Dear Family and Friends,
We hope you had a wonderful Christmas and pray the Lord’s blessings on each of you throughout this new year. We had a wonderful holiday. Three of our four boys and their families were able to join us in Florida for Christmas this year. We did miss Jacob, but the holiday season is busy in the hotel business so he wasn’t able to make it this year. But, it was a special treat having all of the grandchildren together to share Christmas morning with us. It was such a blessing for us.
A work group from Lancaster Community Church took their Christmas vacation time to help at Teen Missions. Since it was Joe and Katie’s church, we rescheduled our vacation time to work alongside of the group. The main project was to replace the leaky office roof. The tear off went well, but then the rain came and it came every day. The roof did get dried in, and we will get it completed as soon as possible. Many other projects were completed—a concrete pad was poured for visitors to register at Boot Camp, many shoes were sorted to send overseas, a couple of vehicles were repaired, blankets and sleeping bags left from last years’ teams were washed, carpets in the office were cleaned, and LOTS of paint was prepared for disposal. We are thankful for all of the volunteers who help with our work load here at Teen Missions. Our granddaughter Julia and her friend Riley were part of the group. They found a couple of little bicycles and had quite an adventure discovering the paths and mud puddles here at Teen Missions— and there were a lot of mud puddles.
Now we want to catch you up on what we have been doing the past couple of months. New walls were put up in the Motorcycle Sunday School Mission display area. Richard and Jon hung the drywall, I helped Richard with taping and sanding, and Jon did trim work. Part of the Boot Camp bathroom roof had to be replaced. Richard and his crew, with the help of the Bible school students, have the grounds looking great—trees trimmed, grass mowed and sidewalks edged. They have also been cleaning up the “bone yard”. (A large area where everything gets put if it is broken or no one knows what to do with it.) “Stuff” is being sorted into trash or recyclables with steel and aluminum being sold. And all staff members helped with the mailing of the brochure which took the good part of a week.
This time of year is slow for the Food Service Department so I have been “floating” and helping where needed. I occasionally run errands for parts and supplies for Richard or clean trailers for incoming volunteers. But my biggest and most challenging job has been to help sort and organize a room of filing cabinets. I wasn’t sure we would ever get it done, but we did and we are quite proud of ourselves. My favorite job has been teaching a cooking class once a week for the BIBLE, MISSIONARY & WORK Training Center (BMW) students. We learned how to: make bread, start a fire with damp wood, the importance of keeping your kitchen clean for a healthy team, make menus, and keep your financial records. We also had the opportunity to make cookies, candies, and caramel corn for the staff Christmas party. All 29 students joined me in the training kitchen, and we spent the morning cooking and baking. What fun! It’s been a privilege working with and getting to know these great young people.
Jon has been working steadily on the Teen Missions motorcycles. The BMW students are learning how to ride them, which means there’s a little extra maintenance needed! He’s enjoying it though. I failed to mention that Jon is currently raising his support to join the staff of TMI and is volunteering while he works at raising the funds needed. He has been asked to go on the Malawi Well Drilling team this summer and then stay behind for a year to drill water wells in area villages. The Viera Water Network is a local company willing to send Jon to a well drilling school where he will learn to run a drilling rig and how to maintain the pumps needed for the wells. This is a great ministry; most of the villages that have asked Teen Missions to drill are Muslim villages and it gives opportunity to share the Gospel as we provide an essential need. If you are willing to team with Jon in prayer or help with his monthly support, our address is 3813 Sentry Dr., Cocoa, FL 32926 or call him at 740-407-4094. He has prayer cards and letters he can send you. Never feel like you can’t afford to help, even $10 a month is a great help.
By the time you get this letter we will be returning from Ohio. We represented Teen Missions /Third World Missions in contacting and visiting churches that hold loans with us. It gave us a chance to share how the interest money is used to operate Teen Missions programs all around the world. It also allowed us to meet and pray with many pastors. There is a great need in the Dayton area as many people have lost their jobs and churches struggle to keep their doors open.
I almost forgot to share that this summer we are slated to go to Haiti. Many of you have traveled to Haiti with us in the past. Yes, we will be working with Mission Possible and Pastor Herve. This time we will be working at their new school location in Deyemon. It won’t have all the amenities we have had in the past, but it will be a great project for our team.
As you can see, we never know what the Lord has in store for us. We are here willing to do whatever we can to see His kingdom grow. Remember, you too are a vital part of this ministry and all that we do. We appreciate your prayers and financial support as we continually seek the Lord’s leading.
Richard and Gina Barber