Here it is, the middle of September, and I find myself wondering where the last few months have gone! Seems to me, that with every passing year, time passes faster and faster. To those of you who are in your teens and twenties, who may think time is dragging on, just you wait – one of these days it WILL speed up and you’ll find yourself wondering, as I do, just how and when that happened!
David and I have recently returned from our deputation/vacation time, and before that, our summer team time. Let me recap for you:
This summer we led the team to Russia, where Teen Missions has a base in the settlement of Krasnaya Niva, outside the city of Shadrinsk. We’re always thrilled to lead a team there. For one thing, we led there back in 1998, and made friends we enjoy seeing when God gives opportunity. In 1998, our team worked on a church building in Shadrinsk, so it’s exciting and encouraging to see how the Lord is growing that congregation and their outreach to their city. Another reason we love leading teams to Russia is to see how the American and Canadian kids on our team interact with and form friendships with the Russian youth attending the Boot Camp there. Of all the things we enjoy about leading a team to Russia, I think this is my favorite aspect. It’s great to see the kids using what they might have of each others’ languages (often little or none, especially on the part of the North American youth), and using that along with hand signs and pointing and to watch communication grow and friendships develop. We pray some of them will be lifelong friendships.
This summer, besides helping run the Russia Boot Camp, our team built a platform that will be used for preteen rallies in Russia. I think Russia is the first overseas base to have preteens, and it’s really exciting to see the ministry growing in this way. Another exciting aspect is that we’re now getting youth from more locations in Russia and there are other areas now wanting a Boot Camp. As Russia is, geographically, the largest nation in the world, you can understand that only one Boot Camp makes it difficult for many to attend due to distance and cost of travel. Please pray with us for God’s will and timing concerning an increase in the number of Boot Camps in Russia.
Other projects included “clean-up” projects around the settlement and evangelism in both Krasnaya Niva and Shadrinsk. We had the blessing of learning a drama taught by one of the Russian lady leaders (in addition to what we learned during Boot Camp here), and we worked together with a Russian team on the evangelistic outreaches. We also performed the drama in Moscow in front of St. Basil’s in Red Square. There were many visiting the square that day who watched. We hope and pray God will use that drama in the lives of many to draw them into a life committed to Him.
After our summer ended, and all our team members went home, we had a week here at the office before starting our vacation time. We started departed at noon, August 23. We headed north, with Indiana being our first stop. Daughter, Heather, her husband, Josh, and their children, Brice (14) and Tayler (12) live there and we spent 6 days visiting them. It was a nice time of relaxation. Though we have many friends in their area, we pretty much stayed to ourselves, relaxing and enjoying our family.
Our second stop was on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula . We stayed with daughter, Olga, her husband, Jason, and son, Andrey (19 months) in their new home. The Lord has blessed them with a lovely home and we enjoyed our time with them very much. Though we have many friends in that area, we mostly stayed at Olga and Jason’s, enjoying our time with them. We were also able to see our son, Azzie, while there. One thing we needed to accomplish (and did) was getting our house listed for sale. Please pray with us that the house will sell quickly and for just what we need to get out of it owing nothing.
From “do U.P.”, we headed to downstate Michigan (Waterford area) for the first part of David’s 50th high school reunion – a very pleasant evening of getting reacquainted and reminiscing for the Class of ’63 of Waterford Township and Waterford Kettering high schools. This time also gave us the opportunity to visit with David’s brother and one of his sisters. From there, the reunion moved north, and so did we. We stayed in Mackinaw City for two nights relaxing. We also went and visited the locks at Sault Ste. Marie (and saw a ship passing north through the locks!). On the 10th, we, and many of David’s classmates, traveled to Mackinac Island where we stayed at The Grand Hotel for two nights. Folks mostly just enjoyed the island on their own, but they did have a golf scramble on Wednesday and dinner that evening was in a separate banquet room just for us. Because we don’t really live too near any of his classmates, David really enjoys his class reunions – and I enjoy them, too.
On the 12th of September, we headed to Pennsylvania where we attended the wedding of a couple who met here at Teen Missions. Both are BMW grads. The bride, Bethany, was on our ’09 team to Ireland and was my assistant lady leader this summer in Russia. The groom, Josiah, is a friend and worked with us in the Canada office where he did ministry promotion and did a fantastic job. The wedding was beautiful and we had the honor of being scripture readers together with Steve and Gay Petersen of TMI staff. Bobbi Anderson, our assistant lady leader from our ’09 team to Ireland, flew down from Ontario for the wedding and it was GREAT to see her. We also saw several of the Governing Board members, other volunteers, former staff and BMW students at the wedding.
Immediately following the wedding, we headed back home to Florida, arriving on Sunday evening. We were back in the office on the afternoon of the 16th. Our daughter, Jenni and her two sons, Shad (13) and Talon(10 ½) moved in over the summer, and will stay with us until Jenni can test for and obtain her Florida beautician’s license. It may be a while before she can get a place of her own. We were in a small-ish two bedroom TMI housing unit, but moved into a three bedroom/two bath trailer at the end of September. It is VERY nice for all of us to have the extra space.
It is our great blessing and privilege to serve the Lord here at Teen Missions. Every one of you who takes time to pray for us or who gives as God directs you makes that possible and we are so very thankful for your partnership with us in this ministry. If you have any specific prayer needs, please don’t hesitate to share them with us – it would be our privilege to join with you in prayer. Until next time, may the Lord bless and keep you all.
Together in His Service,
David and Stephanie Spindler
Romans 10: 14,15