Greetings to Friends in Christ!
Easter has come and gone and Down-Under, we are slowly moving into winter. The glorious victory that the empty tomb depicts has been very apparent in many ways over these last few months in my small corner of the world here in New Zealand. May you know that victory in your own life too.
Because I have not communicated with you for some months, let me go back a bit. Last summer’s Florida Boot Camps were a challenge in many ways, and if I hadn’t learnt how to pray through the personal and shared confrontations that came my way, I would have backed out and gone home! Of course, it is not only your own prayer life that counts at times like these, but also the prayers of God’s people, and I praise God for the wonderful prayer team that ‘holds my hands up’. Time in Ecuador was not easy either, but I praise God for all He is doing in that country today, and look forward to getting back there this summer if that is His will.
Along with fellow coordinators, Mike and Rena Reilly in Australia, I have been asking the Lord for direction concerning the ministries of Teen Missions in New Zealand and Australia. With only six Kiwis registered for our last summer Australia Boot Camp and Aussie numbers down too, there has been a lot of heart-searching going on. Pros and cons were prayed through and discussed, meetings were held, and despite the challenges, it was decided to continue with all that is in place right now – namely, the Bible School, Boot Camp and summer teams, Adult Work teams, EasterFest outreach, fund-raising for AOSC and MSSM, and the camp ministry all through the year. The biggest and continuing challenge is that the Reillys are the only two long-term staff members right now, and as such, their work loads are formidable. The base in Australia needs more staff! Please pray.
So we continue with promotion for next Down-Under summer teams, which will be working on projects in Cambodia, Nepal, Solomon Islands, Zambia, Scotland, Fiji and Tanzania. I made a trip last month to visit a new contact in Fiji and was delighted to setup a project, helped by the parents of a former team member from the States who hold Teen Missions in high esteem because of what they had seen the Lord do in their daughter’s life. The project will be located on the outskirts of Suva and it should be a challenging, yet satisfying assignment.
As I have been processing new registrations for these teams, it has surprised me to receive over a couple of weeks four from siblings of former team members, all girls, all for the same team – and they don’t know each other! It never ceases to amaze me how God works – yes, manipulates – events and people to bring about His purposes. What does He have in store for this coming summer?
In June we will have a travel team from the Australia BIBLE, MISSIONARY & WORK Training Center visiting New Zealand doing two weeks of promotion. I have found a driver, hired a van and am now working on the itinerary for them. Please be praying that God will lead and direct as far as meetings, accommodation, travel and safety go. Because I will not be there (I will be in Florida!), everything needs to be in place before I leave NZ in a couple of weeks. Another family event that I will miss out on is the visit of one of my granddaughters, Emily, who is coming to stay over the winter months before going back to college in north Florida.
Recently we have been reminded that life is very fragile. The sudden death of a sister-in-law, almost next door to me, and our subsequent involvement in family events, has given unprecedented opportunities for reflection, witness and ongoing ministry. I have also been reminded that I need to have my house in order in case something similar should happen to me! What a comfort to know God is in control and if we just follow His promptings and walk in His ways, He’ll direct our paths. Thank you for reading this, and I trust if you are looking for an outlet for service over these coming months, that you will check on Teen Missions opportunities. I’d love to see you at Boot Camp!
Joyfully serving Him,