Dear Family & Friends,
WOW – 2015 went by quickly! We want to share some of our experiences with you concerning the past year and share what the new year is bringing our way.
It was a very busy year for us. In our last newsletter we shared about our trip to Haiti. The team accomplished so much, and it was good to see old friends.
It has been encouraging to hear from Former Team Members throughout the year. We count it a privilege to have had the opportunity to share, even though it is a short time, in their lives. Some have called to ask for letters of recommendation, allowing us to see them moving forward in ministry, education and jobs. We continue to pray for all of our team members and their walk with the Lord.
Several trips were made to Ohio this year. Of course, most of you knew that we were there for deputation following our summer team. Teen Missions asked Richard to oversee some of the investment properties in the central Ohio area which led to two trips this year. In October, it gave us the opportunity to attend our grandson, Keller’s, second birthday! In December, the family gathered at Joe and Katie’s house for the week of Christmas. It is so much fun watching our granddaughters, Julia and Mattie, opening their gifts and playing together. Morgan and Marissa are past the toy stage, but we enjoyed playing some board games together and Keller loves his trucks. He is such a happy little fellow. We were able to spend some time with our parents and managed to squeeze in lunch with Jacob before he headed to work. It was a good time with family.
Richard spent a week in Ecuador this fall. He was looking at the Teen Missions property located in Latacunga, which is for sale, and the new property located in Playas. The new property has nothing on it at this time.
Jonathon returned from Malawi this fall and started looking for a job. Nothing! But the Lord is good. Shortly after we came to Teen Missions, a group from Joe’s church (Lancaster Community Church or LCC) came to volunteer. Jon had not found a job so he too was volunteering and working side by side with the Ohio group. A year later, one of the men from the group heard that Jon was looking for work and after a couple phone calls back and forth to Ohio, Jon had an interview. He started his new job the first part of January. We are so happy for him, but it sure is hard to see your last child leave home—no matter what the age. We even miss his crazy dog, Dozer, meeting us at the door when we get home. Must admit we don’t miss all the hair.
Looking forward to 2016. We will be leading the team to Ecuador this summer. At this time we have 20 team members registered, and it looks like our granddaughter, Marissa may be going with us as well. It will be so good to be able to spend the summer with her. The team will spend a week backpacking in Latacunga and then relocate to the new property in Playas to help prepare it for a Boot Camp and a Bible, Missionary & Work Training Center. Once the project is complete, we will send our team members to Florida for Debrief, and we will remain in Ecuador until December to continue work on the property.
Prior to the summer teams arrival in July some work needs to be done at the Playas property. On February 22, we will go to Ecuador and make preparations for a work group from LCC. The goal for the work group is to have water on the property, pit toilets and a cooking shelter ready for the summer teams arrival.
Prayer concern. It is always hard to figure out how to share a need with you, so, we will just put it out there. December was a tough month. Gina had to have a root canal with a crown and the washing machine died on us. Both were unexpected expenses. We lost a substantial financial supporter and find ourselves with a financial shortfall of $900 per month. In order to continue to serve here at Teen Missions, we will need to make up this deficit. Please give prayerful consideration to this need. Perhaps your Bible Study group would make a monthly pledge or your church mission board. Lives are being changed around the world through the work of Teen Missions and our desire is to continue serving in this ministry. We do want to extend our gratitude to those of you who have faithfully supported and prayed for us. You too are a vital part of our ministry here at Teen Missions.
Richard & Gina Barber