StoreyTime with Pat
Greetings from a very wet Florida! We have had some very stormy afternoons and evenings lately. Praise the Lord for sending the rain!
Since the last time I wrote to you, I have made a whole bunch of new friends! There were 15 super amazing teenagers and two other leaders that went with me to Mahajanga, Madagascar, in July. We got to enjoy getting to know the people who work and attend the Bible school at the Teen Missions base and we got to ride the motorcycles out to remote Sunday schools to teach and play games with the children in various villages.
We had a really good head male leader, Matt Mellinger, who took charge and did a great job. We also had an assistant leader, Brittany Murphee, who had never led a team before but had been on the Madagascar MSSM team before and she was a great help to the team. In addition, we had 15 very cool team members! It’s always such a blessing to get to know the teenagers and do our best to help them have a rewarding summer of serving God and others and, in the process, learning so much about themselves and what it’s like to serve the Lord. Things almost never go the way you plan and so it’s good experience in learning how to depend on God and His provision and strength.
During Boot Camp this year, Matt and I had a lot of responsibilities (as most of the staff here do) and that meant we had to rely very heavily on Brittany to take care of the team during that time. She did such a good job and we both appreciated her so much. In Madagascar, the team loved teaching the kids at the Sunday schools. Playing games with them are always a highlight, but they also taught them Bible lessons along with phonics and performed puppet and drama presentations for them.
Most days, I stayed at the base and worked in the kitchen preparing meals. We had a wonderful building with dorm rooms, a big meeting room and a huge kitchen. It was very nice to sleep in a real bed each night. We still had to do laundry in buckets and take bucket baths, but the accommodations made the summer so much easier.
There were, however, many challenges. The bikes that had problems were sometimes frustrating and the terrain was very difficult at times. But this team was definitely up for the challenge and handled everything very well. They were exhausted and hungry by the end of each day, but absolutely loved those children and getting the chance to meet them.
There were a few days that the team stayed at the base and helped mix concrete and a few other jobs that needed done. We were able to do a little sightseeing as well. The Lemurs were definitely a highlight. We saw them in several different settings, but my favorites were the big black and white ones in the wild. As we coaxed them out of the trees with food, they were just so neat to watch, and they would eat the food right out of our hands! The team also got to swim at a waterfall and jump off the rocks underneath. They had a ton of fun that day! We visited the Indian Ocean one afternoon and enjoyed being tourists.
After Debrief, it was time to think about deputation. I was able to share at Iowa Christian Union Council which is always such a good time of seeing old friends and supporters. It was a blessing to go back to Jericho Hills (it still feels like home there) and even though they were very busy, it was very nice to see the Foys again and briefly visit with them as well as so many others who I know pray for me regularly.
I also got to see all of my kids and grandkids (The 14th is due on Thanksgiving day!). They are all such a huge blessing! It’s difficult being so far away, but so good when I get a chance to see them.
I am so blessed! God is so good and to get to do this each year is something I never even dreamed of doing. Thank you to all who give toward my support and who pray for me and Teen Missions. We, of course, could not do this without you and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.