only what’s done for Christ will last.
I read this as a little girl and NEVER forgot it.
Dear Friends and Family,
THIRTY YEARS AGO: It has been thirty years since we moved our family to Florida. Doug, Steve and I made staff commitments and Sarah volunteered the first year. What a blessing it was to all be together. We were in a little single wide mobile home. We felt so happy and blessed. I remember our joy, contentment, and peace. We had no way of knowing that 30 years later we would still be serving the Lord and still have mobile homes on Heavenly St. As you know, Doug and I live in Zambia and do not spend much time in FL, but we do own a double wide mobile home across the street from where we first lived.
Steve and his family travel around the world, leading teams. Steve did Boot Camps around the world when he was single. He was in several countries in the Middle East that are now too dangerous. Steve and Gay work at the home office a major part of the year. Gay, our daughter-in-love, also home-schools Timothy and Faith, our grandchildren. Sarah (our daughter) and Rob Codding and their children also live on the same street. They are wanting to buy their own home on Merritt Island. It has been a gift from God to have family so close and be able to enjoy one another when we are home.
We cannot begin to tell you about all the experiences we have had or the many teams we have lead. If you have read our newsletters, then you have kept up. How we praise God for the journey and the privilege of being able to labor in His vineyard. I will always remember when He spoke to me out of Matthew 20 and 21. One of the verses that jumped out at me said, “Why do you stand there idle doing nothing, go work in my vineyard.” The Lord gave us many verses from His Word confirming our direction. These verses have held us steady through all of the good times and the harder times. We realize how quickly time goes by and how short life really is. Our hearts are filled with joy as we look back and as we look forward.
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! We must emphasis in this letter our thanks to all of you for your support over the many years. YOU HAVE BEEN FAITHFUL. To God be the Glory. Many of you have supported us for all 30 years. Maybe you didn’t even know it has been that long. Maybe you did. God KNOWS! Only heaven will reveal the lives that have been touched and saved and changed through this ministry. We take NO credit. It is God who changes lives and He gets ALL of the Glory. I always remember the picture (and it comes from several places in God’s Word) that it is not the tool in the hand that gets the glory, but the One wielding that tool. Personally, I picture myself as a hosepipe in God’s hand with the Living Water flowing through. God is the Gardener and I am in His hand, close by His side, and He takes me where He wishes and uses me. That is true for all of you, not just me. That is why He gets the glory. It is His plan and His purpose that we want to see accomplished. It is His Water of Life for all who are thirsty.
Current News: The next big thing on the agenda is the Zambia Boot Camps. Three venues will be buzzing with teens who are signing up right now. Running concurrently with the big picture of the ministry, there are always desperate needs we come across. We want to share one personal need in a family. Mukuka Matolokoshi, staff wife from the Solwezi base, shared this story. I won’t give the last name to give them some privacy. The mother had died and left four children. Their names are Esther, 7; Richard, 5; Mirriam, 4; and Bernard, 2. Esther doesn’t go to school because she is the primary caregiver. She tries to cook what she is able, she carries the smallest one on her back, she brings them to bathe in the dam near the unit, but has no soap to use. The two year-old showed signs of starvation when I first saw the picture of them. We immediately gave money for the nutrition formula to get him out of danger. The problem is the others are hungry also and so he doesn’t always get all of the portion. We have purchased other foods to help and are trying to get them at least one good meal at the unit each day. We bought bathing and laundry soap for them to stay clean. They need clothing and shoes which we are organizing. They had one small blanket with holes. We have sent two warm blankets. One for the father and one for the children to share. The father has no job. He gets their food from scavenging through the local dump. Much of it has already started to spoil. We will update you further on this family as the staff from the Rescue Unit report the progress. Pray that this father receives Jesus as his Savior. This type of work goes on at many of the Rescue Units. Praise God, He loves everyone!
Again, thank you for joining your hands with ours as we labor together in His harvest,
Doug and Barb
Matt. 6:33 & Gal. 2:20