Isn’t it amazing how God uses small, seemingly insignificant things to teach us BIG, GIANT truths, even truths that we might already “know”?! Like a simple pencil for instance…
Our girls are not big fans of pencils without erasers. They will dig and hunt through the pencil box until they find one with at least part of an eraser. I buy replacement erasers to put on the ends in an attempt to help the eraser-less pencils perform at their topmost level but they crack and/or fall off and cause more frustration than a pencil with no eraser does! I have come to the conclusion that there is simply not much use for a pencil that can not write AND erase. Like pencils without erasers, so too is a Christian who has lost their saltiness. Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:13 that we are the salt of the earth. If I think of salt’s ability to enhance flavor, I can be sure that God wants me to help others discover the joy of knowing and living for Him. I am to live out my faith daily to the world through acts of love and service. If I don’t, I become like salt without taste or a pencil without an eraser. Oh, that I would be a salty believer, who makes others thirsty for Jesus, the Water of Life! Lord, give us the ability and the desire to see the needs of others and fill us with your strength to reach out to others, whether they are a friend or a stranger, in love. And do all this, Lord, regardless of whether it is within our comfort zone or not!
Although the Dominican Republic (DR) is rumored to “have it all” and many journey there to enjoy the island paradise’s beautiful beaches, crystal clear water and flavorful cuisine, our time there will be for a completely different purpose. We will be enjoying our summer in the tropical DR working at a Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) camp. CEF is a Bible-centered, worldwide organization that is dedicated to seeing every child reached with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, discipled and established in a local church. Our project will include pouring sidewalks, painting, and landscaping jobs to improve the overall facilities there. We will also interact with the children attending the camp and take every opportunity available to us to share the Good News with them…and with any others we meet along the way!
We are about to enter our 10th year with Teen Missions. During the last nine years, we have experienced once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and met many people. We have learned so much about what it takes to be in ministry full time. God is always faithful and He is all we need. His goodness can not be defined by what is or isn’t happening in our lives: God is good all the time. Living by faith is extremely hard, but very rewarding. God is constantly reminding us of just how important it is to depend on Him for our effectiveness rather than on our own energy, effort and talent.
We are responsible each year to raise the additional support that is necessary for our daughters to travel alongside us during the summers. As Head Leaders, our costs are covered, but those of our children are not. Additional funds are needed to cover their airfare, ground transportation, food and air taxes. The first two summer teams we served on as a family proved difficult to raise the required money set before us by Teen Missions. In light of this, five years ago we tried something new. We began establishing a team of people who each give a one-time gift once a year to our summer team costs. If 75 people could each give $100 once a year (or $8 a month), we would raise $7,500 a year to cover our daughters’ team expenses. (On average, it costs about $2,500 each.) We are happy to share that the Lord is blessing this endeavor of ours to build this team. God has surrounded us with extremely faithful supporters, both in prayer and financially, these last nine years and He continues to do so, regarding this team, of the same such committed people.
We want to thank those of you who continue to give towards the summer expense of our daughters. Your gifts have an incredible impact in the lives of our girls. Although they are young, they truly are mini-missionaries, serving alongside us. Doors of opportunity open to them that do not open to us because they are children. Would you pray about your continued involvement on our Summer Expense Team? If this is the first time you are hearing about this team, would you pray about becoming part of it? We still have spots to fill! Asking for financial help is tough. However, we trust that as we share of our need, the Lord will gather those to us that will make up our Summer Expense Team.
We are so happy to be serving the Lord with Teen Missions and we hope this joy comes through to you in our newsletters. We could not be here without your continued support, both prayer and financial. We praise the Lord for His goodness to us in that He has surrounded us with such faithful friends and family! We are humbled daily by His continued provision in our lives and ministry.
Mike, Michelle, Kenya, Isabelle & Lily