We wanted to take a minute to update you on our summer in Bangladesh, Asia, with Teen Missions. On June 6th 16 teenagers arrived at Merritt Island, Florida, to train and grow together as our team. On June 20th we set off and flew over 20 hours to get to Bangladesh! We arrived at 2 AM and after four hours of sleep we started our first day getting to know the staff and students at the Assemblies of God training school where we made our home.
We had many projects on the campus that we worked on in the mornings, such as making a parking lot, moving hundreds of textbooks and cleaning the school building. Almost every afternoon we drove about five minutes down the road to an orphanage that was run by the training school. The orphanage, called Home of Hope, cares for 106 boys and girls. Our team was able to play games, sing songs, perform puppet shows, share the Wordless Bracelet, make deep friendships with them and share Christ with everyone at Home of Hope.
I, Seth, was given many opportunities to preach to large crowds, but the most exciting time for me was when I was asked to be a speaker at a youth conference on July 11th. Over 250 people under the age of 30 were there! It was amazing to meet with people from all over the country who had come to the conference to learn and grow in Christ. Our team had many occasions to preach the Gospel using the Word of God, their testimonies, the Wordless Book and their love throughout our time in Bangladesh.
Emily and I were given opportunities to have fellowship with the staff at the Bible school where we were able to sit down with the families and encourage them in their walk and work for the Lord. We were able to trade email addresses so we can continue to encourage them and speak into their lives encouragement from Christ. We developed close relationships with our brothers and sisters who are serving the Lord in Bangladesh, and we were very sad to leave.
One of our greatest JOYS was to have 10-month-old James with us! We knew it would be hard to bring him overseas and it was. But God blessed us every day with new strength to raise him and take care of him. I say that having James with us was one of our greatest joys because through him God opened up to us so many more opportunities to share Christ with people! No matter where Emily and I were, if James was with us, people would crowd around to see him and touch his hair and his feet. The kids at Home of Hope always wanted to hold and play with James. He was always smiling and happy to be with them. It was amazing to see how the Lord showed us this summer that He can use anyone. He does not use us because of the skills or abilities we bring to the table, but because of His mercy and His love for us.
James has been growing up so much. He has four teeth now and will be walking soon. He loves to laugh and play with me. He loves baths, playing in the ocean, as well as eating sand! He will eat anything! He is a speed crawler. Now he can get around on his own, and he likes to open the kitchen cabinets to see what he can find. He loves to sing in church and in his car seat as we drive. He plays well by himself, but he also likes to be with people. If we have company over he does not want to go to bed. He loves being a part of the party.
So what’s next for the Phippens?
We are currently stationed in Florida at the Teen Missions base in Merritt Island. We enjoy working with and discipling the Bible school students. I am still managing the Teen Missions Conference and Retreat Center promotions and booking. We are always praying about what the next step is for us. We are now praying about two different country opportunities to serve with Teen Missions in the future. Please join with us in that prayer.
On a financial note we would like to thank you for your support and let you all know how we are doing. The Lord has been faithful to us in providing what we need every month. We live on the monthly support that you send and by generous one-time financial gifts. As of right now, we still have not reached our goal of $2,500 a month which would make us fully supported. We are still looking for partners who would commit to supporting our family monthly to continue to serve with Teen Missions.
We are so thankful for all those who have already committed to partnering with us! Please continue to pray for our family’s ministry with Teen Missions here in Florida and unto the ends of the earth. We are grateful to serve the Lord with this organization.
Seth, Emily & James Phippen