We hope and pray this finds all of you, our family and friends, well. We’ve been back in Canada since early August, busily working on promotions for the coming summer, 2016.
As you know, we led the 2015 Teen Missions team to Switzerland this summer. We had a team of 13 teens and a male assistant leader eager to serve the Lord and to learn from Him, His Word and each other.
The project was to paint a very large Bernese-style country chalet. That meant first scraping all the loose old paint, sanding and finally painting (three coats) the chalet AND the large shutters. This meant working up on scaffolding for much of the work. I have to say, this team was hardworking and diligent – in work, in classes (for the most part), and were such a blessing and encouragement to David and me all summer.
One thing no one expected was the heat. In Florida, sure, not a surprise, but temperatures near 100 degrees for most of our time in Switzerland! Quite a surprise!! One advantage is that we didn’t have much in the way of humidity – but temperatures like that are a challenge with or without humidity. The kids were great – they did a fantastic job of keeping up their hydration, and, for the most part, we heard few complaints.
I (Stef) had a different sort of challenge. The TMI stove was “condemned” by a local service person who deals with gas stoves. There was a slight leak of the gas, and had I had that thin, white plumbers tape that is commonly available in the U.S., there might not have been any issues at all. But…due to the leak, the host missionary wanted the stove checked and leak repaired and had it taken to a shop. The fella basically condemned it outright, refused to service it and said it could not be used “AT ALL” in Switzerland. SO…we had to scramble for an alternative. I ended up with a table top camp stove! Three burners only, and the stove was too small to accommodate the oven. I tried – and the result was that the heat radiating from the oven melted the stove knobs! SO…no baking for us for most of the summer. Didn’t have as many sweets as we might otherwise have had, but the kids didn’t complain. They all seemed satisfied with the meals they got and I used fresh fruit as dessert most of the time.
Oh, one thing I forgot – the team completed the project!! We were so proud of them and all their hard work. The brother of the coordinator of the YWAM base is a professional house painter, and had come a couple times during the project to observe and give a few pointers. When the job was finished, he said it was an excellent job that they did. Need I tell you, the kids were pretty pumped about that?!
Since leaving Switzerland, after Debrief, David and I traveled back to Canada by way of his cousin in Florida, where we visited for about an hour before heading north. David was close to her growing up, and we had lost touch for about eight or so years, so it was a real blessing to see her. From there, we continued on up through Illinois, where we stopped for one day to spend time with our son, whom we had not seen since rejoining staff – FAR TOO LONG to not see him! During our brief time, we were also able to meet his girlfriend and her family, making it an extra special time for all of us. From there, it was homeward bound.
Since arriving back home, we have been in the office of Teen Missions in Canada daily—taking care of the daily things, processing donations, answering phones…all that office stuff that has to be done. Weather here is cooling off, though some spurts of “Indian Summer” come now and then. We’ve heard some predictions that there MIGHT be snow before Halloween, but that remains to be seen.
We took vacation time from mid-September for three weeks. Boot Camp 2015 was more difficult physically on us than any summer since we first led a team (and joined staff) in 1995. I had issues with the heat and resulted in my legs and feet swelling, a great deal of pain in my left knee (arthritic changes – I am officially no longer a “spring chicken”) and David had more challenges with his back and feet than usual. Our time of vacation and the rest/relaxation was more welcome than usual. We know many of you were praying for us, and it was God answering your prayers and ours that got us through.
We are looking forward to promoting Teen Missions in whatever conferences and other venues God enables us to attend. Please pray for many opportunities, good response and safety in any/all travels.
We thank you one and all for your partnership in this ministry. We could not be here without your prayers and support, and we want you to know just how much we appreciate it. May the Lord bless you all. If you have prayer needs, we hope you will share them with us so we may have the privilege of praying with and for you as you pray for us.
Together in His Service,
David and Stephanie Spindler