What a delightful season of ministry this fall has proven to be for the Fast Family. We continue to see and experience God’s provision and have watched the Lord blaze trails into new realms of ministry. We are so excited to share about some of these experiences in this newsletter.
This year Teen Missions did not sponsor the Winter Jam Concert Tour, which has allowed us to focus more on local recruiting opportunities. As a result, Ryan has spent a lot more time in the Pacific Northwest speaking at schools and churches, many of which he has never spoken at before. So far the numbers from Washington, Oregon and California are looking really good, with nearly 20% of those who have signed up for summer mission trips coming from them!
Ryan has made trips to both Colorado and Northern California during the fall recruiting season as well as multiple “local” trips to Seattle, Salem, and the like. While there have been many highlights Ryan wanted to share a specific, unexpected one, in his own words:
I always love speaking at this small Pentecostal Christian school, strategically located in one of the poorest/crime-ridden sections of the Denver metropolitan area. They have a history of sending kids with Teen Missions but that was 10+ years ago, and recently haven’t sent very many. Well, after worship was done, I was able to preach and challenge the kids to go, not just to their neighborhoods, but also to the ends of the earth! After I finished speaking something happened that, well, you could just say, I wasn’t expecting. The principal of the school came forward and challenged 12 of the students to come on mission with TMI! Since he presented the challenge (which would have required ALL high school aged students at the school to come on trips this summer) I could think of nothing better to do than to ask the principal if I might be able to pray with the students. So he dismissed the younger kids and I invited kids in 7th-12th grade to come up and pray for a few minutes. Instead what happened was we spent over THREE HOURS IN PRAYER! It was amazing! We started by praying and then students started confessing their sins, repenting, asking forgiveness, and in general just responding to what the Holy Spirit was convicting them of. And yes, after the “Prayer Time” I was swamped with questions about “being one of the 12”! So far only one has signed up, but he assures me that he’s working on the rest of the class! 🙂 So, at this school, I’m praying for 12 to come on mission trips with us this summer!
Overall, this fall has proven to be a very fruitful recruiting season and we sure do appreciate your prayers as we continue to exhort youth to be on a mission for Jesus and prayerfully consider a lifetime involvement in missions and ministry!
This fall seemed to have no end to the adventures in the lives of our children. Third grade has been a fun season for Micah as he completed his third soccer season and started Cub Scouts. Micah & Dad especially enjoy scouting and the many activities that it has brought into their lives. Between marching in a Veterans Day parade, learning how to safely use a pocket knife, camping and hiking there has been no end to the fun! Abigail, having just turned five, is very busy about the house. Between tucking her dolls into bed, keeping an eye on her “baby brother” and getting mom to paint her fingernails she definitely keeps us on our toes. Zeke continues to be a delight, freely sharing his six-toothed grin with anyone who is around and joyfully laughing and giggling throughout the day. He is constantly crawling, pulling himself up on furniture and learning how to say “da-da” and “ma-ma.” Overall, this season has been full of wonderful times serving the Lord and relishing our ever growing family!
We are really excited to announce that we’ve been asked to lead the Mongolia/South Korea team this year with Teen Missions! After training at the Lord’s Boot Camp in Florida, our team will travel halfway around the world to the newest Teen Missions Bible, Missionary & Work Training Center located about 1-hr drive from the capital city of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Here we will set up six yurts and begin work on the toilet block building. Upon completion of our project we will fly to Seoul, South Korea and bus two hours to Cheonan City where we will work out of a Child Evangelism Fellowship camp helping teach conversational English. While teaching English, our team will get to share their faith in Christ and give evangelistic presentations using puppets and drama, as well as making lasting friendships.
When we first returned from our mission trip this past summer it became very apparent that our faithful minivan was in need of a new transmission. Upon taking it to the mechanic shop we found out that it was going to cost us around $2,100 to repair it. We began to pray and ask the Lord for His provision…but without our knowledge He had already met our needs! It just so happened, that over the summer we received donations in excess of our monthly budget that matched the repair costs of transmission within $20! Isn’t God good?!! Thank you so much to all of you who give regularly, have given in the past, or have recently joined our support team. We are truly humbled and blessed to be the benefactors of your generosity and want to graciously express our sincerest gratitude.
Our biggest upcoming need is the travel costs surrounding taking Micah, Abby, and Zeke with us to Mongolia and South Korea this year. Over and above our normal monthly support we have expenses of around $5,800 to raise.
Thank you again for all of your prayers and financial support.
Ryan, Erin, Micah, Abigail, and Ezekiel
The Fast Family