Spring is here! That means that the summer and our upcoming team are not too far behind. Teen Missions has its seasons. Right now it’s the “Boot Camp is almost here!” season. While it is two months before the kids and leaders get here, there is a lot going on in preparation for that time. Big Top Tents are being set up. Often we have volunteer work groups that come and help us with that. As the title of the book about Teen Missions written by Ken Anderson in the late ‘80’s says, there are No Elephants Under our Big Top! We, the staff and volunteers, supply the labor to get the tents up. Once the tents are up, all the stages, supplies and chairs are moved into place. Today, we put up four of the six Big Tops. It was a productive day to say the least.
In the Finance Department we are busy processing the support that comes in for team members and leaders. Bob is getting literature requests filled for our overseas bases, as well as getting literature ready for all the different age Boot Camps held in Florida. It is definitely a season of preparation.
The end of April brings another part of preparation for this year’s Boot Camp—we begin our 40 Days of Prayer. The Florida staff and students will begin praying around the clock for our upcoming summer teams and our overseas bases. We have been doing this for several years and have found that it does make a difference in our teams each year and in the number of phone calls we receive during the summer. The staff are divided into three groups, each praying for an hour at our assigned time for two weeks. The students are the lucky ones. Since they live on property, they have a rotation and pray through the night. We pray in the Display Room where we have pictures of our bases around the world. Often we have specific prayer requests sent in by the base coordinators, which makes our prayer time even more specific. It is an honor and a privilege to lift our brothers and sisters from other countries up before the Lord. It is also a special time to pray for the team members and leaders of our upcoming teams.
At this point, Bob and I have 12 preteens and two other leaders on our team to Ireland— a small team for us. It would be nice to have more preteens and a second male leader, but God knows exactly who He wants on our team. We are looking forward to the summer and the things that God is going to do in and through our preteens (and us, too).
This year in the season of preparation we held a Seder meal at our local church. I was in charge. The toughest thing was finding someone to lead it, but God provided a man who is associated with Jews for Jesus. The meal, while a lot of work, was fairly simple, mostly because I’ve done it several times before. Bob was my right-hand man in the kitchen and two of our Bible school graduates came and helped make matzah balls for the soup. With other good friends to help set up and clean up, everything went smoothly and a good time was had by all. If you have never attended a Seder, I highly recommend it. It is a part of our Christian heritage as well as a Jewish celebration and remembrance—the Last Supper was most likely a Seder meal.
Just four days before the Seder meal, Spring Praise Fest took place. We’ve been involved one way or the other since it began nine years ago in the church’s front parking lot. We go early to help set up and stay late to help clean up. Praise bands from several churches in the county play. We couldn’t have had better weather—warm and sunny. After folding what seemed like millions of T-shirts for the T-shirt tent, I set up the Prayer Tent. My partner from last year moved so this year I was in charge of the Prayer Tent. Nelda was the one who was the “go-getter” in bringing people in for prayer. I discovered that I can step outside of my comfort zone and do the same. It is a joy to be able to pray for people who want and need prayer, especially children. Another joy was the times that people just wanted to praise the Lord. It’s been a tough year for Bob with allergies, so unfortunately he was unable to be with me in the Prayer Tent that day, although he did help a bit with set up.
Another part of this season of preparation is the Mud Run that Teen Missions and AIDS Orphans are hosting May 2. A 5K course was set up and the obstacles made; there’s been a practice run and all that’s needed now is the fine-tuning of the course. Why someone would pay to run through mud and water obstacles is beyond me, but I understand that people like to do things like that! The Mud Run is a fundraiser for AIDS Orphans. Teen Missions will be holding an Open House the same day. At this time, my job is to register or help direct those who want to participate in the Teen Missions side of the day—scheduling Display Room tours, Tabernacle tours and property tours. We’ll be making pizza in our big 12’ outdoor oven and doing some other outdoor cooking as well. There are more activities that we are working on—something else to get organized and prepared for. Bob will be doing Tabernacle tours—something he really likes to do.
Speaking of Tabernacle tours, both Bob and I get to do them. We still find it a joy to tell others about the Tabernacle, how you can see Christ in the Tabernacle and the applications for us today. Recently I got to do a tour for a group of Red Hat Ladies, an enjoyable group.
As we prepare for the summer and our teams, we are reminded that God calls upon us to “be prepared in season and out of season” (II Timothy 4:2) and to “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope [we] have.” (I Peter 3:15). We appreciate each and every one of you as you are the reason we can be here to serve the Lord at Teen Missions. May God richly bless you as you spend time in preparation to serve Him.
I continue to be busy with music. Our church has begun the bell choir again, so that’s another rehearsal time for me. This March and April I enjoyed singing Gabriel Fauré Requiem in Latin, plus two Chorales # 37 and 40 from J.S. Bach “St Matthew Passion BWV 244 in German and the choice piece Gabriel Fauré “Cantique de Jean Racine, Op. 11 in French. It was a well-rounded program with a full congregation in each of the two churches we sang in. Psalm 100 says “ Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all you lands!”, so that’s what we did.
Servants in Christ,
Bob and Paula Yost
955 Butia St., Merritt Island, FL 32953