Dear Friends and Family,
We praise our God and Father and Savior Jesus Christ for all that they have done and will continue to do in each of our lives. This fall has been such a delightful season of ministry, and we are eager to share about it with each of you.
West Coast Winter Jam Tour:
On November 6th I (Ryan) officially joined the West Coast tour of the Winter Jam concert series. Over the course of 11 days we traveled to nine cities sharing with people about the ministry of Teen Missions Int’l (TMI) as the tour lovingly performed concerts, presented the Gospel and people came to Christ. Erin was able to join me at three of these concerts and her help was genuinely appreciated. It was amazing to watch God work on the tour. It wasn’t always easy and the hurdles definitely appeared to mount up. Many late nights, busses that broke down and trailers jack knifed on snowy passes reminded me of God’s sovereign hand over me and the tour. As I traveled the 3,400 miles of the tour, in each city I was greeted by my
wonderful volunteers who were able to handout close to 17,000 summer team brochures and added just short of 3,000 people to the TMI mailing list to receive future team brochures. We have seen 21 people sign up for summer missions trips so far and anticipate more in the months ahead! I want to give all praise to God and thank all of you who were in prayer for my family and me while I was sharing at this event.
The Mission Trip Continues:
This last summer I had a young man on our team whom I deeply loved, but had limited success motivating him. Getting him to volunteer or lead was a chore, although I knew he had it in him to be a really good leader. At the end of the summer he came to me for some advice and I encouraged him to take a closer look at James 1:22 and start DOING what God says not just LISTENING or TALKING about it. I got this encouraging note from him the other day, and he has given me permission to share it with you:
“Hey Ryan, I’d like to thank you for encouraging me to become a better Christian. I’ve been doing my devotions most every morning and this is the first year I’ve ever done devotions outside of TMI. It takes a lot, but I’m finally getting used to raising my hand every time my teacher asks for a volunteer either it’s setting up books or turning on the light. I’m sorry I decided not to change while I was on the team. But I find it weird that I’m changing even in the secular world. I’ve been reading through Proverbs about wearing wisdom and kindness on my neck and I’ve been applying it to my everyday life. When I’m in a rush to get to school and someone cuts me off or someone is walking really slow in the hallways sure there are some thoughts going through my head but I catch myself before I get really mad and reason with myself…I know I must sound self conceited talking about all of this and what’s happening in my life, but I just wanted you to know that you definitely had a part in it.”
It is notes like this that really keep us going. They remind us that investing in the life of a teenager is exactly that, an investment! It may take a while to yield a return, but that should never stop us from praying for the Holy Spirit to work in their lives, because we serve a very patient God who is truly long-suffering on our behalf. Just because we don’t see immediate fruit doesn’t mean that a harvest isn’t eminent.
It’s amazing that 2015 is now upon us. My promotional schedule remains full for this winter and spring. Erin and I plan to travel to Canada at the end of January to promote TMI at a large missions conference up there, and then I will travel to northern and central California in February to visit schools and churches. I am excited to have some new schools to share at and ask that you would pray for me as I venture into those locations. Finally, at the end of February I will return to the East Coast tour of Winter Jam. I am excited to return to this ministry opportunity, but I ask that you pray for Erin and the kids as I will be gone for five weeks on the tour.
On the Home Front
On the home front we lead a very busy family life. It is so exciting to see our children grow in their relationships with God and become more and more aware of everything that He is doing in the world around them. Micah and I continue to have “guy time” (as Micah likes to call it) by our continued involvement in scouting. Earlier this fall we did our first official scouting campout and fun was truly had by all! Abigail continues to be very busy making new friends at her school and is working hard on learning her ABC’s and counting to 1-2-3! Zeke is a very busy toddler. His constant chatter has become a language all its own and his mischievous smile often betrays a joyful heart that seeks to play and interact with the world around him. Erin keeps herself busy staying on top of the latest travel arrangements, volunteering once a week to do grocery shopping for the elderly, and working on recruiting volunteers for the upcoming East Coast tour of Winter Jam. As a family our continued involvement with our community group through our church keeps us grounded and connected with the local church. So overall we continue to see that God is good, and evidence that His mercies are new every morning are often experienced in our lives.
Exciting News & Current Needs:
Teen Missions has asked us to lead the team to South Korea this year and we are really excited to do so. However, we will have to raise $4625 to pay for Micah, Abby, and Zeke to travel with us this year. Would you join with us in prayer as we lift this need up before the Lord and ask for His provision in this matter? If on a practical level, this is a need you would like to help meet please complete the insert in this newsletter and send in your donation to Teen Missions.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to each of you who pray for us and support us. You are truly a gift from God, and we are blessed as a family because of your generosity.
Know that in and through Christ we love you all deeply!
Ryan, Erin, Micah, Abigail & Zeke