Dear Friends and Family,
Just a quick update before Katie Reilly has her big day. She will be wed on November 16, and hopefully we will see some of you there! For those who are not on our email monthly updates, sorry to say you have missed out on a few good updates, one of which was the new guy who flew here to Australia to ask my permission to marry Katie. Since I did not kill him, I guess I said “OK”. He’s a great guy and studying to be a pastor. God has been so good. By the time you receive this, we all should be in the States. The place for the wedding is booked along with the reception. The wedding gown is even bought—praise God for online sales! And when she went in for her “fitting”, it fit perfectly with no adjustments necessary!
The school is going strong, but not without some bumps in the road. Being a fully accredited program means a lot of government paperwork and complying with ever-changing rules. Because of the changes, that means training and retraining the teachers (Mike & Rena) and helping the volunteer teachers keep up. We have five teachers that have given up their time to teach classes like Church History, Old and New Testament, Evangelism and Teaching In Cross-Culture and Missions. As part of the training, the students have been taking part in teaching the Bible in a public school and you can imagine the issues that arise. They also have helped get ready for camps and all the other programs that we have going on.
For some reason God has opened the door for groups to use our campground. When I started here, we fixed up some of the buildings just to see if we could get some people to come to cover the basic costs. But God had other plans. For example, this week alone we had three camps, which added up to be over 800 teens attending with over 282 salvations. These youth camps are loud and like staying up late. I am not sure of the number of recommitments, but there are many. Praise God for the changed lives and how God makes a small thought into a life-changing ministry. One of the camp group organizers who has been coming for 10 years said that his program would have shut down a long time ago if it was not for Teen Missions and over that 10 years of coming here they have seen over 1,000 salvations. He is only one of about thirty camps that came here this year.
This is the first time in a long time that we did not send Rena to Zambia. We had a team of five to start off at the beginning of the year. Then one gal had to drop out for health, and another, well you know how it goes. So Rena was disappointed that she could not see the orphans this year. But I am kind of glad as there was a lot that had to be done before we headed off to the U.S. We are planning another trip next year to build granaries and sew uniforms for the orphans.
Not sure if it is a good sign or not but I have taken a lot less trips through Asia this year. The most recent trip was a very quick one to Cambodia for a laid-back board meeting and to greet the new staff couple who will be taking over there. Mat and Heni Wylie will be replacing a very hard working Akhim from Indonesia as he is heading back home to get married. Mat and Heni have done a wonderful job in Malawi and we are looking forward to the same kind of fruits in Cambodia. They have already started working on the buildings and learning the language. I think that with them and faithful Nelly from the Philippines, I will not be heading to Cambodia to often as they will do an excellent job.
I am taking some classes on construction and building so I can meet the ever-changing government policies. Once the classes are completed, we will start work on a 499.97 (5381.5 square feet) square meter camp chapel. (If it is 500 sqm then it comes under a stricter standard) We do not have a closed-in meeting room for camps to use. We are hoping that if we have this, we will have more camps. We are also planning to build a few more bunkrooms. We have already milled some trees from our property for these projects, saving us thousands of dollars.
We are also starting a travel team that will go across Australia to run mini Boot Camps and share about Teen Missions. The travel team will also run 40-hour famines, 5k walks and other events to help raise funds for Aids Orphans and Street Children. And believe it or not, this will be an accredited course as well. So the team will earn college-type credits by doing ministry. It will be much like the diploma course that we already offer, but they will get it while on the road. So if you want to spend a year traveling across Australia, let me know.
-We still need leaders and volunteers for this year’s Boot Camp
-Pray for us as we are in the U.S. for Katie Roses wedding
-Pray that Rena and I can get everything ready for Boot Camp before heading to the U.S.
-Pray for Katie Rose as she is getting ready for her new life with Brandon.
-Pray for new staff—the Flora family is waiting on the sell of their home so they can join us early next year.