We hope and trust that you all had a great summer, but like so many things it had to come to an end… well for some of you at least. Now many of you are enjoying the early beginnings of fall. Too bad it doesn’t exist in Florida. We have mosquitoes until Christmas (and beyond!) in the land of (almost) eternal summer. We are excited however that, even though we will not experience fall, we will get to enjoy some of our family who are coming down for Thanksgiving, as well as have the opportunity to go to Tucson for Christmas. If you live in the Tucson area we would love to connect with you during our time there.
As you may recall from our last newsletter we had the opportunity to lead 21 teenagers on a mission trip to China this summer. While it was definitely the most difficult and challenging summer team we have ever experienced, we wouldn’t trade it for the world. China was beautiful and we loved the hearts of the people there! I was talking one day to Nina, a wonderful friend who is on staff at the camp, and asked her how to write Jesus in Chinese. She showed me two different ways, the old way and the new. I asked her how old the old way of writing Jesus was and she told me it is as old as 1800 years or more. You hear stories about missionaries taking the Gospel to faraway lands, but most of the stories we hear about took place two or three hundred years ago. Someone brought the Gospel to China two hundred years after Jesus died! The Chinese symbol for Jesus translates to “Lamb for us”. It was awesome to hear how long Christ has been preached in China.
We also shared in our last newsletter that we have a desire to be involved in ministry to Muslims. We have been praying for open doors in or near the Middle East. Well, it looks like that door is opening. Right before we left for our summer team Teen Missions had a visit from an Iranian pastor who is currently serving the Lord in Greece. He shared his testimony about how he was raised Muslim until he had a dramatic encounter with the one true God. I would love to fill up this whole newsletter with his story, but in a “nutshell” he was imprisoned and sentenced to death in Iran for converting to Christianity and telling others about his experience with God. His own family even wanted to kill him to remove what they saw as a disgrace to their name, but God had other plans and miraculously provided deliverance. While he was here in Florida he spoke to the Board of Teen Missions about the possibility of Teen Missions starting a work in Turkey and we have been asked by the Director of Teen Missions to be a part of that. There is still much that needs to be accomplished before the ministry can begin in Turkey, but we are extremely excited that God has answered our prayers. We trust that God will provide what is needed for us to get to Turkey, and we will keep all of you informed of those needs as they come. We would ask that you would pray for land to be provided, all the right paperwork needed to become incorporated and good connections to be made by those who will look into establishing the work in Turkey.
Ocen & Quinto
We want to update you on our Ugandan friends who were in the terrible motorcycle accident. As you can see from the photos, they are both improving and doing so well. It is a miracle that they even survived, and we thank you for standing with us in prayer for their recovery. All glory and praise to God, the Great Physician.
In closing, we want to share about a financial need that has arisen. One of the memorable moments of the summer was that I (Justin) spent 2½ days in a Chinese hospital with a kidney stone. We are thankful that we were in a country with good medical care and not out in the boonies like some of our teams have been; however, the medical bills of almost $2000 hit us kind of hard. We have been able to pay $700 towards the bill, but please join us in prayer that God will provide the needed funds for the remaining $1300. If you would like to make a donation to help with this need, you may fill out the attached coupon and send it with your gift to Teen Missions. God always takes care of us and we trust that He will provide what is needed.
Thank you for your prayers and involvement in our ministry.
Together in His Harvest,
Justin & Shannon O’Hara