Dear Family and Friends,
This last Christmas season, the verses in John 1:4-5 seemed to jump out at me every time I turned around. In Him was life and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. And God is still speaking to me in terms of light, most recently in John 12:46, I have come as light into the world, that everyone who believes in me may not remain in darkness. The more I think about these verses, the more I wonder what kind of a light am I to those around me? Am I an incandescent light that gives off light and heat? Or a fluorescent one that may be cheaper to use, but does not always show true colors? (Try matching colors with fluorescent light and then find out when you get out in the sunlight that the colors do not match at all.) Or am I a flood light, lighting up everything around me or a spotlight, lighting up a concentrated area? Am I on a dimmer switch and go from bright to dim? Is my light steady or does it flicker?
Sometimes we do not realize that our light is getting dimmer or distorted. This became quite real to me after my recent cataract surgery. I was quite certain that they had put new lights in one of the rooms at church, the room was so bright. Over the next few days I came to realize that my sight had dimmed and that I had no clue of the degree to which it had happened. Colors are brighter now and things are much more clear. Of course, now I can see all the areas in my house that I thought were clean are not as clean as I thought! May we all look at our lives as God sees us and let His light shine through us and not be dimmed by the world around us.
Bob and I are once again heading to Malawi with a group of preteens. At this time, we have 17 kids on our team, so we are confident that we will actually get there this year. Our project will be to build a playground for the staff kids who live at the main base in Chipoka. We are looking forward to renewing friendships with those staff we met in 2014. I know that our team will enjoy the time they will have at the nearby Melissa Foster Rescue Unit playing with the orphans. Please pray for our leadership team and for our team members for spiritual growth, for unity and to accomplish our project.
Besides our Preteen team, Bob will also be leading a Peanut team, although we do not know which one yet. He is very good with the 7-9 year-old age group. He thoroughly enjoys being Scripture Sam where he gets a chance to teach object lessons on lying, controlling your tongue and neatness, to name few. I imagine that I will teach the Peanut class on the Wordless book—a simple way to tell others about how God loves them. Last year we not only learned the story, but also made wordless bracelets and Gospel gloves with the colors of the wordless book on each finger. Working with glue and that age group is fun, especially gluing the small googly eyes on the pompoms.
Behind the Scenes
I continue to work with our investment program where we loan money to churches and ministries. The interest from these loan payments covers the cost of our Overseas Boot Camps and the BIBLE, MISSIONARY & WORK Training Centers around the world. I did not think working in just this one area would keep me busy, but I have not run out of things to do. I have learned and done more things that I ever knew I wanted to know or do. This time of year is particularly busy with getting mortgage interest statements out to all the mortgage holders. Making it more interesting this year is the fact that the IRS decided to change the form, asking for more information than in years past.
Bob continues to work with the literature—packing literature for the US Teams and the Overseas Boot Camps and mending team library books. He is also preparing tents for the summer teams. And that’s just in the morning. In the afternoon, he is a part of the Land Crew where he is often on brush detail (he can drive the tractor) and is usually the one they call on to repair our large screened-in rooms. Clean-up is still going on from the damage from Hurricane Matthew—many of the tent sites have downed trees that will need to be taken care of before summer arrives.
On the Homefront
Bob sings in four groups: the church choir, the Brevard Community Chorale, VOCE and the Riverside Chamber Chorus. The Riverside group is rehearsing a piece by G.F. Handel, Dixit Dominus that will be performed in March. That’s Latin for “The Lord said. . .” The words come from Psalm 110. I checked online and found the words not only in Latin, but also in English and Hebrew—take your pick!
I keep busy with a couple of different Bible studies and miscellaneous activities at our local church. We recently called a new pastor, and we are looking forward to what God is going to do with our congregation. With cataract surgery in December and January, some of the heavy work I was going to do over the Christmas break was put on hold, but it is still waiting for me. There is a chair that has been saying re-cover me for several years—I’ve found the material, notions and tools—now I just need to get started!
God has been good to us over the years in the teams we’ve led. Even in the more difficult summers, we have seen God at work in us and in the kids on the teams. We continue to pray for the strength and wisdom we need to lead and are thankful that we can still do it! We also continue to thank God for you and your faithful support over the years. You are the reason that we can serve the Lord here at Teen Missions.
Servants in Christ,
Bob and Paula Yost