Dear Friends and Family,
The year 2016 came and went. We’re not sure how that happened, other than we traveled a lot! Then between traveling, a pile of work was waiting for us in Australia. There is nothing like a backlog of ungraded homework to make your day. Yet, we truly praise God for 2016 and all that He allowed us to be a part of and the growth which took place. As we look back over our year we can see how it went by so quickly.
Our travel log in a nutshell:
–January: In the USA on deputation raising support. (Thank YOU for making it fun!)
–February: Returned to base and got ready for another new Bible school year with 12 students
–March: On the road to Indonesia meeting with staff, attending board meetings and visiting Bible schools
–April: I (Mike) in India helping with Boot Camp and attending board meetings, while Rena stayed at home to catch her breath
–May: We headed north to Mongolia meeting with staff and the Board members to plan the upcoming Boot Camp and possible Bible school
–June: Back home preparing for an American teen team; submitting re-accreditation forms for our Diploma program; and getting the paperwork ready for the auditor.
–July: Praise God we were home working with the American teen team as they helped work on the new camp chapel. Also we were re-submitting re-accreditation forms for Diploma program, as they changed the forms and standards, which they forgot to put on their website for us to download.
–August: We were finishing up another Bible school semester and rewriting our Diploma program for the 6th time for the government. Finally, we completed the new forms for re-accreditation.
–September: In Indonesia again for the Bible school graduation where I spoke and then led a staff leadership seminar and attended board meetings.
–October: Rena was in Zambia working with AIDS Orphans and Street Children. (This time I got to stay home.) The Australian base purchased a grinding mill for the Rescue Unit and then sent a teen team over in December to set it up and build the building to keep it in. She was able to see the mill at work and to see the amazing blessing it is for the Unit and for the people of the village.
–November: Both of us were back home preparing for Leaders Seminar, Boot Camp, continuing to work on the new camp chapel, finishing up the Bible school by grading their homework. The government let us know that they just started reviewing our forms for re-accreditation that were submitted back in August.
–December: As always we were teaching Leaders Seminar, Boot Camp and sending the teen teams out to the Navajo Nation, Cambodia, Tanzania, Burma and Vanuatu. Also graduating seven Bible school students as they step out into what God has called them to do next. We also dedicated the camp Chapel. It was a lot of work and it is not all done, but done enough to combine the Commissioning service with the dedication of Lennox Chapel (Des, 87, and Roly, 85, Lennox are hard-working blokes who even though they do not have a formal education have changed a corner of the world with their donation of land, funds, and time.) It was an honor and a privilege.
–December 31: Rena said good-bye to Michael as he moved to North Central University in MN. I joined Michael for the journey on his way to the new adventure in the cold white north via Florida. Michael had to get his US paperwork in order before going to school. After Michael was settled in, I traveled to Texas for a very short visit with Katie Rose and her husband Brandon.
–January 2017: I arrived back into Australia just in time for Debrief where we saw 50 out of 74 commit their lives to full-time Christian service. There were great reports of salvations from the countries the teams went to.
–February 2017: Made a mad dash to New Zealand to visit the base there. (But really, it is to have a five-day break before the school starts up on February 20.)
–March & April 2017: We will be gearing up to visit the six different schools in Indonesia.
The rest of 2017—who knows? There are changes in the wind, which may see us on the road more and in Australia less.
Just remember no matter what 2016 has been for you, today is the day the Lord has made, SO let’s all rejoice in today.
-Traveled out of Australia to eight different countries (the layovers kill ya) on eight different trips to attend so many meetings we just cannot count them.
-Saw 138 salvations in Australia, 78 of which were just this last month because of camps and outreach to local schools
-Hosted over 48 camps
-Built a 499-square meter (1637.14 foot) Chapel and dedicated it to God for His Glory
-Filed so much paperwork with the government that I think the nation has run out of paper
-Taught 12 sweet students construction skills (still working on that), Old Testament 1 & 2, Doctrine, Church History, Spiritual Life, New Testament 1 and Evangelism. Plus, we taught them life skills we hope they will use to make a difference in this dying world.
So, THANK YOU for your prayers, support, emails, letters, and most of all your love! This world is a better place because of you!
Mike and Rena