Dear Family, Friends and Former Team Members,
As I think back to the last few months, all I can say is “WOW!”. So much has been going on! Between graduation, packing, Boot Camp, summer teams, unpacking, a road trip to take Danae to college, another overseas trip for Paul, school, soccer, etc., I am wanting to scream “Time – you must slow down!”.
Danae graduated in May. It was a nice ceremony that ended with rain – so much for using her cap for BJ’s graduation…Soon after she and Colton, along with a couple of friends, flew to Detroit and met up with some more friends and they all attended the wedding of one of Colton’s Mongolia leaders to one of Danae and Colton’s Madagascar leaders. They visited Cedar Point in Ohio, were in Indiana, and even managed a trip to Niagara Falls.
Boot Camp began in June. It was a quick two weeks plus before we headed off to India and BJ to Madagascar. Colton stayed home and continued working at Sbarros. Three of his friends (two from Canada) stayed at the house with him. The house was “intact” when we returned, but a thorough cleaning was definitely needed! 🙂 He had a good summer being “on his own” and we did see some maturing on his part. He continues at Eastern Florida State College and plans to graduate with his AA degree in May. He has no idea what he wants to do. Please pray for wisdom and open doors for his future.
BJ had a great time in Madagascar. The team enjoyed riding the motorcycles out to the circuits where they taught Bible stories, phonics, played with the kids, did dramas and puppets. He is now a junior in High School! He just turned 17 and it has been 14 years since we adopted him. He is starting to look into colleges. He is hoping to visit John Brown University sometime in the spring and we are planning a “college road trip” during his Spring Break in order to visit additional colleges. He will be taking his ACT and SAT exams this year. His High School soccer season starts in a couple of weeks and he is excited about that. Please pray for wisdom and discernment in his college hunt. Also, please pray that he will do well on the SAT and ACT exams as those scores are very important to colleges.
We had the privilege, along with three other leaders, of leading a GREAT team of 28 to India. We spent the first 1 1/2 weeks working at an orphanage. The team began the foundation and columns for a dining room. They also hauled up stone and sand to the top floor of the orphanage where they are doing an expansion.
Following our time at the orphanage, we traveled about 45 minutes to the Teen Missions In India base. It is a very large base and it was great to be able to “spread out”. Our kitchen was large and had a ton of shelves which made my job so much easier. The team worked on a foundation and columns for a block wall to enclose the property. They poured over 600 yards of concrete! In addition, they began the foundation and columns for a new dining room and dormitory.
Needless to say, India was hot! We were thankful for fans, even though the electricity was sporadic. We battled quite a bit of sickness while we were at the orphanage, but once we were at the Teen Missions base, it wasn’t as much of a problem. Due to the intense heat, we were able to work the team only in the mornings. They were a hard-working team and it was such a joy to watch them grow spiritually. They now have a huge part of our hearts. Please pray that they will continue to grow spiritually and will put Him first in every area of their lives. India Team: “But watch out! Be very careful never to forget what you have seen the Lord do for you. Do not let these things escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren.” Deuteronomy 4:9
We began the trip to take Danae to Wheaton College a week after our team ended. We were able to visit my parents in Georgia along with a couple of team members in Kentucky and Ohio. We spent a couple of days with Paul’s sister and family in Illinois before taking her to college. It was such a bittersweet time for Paul and me. I managed to hold off the tears until we were driving away. We were very impressed with Wheaton. She has a great roommate and has made many friends already. Her classes are challenging, but she is managing to find time to have fun too. Our other lady leader, Nellie, is at Moody which is about 45 minutes away. They have been able to see one another a couple of times and spent last weekend with Paul’s sister. Needless to say, we miss her terribly, but we are so thankful that the Lord provided a way for her to attend such a great Christian college. She is planning on spending Fall Break at a friend’s house, Thanksgiving with Paul’s family and will be coming home for Christmas! We are very thankful that she calls and texts often and is keeping us in the “loop” of her college life. But oh how we miss her…Please pray that she will study hard and will make the most of the next four years. Please pray that she will continue to grow spiritually and will seek the Lord in every area of her life. Please pray for wisdom with her summer plans.
Lindsay graduated from the University Of Tennessee in May with a degree in social work. She is now living in Murfreesboro and has a job as a social worker in Winchester which is about an hour away. She seems to enjoy her job (she started a couple of weeks ago). Please pray for safety as she is traveling so much to and from work. Please pray that she will seek the Lord in her life.
Recently, Paul was able to take a 12-day trip to Ethiopia and Kazakhstan where he worked on setting up teams. The team in Ethiopia is 250 KM from Addis Ababa where the team will begin the first building on the property for an orphanage. His contact in Kazakhstan is a former team member who is now an FBI agent and working at the Embassy. The project will be to expand a church in the capital city of Astana. We are thankful for a productive trip and for safety in all his travels.
We are now back at work and have already registered over 70 team members for the 2017 teams! Paul has been asked to take on Leader Placement in addition to his other responsibilities. He is very good at juggling many hats. Me…not so much! Please pray for wisdom with all of his responsibilities. Also, please pray for quality leaders to fill the many positions on teams this summer.
Thank you so much for your part in our ministry—through your prayers and giving. We continue to be so thankful to be a part of a ministry that is reaching so many with the Gospel of Christ all over the world.