It’s so exciting to be writing my first newsletter. I am just weeks away from joining staff at Teen Missions International. I would like to thank all of you for your support and prayers. I am still in the process of raising support, but thanks to your generosity I have made some headway.
Preparation for Joining Staff
Over the past few months I have been working as a substitute teacher for Brevard Public Schools which has been a great opportunity to practice teaching and working with youth, two things I hope to do with Teen Missions. I have also been teaching the 7th and 8th grade boys Sunday School class at my church and helping with the Wednesday night youth ministry. On days I don’t work, I help out at Teen Missions volunteering. God has been blessing me with many opportunities to learn skills for the missions field, from evangelism to construction.
Teen Missions has an exciting event coming up. We are having our first ever Mud Run. It is 5 kilometers through the swamp at the Teen Missions base here in Merritt Island. There are 31 obstacles. We had our first test run recently. There were around 20 volunteers and staff who ran it. The winner was B.J. Kostner, the 15 year old son of two staff here at TMI. He finished in 37 minutes. The event will be held on May 2nd. The fee to participate is $49, which will go to benefit AIDS orphans. I will not be present for the event though. I will be in Ohio for the 2nd District Council meeting of Christian Union churches. I am sad I’m missing the mud run, but so excited I get to see all of my friends and family in the 2nd District. It is always a blessing to go back to the Buckeye State.
God has called me to Russia. The original plan was for me to lead the team this summer to Russia and stay for a few months. The summer team to Russia was recently canceled for various reasons. I was saddened a bit when I first heard this. It actually turned out to be a blessing, however. Because I do not have a team, I can go over to Russia earlier and help with their Boot Camp. I am so excited about seeing all my friends in Krasnaya Niva again. I have been there three times before. The last time I was there was 2013. Lord willing I will be staying there for a few months and helping with the base there. There is much work to do. They need help running the BIBLE, MISSIONARY & WORK (BMW) Training Center there. They also have plans for a second Russian Boot Camp. Please pray for the staff over there and the local churches. The government there would prefer that all churches be Russian Orthodox, so the churches TMI works with often have restrictions put on them by the government. The Russian Orthodox Church has also been very aggressive towards them.
Many of you also get my parents newsletter so you probably already have an update on how my family is doing. For those who don’t, Mom, Dad, Madison and Zoe are preparing to go to Nepal. They went there in 2011, and they are thrilled about going back. Zoe recently turned 11, and Madison will be 16 in June. It seems so strange that my younger sister is in high school now. I substituted for one of her teachers last month. She was listed as the “most responsible student in the class” by her teacher. Taylor and Wes seem to be enjoying living in Franklin, Tennessee. Taylor loves working at Show Hope, an organization started by Steven Curtis Chapman that helps care for orphans. Mom and Dad have been busy here at Teen Missions. The BMW students and Conference Center give them plenty to do. When I volunteer here at Teen Missions, I usually work with Dad, doing various jobs. Recently we have been working on the A-frames here, replacing the plywood and painting. It’s great working with him.
• that everything will go smoothly and I will be able to get my visa
• that I will be able to raise all of my support
• that the mud run will go well
• for the country of Russia, Teen Missions in Russia staff and Russian Christians
Once again, thank you for all your prayers and support. None of what I or Teen Missions does would be possible without you.