Forty-five years of Teen Missions International and by the Grace of God, still running and looking forward in ministry.
We had a wonderful Christmas holidays with family all here including our two great-grandchildren: one year-old Joel Robert (Tara’s) and four month-old Sophia Noel (Catherine-Noel’s). Joel Robert made it quite lively at our house. He is a Robin carbon copy and loves his grandpa who takes him on all his toys—the backhoe, tractor, golf cart and his motorcycles.
Sophia Noel was cute and quiet and Grandma Bernie was in the height of glory. When the angels announced “Joy to the World” they really meant it and family times at Christmas are examples of proof. We hope all of you had some.
Work continues at TMI around the world. The Motorcycle Sunday School Circuit Riders are sharing Christ in eleven countries with many decisions for Christ. Because it is a school, and not labeled as a church, non-Christians are free to come who otherwise would be prohibited because of influences of other religious backgrounds.
Our goal is to have 300 Sunday Schools by the end of 2015. In south eastern Honduras, a swampy area with no roads, we are starting a motor boat Sunday School and a land circuit. Linda Maher and Pat Storey will go train eight Circuit Riders next month in Honduras.
Cathy and I will travel to Arizona and New Mexico on March 17 to set up our first Native American Boot Camp for the summer of 2016. I have contact with five Indian mission organizations. BMW has two Navajo students here in Florida. We have already had a camp made available to us in Vanderwagon, New Mexico, and have built some of the Obstacle Course and have a Big Top tent on site.
Another expansion is the Samaritan Ladies’ ministry in South Africa. This ministry is to help ladies learn a skill, get a job and have shelter and to get out of prostitution. Our BMW students have had a ministry in witnessing to these ladies. One day they were told by a lady that she would like to be free, but had no job skills and if it wasn’t for prostitution, her two children would starve.
A friend of TMI has provided money to build a classroom where we will teach skills such as baking, jewelry making, sewing and computers. The sewing machines are purchased and being used. The computers are being purchased now. The class will operate in part of South Africa BMW until the classroom is built on the base. The program is up and running.
Staff are working on the May 2, 2015 AIDS Orphans 5K MUD RUN. The special course is being built now. Several groups have signed their support. The money raised above expenses will all go for AIDS Orphans needs.
Staff are also working on improving the property here at TMI. A new display room for MSSM is completed. A new warehouse for staging team pack out is nearing completion.
BMW Master Missionary Gardening class is underway with the county agriculture agent teaching. She also teaches the course at Florida State. We have 33 students this term in Florida going through the program. We are currently running 25 BMW Training Centers around the world, so these students will be a blessing to many bases during their internship.
We have two staff couples now in Italy working to establish TMI Boot Camps and a BMW for all of Europe. Pray as we look for property in Turin, in north west Italy. The Powells and O’Haras are there now.
Four of the eight teachers currently teaching at our BMW Florida are graduates from Arizona Bible Institute, if you count me. They are Howard Vanderpool and Lee and Darlene Homoki. There are three local pastors or missionaries also teaching. We are blessed with excellent dedicated teachers for which we Praise the Lord.
TMI has one Old Testament Tabernacle here in Florida. We plan to advertise in many of the Florida Welcome Centers and locally. One Tabernacle is scheduled for south Atlanta this summer. The other one is either going to Tennessee or Indiana. Eivind and Carol Bray and volunteers have the fourth Tabernacle halfway built in South Africa. They go back in April. Anyone want to go help build it? It will take people who sew and people who will do what’s needed to get it finished. The plan is for it to travel in Africa for the African Awakening Revival in 2016.
During Christmas this year, all but one of the founders of TMI had a cookout at Robin’s RV Park clubhouse. It was a great blessing. There were nine founders: four Blands, four Wills and Jim Person. The two pictures show some changes 45 years later. Jim Person lives in the Atlanta area and was not here for the picture, but was a very vital part of TMI’s beginning. TO GOD BE THE GLORY!
Why would TMI purchase 150 ukuleles?…mostly for the Motorcycle Sunday Schools. It’s hard to put two Circuit Riders and a guitar on a motorcycle. But the ukulele is small and will fit nicely on the back of a motorcycle. There is a real need to help with singing at the Sunday Schools. One hundred and fifteen will be used at the Sunday Schools and 35 will be used here to train our BMW students.
From the bottom of our hearts, Bernie and I want to thank you who support us in this effort with your prayers and finances. Bernie has had some health issues, but we think by His Grace, she is on the mend.
May God richly bless you all,
Bob and Bernie Bland