Isn’t it wonderful that we serve a LIVING Savior! He is the only deity that did not stay in the grave! We were thankful to have the whole family together for Easter. With the way our schedules have been lately, our time together is precious. We were able to go to a friend’s beach house for a few days and relax before our busy summer.
On April 9 we put up four of the five Big Tops in one day! The Lord provided a beautiful day and we got a lot done. Our next big event was on May 2 when we hosted a Mud Run for AIDS Orphans as well as an Open House. The Mud Run was 30 challenging obstacles through the Teen Missions property involving lots of mud and water! It’s easy to find that on our swampy property! Anthony, Brandon, Jessie and Darin all did the course and loved it! Close to 350 people who attended the run and really were surprised how challenging the course was. We are thankful for safety and that everything went well.
We have enjoyed doing some counseling with a number of the student couples. It is good to spend one-on-one time with them and get to know them.
As we mentioned in our last letter, we are looking forward to going to Vanuatu in the South Pacific. Since that time, there was a Category 5 cyclone that passed over Vanuatu and a major part of the main island was destroyed. We are going to be on the island of Pentecost and we are still not sure how that area fared. Either way, there will be lots of work to be done whether rebuilding things, or building the youth center that we had planned. Pray for wisdom as we go and for good health for the team. Our team comes on June 21 and we commission on July 11. We will be in Vanuatu from around July 14 – August 6 so we hope to get a lot done during that time. Thank you to those who have given towards Darin’s summer mission to go with us. He only has about $1000 more to raise.
Jessie is excited to be going with YWAM in the fall. At this time, we are planning to drive her out to Tyler, Texas at the end of September to get her settled. She is busy working two jobs and raising her support, while going to school. Her fundraising is going well and if you are interested in helping her, please contact us at [email protected] or [email protected] It is hard to believe she will soon be finished with her Freshman year of college!
Brandon is almost finished with his second year of college, and has a couple semesters left. He is doing lawns and other jobs also. He really enjoys working with children and helps out on Wednesday nights at a local church looking after 1st-6th graders. He also helps with the kids on “Date Night” that the church has for parents to get out on a date and leave their kids at the church. He and Jess are looking forward to spending two weeks on the farm this summer in PA, and attending a friend’s wedding.
Darin just received the Pop Warner All-Conference Scholarship award for the top 2% in the nation for academics. He is doing well in school and recently got second place in the Science Fair at his school. He will be in middle school next year and has been accepted to the Gallileo program which is more advanced classes! He is looking forward to going to Vanuatu with us and returning to football in the fall. Right now he is doing Upward Basketball at a local church. Anthony and Brandon are coaching his team.
The revolving door continues to turn…Shawna’s twin brother and sister-in-law were able to visit for a few days before leaving for Jamaica on an anniversary cruise. We had such a good time together and spent a day at Universal Studios. We enjoyed some time with the youth leader and his wife from Anthony’s church in PA. Anthony’s parents were here for a week in March. His dad had shoulder replacement surgery in January and is doing really well. We went to a restaurant in a State Park that has all-you-can-eat pancakes and you make them yourself at the table. There is a griddle built right into the table! It was a lot of fun. During that busy time, we celebrated our 23rd anniversary in March! Where has the time gone!?
We appreciate your continued prayers for Anthony’s health. His iron levels are extremely low, but he is not anemic. He needs it to raise up before the summer as he needs all the strength he can get to go through Boot Camp and lead a team. A lot of time he comes home tired, but needs to be healthy going into the summer.
We want to share a newer part of our ministry which is now going on in South Africa. It is called “The Samaritan Ladies” program. Not far from our base in Pretoria, many women work on the streets to be able to support themselves and their family. One lady said she can’t afford to stop selling herself because she has to think about her children and what they will eat the next day. It is a sad situation there as well as many other places. So the coordinator at our base asked about starting a “Samaritan Ladies” program where they teach ladies basic skills so that they can sell items and make money that way. Some learn computer skills, make jewelry, sew clothes and learn to bake. They sell the items and are able to support their families. They are so excited about having jobs and making their own money. It has been encouraging to them and has boosted their self-worth greatly. Some of them have come to know the Lord and share in the local Bible studies and Sunday Schools. Continue to pray for this unique ministry, that the Lord will continue to bless it and it will grow.
May 7th is Teen Missions 45th anniversary. From a two-car garage in Ohio to an international ministry in 35 countries, the Lord has blessed His ministry. Around the world we have 32 bases, 38 Boot Camps, 25 free Bible Schools, 32 Orphan Units, and over 186 Sunday Schools. To God Be the Glory! It has been a blessing to be a small part of this special ministry.
Thank you for being a part of this ministry with us through your prayers and support. We look forward to sharing what the Lord has done following the summer ministry.
* Unity for our Vanuatu team
* Good health and safety in travel
* Anthony’s iron levels to go up
* Protection and wisdom for Brandon and Jessie during the summer while we are away
Anthony, Shawna, Brandon, Jessica and Darin