Lately, my Bible study group has been studying the minor prophets in the Old Testament. One of the comments last night was that each of the ones we’d gone through so far seemed to be saying similar things. Israel and/or Judah had turned away from God, often other people were sent to conquer them, or situations were tough. In every case God was patiently waiting for them to turn or return to Him. The realization that we need God can be a difficult conclusion to reach. So often we want to do things our way and leave God out of the picture. Too often we do just that and try to carry on in our own strengths and abilities, but doing it our way often means we’ve left the path that God has for us. I think that is why one of my favorite hymns is “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”. . . >Thou changest not, thy compassions they fail not, Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me. God is faithful even when I’m not and that’s a good thing.
While God does not change, our summer plans have. We originally were going to lead a preteen team to Malawi and were looking forward to renewing friendships made while we were there two years ago. But God and Teen Missions had other plans. When our Malawi Team was cancelled, we were put on the Ecuador Preteen Team. Fifteen years ago (did I really say 15 years?) when we were in Ecuador, we were outside of Latacunga and over 10,000’ at Teen Missions then relatively new base. It was cool to cold and damp. Sometimes we were in the clouds instead of looking at them. This time we will be pioneers at Teen Missions newest property in Ecuador, down on the coast. Look for Guayaquil (the jumping off place for the Galapagos Islands) on the map and go southwest and you’ll find Playas, right on the coast—a much warmer area. At this point, there is nothing on the property. Our team will be clearing land and digging foundations for the first building. Once again, we have a small team—12 at last count, plus four leaders. We might be small, but we know that preteens can be mighty and get a lot done for the Lord.
Before we know it, it will be time for the 2nd Annual Mud Run, which is being held this year on May 7. Staff and students have been working hard on adding new obstacles. Over 350 participated last year; many said the course was fun and challenging. Why anyone would want to run and slog through the mud is beyond me, but it is a popular thing to do these days. The funds raised from the Mud Run are used in other countries for special needs. In Malawi, there was a village in a Muslim area that was out of food. When our Malawi base coordinator found out, he asked permission to use Mud Run money to buy food for the village. The sacks of maize that were purchased saved lives and opened the door to share the Gospel. We received the following letter thanking us:
We thank God and you too. You remembered us in time of trouble when we were going through hunger season. We did not dream about this gift, but we know the Lord knew someone will help us, He is worthy to be praised. The whole reason of writing this letter is to give appreciation because you have been the people that the Lord has used to help, therefore we need to give thanksgiving to you because of willing to be the good people of listening to the Lord. May God continue using you to wipe out tears in time of trouble—you have displayed your love in good times, you are teaching us God’s Word and at the same time you share with us physically things that are important in life. Thank you.
Lift up the people of Malawi as this will not be an isolated incident, as they are going through a severe drought and many crops have not survived.
It’s the time of year at Teen Missions that it starts to look a lot like Boot Camp. This next week we will begin to put up some of our Big Top Tents. They will be used for the Mud Run, but more importantly, lives are changed underneath them during the evening rallies. God often uses the Boot Camp speakers to get kids to look into their hearts at areas of their life that need to change and draws them closer to Him. When Boot Camp starts, you can watch the teen rallies live on Teen Missions web page (www.TeenMissions.org/media-center/streaming). Check it out June 18 when the kids arrive and rallies start.
Boot Camp will be a bit different than previous years as all the teen teams will be here at the same time instead of being split into two different Boot Camps. That also puts the Mustard Seeds (4-6 yr old), Peanuts (7-9 yr old), Preteens and Teens here all at the same time. Because of that Bob will not be able to lead a Peanut Team which he enjoys, but he will still do Scripture Sam with his sidekick Object—they teach object lessons on things like neatness, lying and controlling the tongue. He has a lot of fun with it and the kids enjoy it.
Teen Missions now has its own airplane! Diligently built by volunteers, it will be used by the Mustard Seeds to “travel” to different parts of the world to learn about missions. We held chapel in it last week and dedicated it. It is quite well done, with a cockpit and engines (fans). I think the kids will enjoy it and remember it for a long time.
I’m not sure what I’ll be doing this year at Boot Camp as I’ve been moved down the hallway and am not officially in the Finance Dept. anymore. Instead, I’m concentrating on the investment portion of my work at Teen Missions. The paper files that we have for all the mortgages were in good shape, but the computer files needed cleaning up. I have now gone through over 170 files, created checklists for them, putting pertinent information on a worksheet for each church or ministry, and am in the process of cleaning up computer files and filing some of the miscellaneous papers that seem to pile up while you’re not looking. It kind of reminds me of what I’m trying to do at home—trying to tame the paper tiger! Sometimes the tiger wins and sometimes I get to be in control.
Bob has been packing literature for our Overseas Boot Camps and getting literature ready for the team members who will be at the Florida Boot Camp. It gets to be challenging when he’s been put on the outside work crew several days a week, but somehow it all gets done. And he still sings and not just at work. The Brevard Chorale that he’s been a part of for more than 20 years is doing a concert of songs from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s this May. I’m looking forward to that. My job is to sell tickets, as I don’t sing! Trust me, you’d much rather listen to Bob sing than to me.
Another thing Bob has been doing is working in our garden plot out at Teen Missions. While many, including me, thought December was too early to be putting tomato plants in the ground, we are now enjoying fresh tomatoes! Most of the plants were volunteers from our compost pile at home so we aren’t sure what kind they are, but we eat them anyway.
Now that we are both “Medicare” age, we find that we don’t stretch as far as we used to, but God still keeps us going. We are honored to serve Him at Teen Missions, and we are thankful for your love and support and prayers. You are a vital part of our ministry here. Thank you for your faithfulness.
Servants in Christ,
Bob and Paula Yost
955 Butia St.
Merritt Island, FL 32953