’t have to rent one. As the kids get older, these “family times” seem to get fewer, so we are trying to grab the minutes that we can!
Also in March, Paul was able to travel to Myanmar (formerly Burma) where he visited several orphanages in order to set up some Teen Missions teams. He visited one place that was a seven-hour trip into the mountains (the last four hours being on dirt roads) where there were 20 children in a bamboo, thatch-roofed “home”. Lord willing, Teen Missions will be sending a team of teens to help build their first building in 2014. We are very thankful for the safe travels and contacts he made.
This summer is our summer to stay home and to help run the office. We will be moving into our “motel room” on June 2 as leaders start arriving on June 3. We are not sure who will be here to help us this summer. However, we know the Lord has it all in control. Summer staff responsibilities include manning phones 24/7, communicating with the missionaries and leaders, calming down the parents, running the Debriefs, keeping the grounds, cleaning rooms, hosting a retreat, cooking, washing Missionary Barrel clothes and posting reports on our website. We shouldn’t be too bored this summer…Colton and Danae start their training on June 21 and BJ starts on June 27. They love Boot Camp, but are NOT excited about living in tents.
We covet your prayers for all of us this summer. Please pray that our children will be sensitive to what the Lord wants to teach them this summer. Please pray that they will remain strong in their faith when they return home. Please pray for their health and safety in all their travels and while they are on their project sites. Please pray for Paul as he will be juggling many hats during Boot Camp and during the summer. Please pray that both of us will be sensitive and show God’s grace and love as we deal with the parents, leaders, missionaries and team members this summer.
Again, thank you for your generosity in giving and praying for us which allows us to be a part of this ministry. We love what we do and could not do it if it were not for you. THANK YOU!!!!!
Paul, Beth, Lindsay, Colton, Danae and BJ Kostner