My summer was amazing! I would have never thought that I would be in the middle of Madagascar riding motorcycles! It was so fun being able to do Sunday schools with the kids. My team was incredible and we got along so well. We were like a big family. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to go on this team. I definitely learned how to trust God more. He kept us safe, especially while we were riding. We rode through a lot of sand and rocks. We were also able to drive on the roads safely. Thank you so much for your prayers and all your support so I was able to go on this amazing experience. Love you all. Jessie
Darin was a little apprehensive about going on a team without the rest of the family, but he loved it. He had some great leaders and really enjoyed his team. They worked at the TMI base in Ecuador digging holes for the Obstacle Course and riding bicycles in town to do evangelism. His favorite part was the cold weather and making the children smile when they played with them.
Thank you to everyone who helped with the kids’ support and those who prayed for them. The Lord did mighty things through our teams this summer. One of our Well Drilling Teams in Malawi was able to complete a well and provide fresh water for a Muslim village. The Eyeglass Team handed out many pairs of glasses to villagers in Zambia who couldn’t see well. The China Team helped to run a camp for kids, while teaching them English, archery, mini-golf and many other activities. In the Philippines they helped to rebuild churches and homes after the typhoon went through two years ago and destroyed thousands of homes and businesses. The Israel Team was able to close in a building with cement blocks for a classroom at a school in Palestine before they had to leave the country early because of unrest. The list goes on as to what God did and is still doing in many of these countries. You can go to our website at www.teenmissions.org or our Facebook page to see many pictures of teams serving in their countries.
We had a wonderful summer staff who worked well together and went the extra mile when needed. We were blessed to receive the reports from overseas and to see how the Lord worked in many lives. I, Shawna, was putting the reports on the web as well as keeping in contact with the bases and teams. When Debrief came, I was in charge of cooking which included anywhere from 50-300 people at one time. Of course, I couldn’t have done it without Ema and Amanda! Sometimes we started the coffee as early as 4:30 AM, and finished preparations for the next day after 8 PM, but we had such a great time working together in the kitchen. Anthony was in charge of the outside work until Debrief and then he made sure the Debrief ran smoothly. Teaching classes, checking in paperwork, counseling kids and just filling in where needed were just a few of the things to keep him going. The Teen Debriefs were large with 11 and 13 teams at each, as well as a three-team Debrief for Preteens in between. We appreciated your prayers as there were many hard decisions to make and difficult situations to deal with, but praise God He is always in control.
We were blessed to have a work group from Ohio come one day after Boot Camp was over. They were here for ten days doing various projects around the camp, like washing our Big Top #1 Tent that was very dirty from being up for two months. They also cooked for the summer staff and their fellowship was awesome. Thank you!
Two down…one to go! Jessie graduated in May and we now have two kids in college! We can hardly believe it and are thankful how the Lord is providing for every detail when needed. Brandon is in his second year and would appreciate your prayers for direction as to what the Lord has for him after this year. He is working at an area Baptist Church, helping with the children’s ministry both on Wednesday nights as well as some Saturday evenings. He is really good with kids and helping to entertain them! It helps that he loves sports! Jessie is also seeking the Lord for her future. She is looking into other opportunities and would love to go overseas for a longer period of time than what a summer team involves. Darin is enjoying sixth grade and he is playing football again.
Many of you have asked how Anthony is doing. The past few months he has been feeling much better. Usually the summer can wear him out, with lack of sleep, long work hours, etc., but he stayed healthy and is feeling well. Thank you for your prayers and suggestions to help with the Crohns. He is scheduled to go back to Ohio to help with the Tabernacle takedown during the middle of October.
Our director, Bob Bland, spent a month in Africa this summer visiting teams and bases. Jessie enjoyed seeing him in Madagascar while she was there. Bob had a chest infection for a while after he returned which wiped him out, so pray that he will get his strength back and return to the work here. Bernie, his wife, does well on and off and is involved with the ministry when she feels up to it. They are 83 and 84 years young! They are special to our whole family, and they were my leaders the first year I went to the Philippines as a team member in 1980!
During the next few months, you can pray for those who are registering for the 2015 teams. We already have over 100 as of the middle of September! Also pray for the Boot Camps that will be running overseas in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Australia, Tanzania, Uganda, Indonesia, Madagascar, Myanmar, South Africa and Honduras.
We hope to travel to PA for Christmas and visit some supporters during the two weeks we have off. If you would like us to come and share with your church or youth group, please let us know.
We are overwhelmed with the love and encouragement shown to our family in many ways and are blessed to be serving the Lord here. We appreciate those who stand with us and provide through your support and prayers. We pray for you and your families that God will give you wisdom as you continue to live daily for Him.
Anthony, Shawna, Brandon, Jessie and Darin