We have just completed another year of training young people for the mission field. The year yielded mixed results. It was the smallest Boot Camp that we (Rena & I) have held here in Australia with 84 team members and leaders. We had to cancel two teams and switch another team’s location because of the low turnout of members and leaders. Most of the leaders were under the age of 19, which made me nervous. It truly had me wondering and asking God what we were doing wrong. But, you know, He never answered me. Now that the year is over and we can look back, I see God’s hand all over it. It was a hard year for a lot of reasons, but it was the best year ever for the very same reasons it was hard. Sometimes more is less and the young with zeal can overcome obstacles that the older cannot. That was the case this year. I believe a lot was accomplished because this small group of young people had so much life in them and they wanted to go make a difference where they were going. They made a huge impact, so much so, that every place they went the missionaries were emailing before they even left the project asking for another Aussie team. Two countries want us to start the same Teen Missions program in their country. They want it now. So I have learned never to despise small numbers because they can do great things with God on their side.
In a nutshell this is what each team did:
Madagascar Motorcycle team: This all girls team (one guy leader did join them last minute) was a multitask team. They dismantled and re-roofed one of the buildings, as well as made trusses and bricks. Then they headed out on motorcycles, with the Motorcycle Sunday School Mission Circuit Riders, to the remote part of the country visiting villages, teaching, sharing and just loving on the kids, until the monsoon rains came and closed off the roads. The missionary and the students of the school were impressed at the amount of work and ministry the Aussie girls got done and the fellowship they had with them.
Germany Youth Camp: This team completed work on a three-story renovation project. They gutted and rebuilt the attic for the youth camp, which gave them much needed rooms. The team also stepped out of their comfort zone and did a new style of witnessing to University students at Heidelberg. They did ice skating outreach, one-on-one surveys with students who could speak English at different levels, traveled on a train while singing and sharing—all of which are things Aussies don’t normally do. The missionary was so impressed that they asked us to start a Teen Missions program there at their church.
Cambodia/Vietnam: The bulk of the work was to build dorms for a new Bible school in the central part of the country of Cambodia, which they completed. They also worked on a security fence and many other jobs. On the weekends the teens preached at local churches. They topped off the summer by heading to Vietnam to encourage local believers in their faith and pray with them.
India: This team had several projects; the first was to work at an orphanage. They cleaned the place up and started by adding a second floor. Then they worked at a leprosy mission fixing the road in and out of the village. They also prayed with many of the sick and shared God’s Word.
Vanuatu: They quickly completed a new classroom for a school on the Island of Pentecost. The missionary had to scramble for more work and the team started to work on the principal’s house and painting the other classrooms. On some afternoons the team hiked throughout the island sharing in homes and remote villages. The best part was hanging out with the children of the island sharing songs and dramas.
Travel Team/GO M.A.D. :
Well . . . we have just officially started our GO MAD campaign/program (Go Make a Difference). We have recruited our team members that have just gotten back from serving God overseas to help out. What better group of people to get others to do something then those who have just done it themselves? God has put it on my heart, and I shared with the group, that it is about time for a revival and it needs to start now and it needs to start in the youth of Australia. The goal is to get the youth of Australia to go and do something, anything that “Makes A Difference”, either in their community or overseas. We have made very large banners that say GO M.A.D. Teens Making a Difference. They will place them in front of churches, schools and along highways. I am trying to raise money to put the ad’s up on billboards near major cities throughout Australia. The travel team will be running weekend mini three-day Boot Camps, with work projects like fixing something at the church or going to a widow’s home and painting. They will also run skateboard Friday night events to raise money for AIDS Orphans and Street Children and an evangelism outreach. The travel team will also be setting up booths/tents at Christian concerts that are held throughout the year. We are already booked into Easter Fest with about 30,000 teens running around and soon Black Stump Christian Concert. Our Bible school students will be the ones traveling throughout this country making it all happen. This will be along with their studies. We have just started and are small but so far we have already sent off banners to Perth Western Australia, Adelaide South Australia, Bundaberg Queensland and one in the nation’s capital, Canberra. We have about 12 who have made a commitment to be a part of this outreach including one from the US.
Believe it or not Michael is leaving home (our little boy is no longer little – he is taller than dad). He says only for a little while, but we know once they get that taste of freedom and adventure they usually keep going. He will be taking accredited classes in Sydney with a group called, Youth with a Mission or better known as YWAM. He has to be there by April 4th, and has a six-month training course including classes in performing arts, Biblical studies, youth work and more. Then he will head to India and Nepal for up to three months for his internship.
Thanks for your prayers.
The Reilly’s, Eph. 6:10-18