Dear Friends and Family:
I am in Madagascar as I write this newsletter. The mango trees are ripe with fruit and some of the fruit is dropping unexpectedly on the tin roof, startling us. While hot and humid, a breeze is blowing inland from the ocean.
As I observe the fruit dropping, I am reminded of Luke 6:44 – “Each tree is recognized by its own fruit – figs aren’t picked from thorn bushes, nor grapes from a briar patch.” (CJB) What kind of fruit is being produced by the “Teen Missions” tree in Madagascar?
Teen Missions BMW students are learning to share the Gospel through musical presentations, evangelistic outreaches into the community, Motorcycle Sunday school ministries, through their many classes, and through the Nirina School. In each area, they practice daily. As they rehearse and prepare, their confidence and skills are growing. The second year students are also teaching the daily Bible lessons to preschool through eleventh grade students in the Nirina School. Three students will complete their training in December and move forward to serve their internships. One student, who attended the Nirina school, graduated in December from the BMW and is now serving her internship this next year. The ripening fruit of student’s skills is impacting the lives of the people of Madagascar.
Liva and Nomena, the TMI Coordinators here in Madagascar, have also worked with the students to show hospitality to guests. The Sunday prior to our leaving, the students prepared a delicious meal to thank Loretta Smith for her service at the base. It also acknowledged my visit, along with my sister, Barbara. They sang and gave each of us a thank you card. They are displaying the “fruit” of hospitality.
Since Barbara came with me, she was able to teach music to each class at the Nirina School. She also taught chapel devotions and music to the BMW students. It was a wonderful experience for her and we hope that “much fruit” will be borne for eternity. (It was also fun to be together and to laugh!)
I returned to the office the day before Thanksgiving and have worked with staff to update our program for orphan sponsorships. The project included receiving reports from the overseas bases regarding current and former orphans, removing grown orphans from our roster, assigning new orphans to donors, writing letters, and a variety of other related projects, and finally mailing the material to each donor. It is my prayer, that as each donor receives the new information, their hearts will desire to see “fruit” through their continued contributions and gifts.
Work is currently moving forward with a new program for Mustard Seeds this summer. My Dad and brother-in-law, Jim, are working to construct a life-sized replica of an airplane. The plane will hold about forty children and their parents. Our goals this year are to give our 4-6 year-old campers the following experiences:
• Teach the children the Gospel using the Wordless Book colors
• On the plane, enjoy their snacks, see videos of arriving and departing passengers along with viewing the scenery of the country they are visiting
• Crafts, Bible stories and Bible memorization
• Activity centers where the children will practice missionary life skills. (Examples include washing dishes and clothes, purchasing vegetables, sorting beans, and other appropriate hands-on activities
• Run the Obstacle Course and swim in the pool
• Nap for an hour and go to bed by 8:00 p.m. 🙂
The work of Teen Missions, AOSC, BMW, MSSM, the International Headquarters, the bases and coordinators around the world continue by God “giving the increase”! It is through His wonderful graciousness that any of us are participants in bearing much fruit for His Kingdom.
May you be reaffirmed that your investment in the work of TMI through prayer, giving, and writing, is bearing fruit for eternity.
I Timothy 1:12