Saturday, May 2, was our first Mud Run. A 5K (3.1 miles) course was set up on TMI’s 265 acre property. There were 30 obstacles in the 5K run. The purpose was a fundraiser for AIDS Orphans in Africa to purchase much needed medicine for orphans in the bush at our 30 AIDS Orphan Rescue Units.
It was one busy day as 350 people showed up to run the course. In preparation, the staff had put up four of our six Big Tops for the coming five Boot Camps. There were another 150 staff, volunteers and visitors who came for the Open House. Outdoor cooking produced ham and beans and a kettle of mac and cheese, plus four fifteen-foot pizzas in the shape of alligators. Several people, who have run other Mud Runs, said that our course was the best they ever ran and would come back next year if we do it again. We praise the Lord for all the work of the TMI staff and the safety of the run.
The week of May 10-16, TMI staff and half of the BMW students will travel to Atlanta and Evansville to set up life-size replicas of the Old Testament Tabernacle. A third one is set up at the TMI base in Merritt Island. A fourth is now being built at the TMI base in Pretoria, South Africa, the capital. Plans are to use it on the African Awakening Revival tour in the future. Pray they will be used to reach and encourage many for Christ.
AMERICAN INDIAN BOOT CAMP
In April I traveled to Galveston, Texas to look at a Rescue Mission work. We are investing in the work there. As a child, Sean Plant was homeless with his father and lived under a bridge. He has a real heart for the homeless. While there overnight, my cousin Marilyn Meyer drove down from Denton, Texas. Her three sons came to meet me for the first time. I was named after Marilyn’s father, Bob Cunningham, of Chillicothe who married my first cousin Opal. It was a short time of less than two hours, but a real joy and blessing. Marilyn knows a man in her town who wants to have one of the Tabernacles for the summer. From there, we flew to Phoenix, Arizona where Cathy, my daughter, joined us. We visited several missions in Show Low, Flagstaff and ended up at Window Rock, the headquarters for the Navajo Nation.
******We met Chuck Hughes, the CEO of the Western Indian Mission at Window Rock. The Old Line Mission has a school and radio station that covers all of the vast Navajo Indian Reservation. They were having a dinner for their board and workers and invited Cathy and I to join. Of course, we didn’t know anyone but Chuck. At the dinner I noted a man across the auditorium looking at me. He came across the room, walked right up to me and said “You took me on a canoe ride.” I didn’t get it at first as canoes are scarce there in the desert. Then he said it was at a TMI Boot Camp. He works with the Western Indian Mission, which has agreed to host the first all Indian Boot Camps at their place. The man, Brent Moyer, was so excited that TMI was coming to Window Rock. I told Brent that the only people I ever gave a canoe ride to at Boot Camp were those with a problem and I took them out to have a private heart to gizzard talk. His response was “Yep”. He is a therapist in Window Rock and he doesn’t even have a canoe.
NEW YOUTH GROUP LEADERS’ SCHOOL
TMI, TTT from Evansville, Indiana and Youth Evangelism Association, which we serve on their board, have joined to establish a school to train youth leaders for small local churches which are losing their youth and many are closing. On May 15 we will hold a two-day organization session with others involved at TTT. The eight-month school will be run, Lord willing, at TTT in Evansville. We are seeking a couple to head it up. Adults will train at TTT for four months then one month in Florida at TMI. It will be followed by three months of personal evangelism in Evansville, going to country fairs in Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky. Plans are for the school to start at the beginning of 2016.
Between 650-700 team members and leaders will come for the Five Boot Camps in June and go on 44 teams to 31 countries. Please pray for these teams.
After the Boot Camps, we will travel to Pennsylvania for some business and overnight with and share a Missions at My House with former staffers, Ralph and Connie Owens. During August we will speak at the Missouri Christian Union State Council and speak at the Indiana Christian Union State Council. We will also attend the Ohio Christian Union Council, Lord willing. We look forward to sharing at Blue Ridge and Rayville Churches in Missouri and several in Ohio.
*Attending the three state Christian Union Councils
*Five Boot Camps run in June and July
*Bernie’s health and strength to travel