So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Cor 10:31
Dear Family, Friends and Former Team Members,
Wow! The first few months of this year here at Teen Missions (TMI) have just flown by! I am still trying to get all my stuff organized, but I have a spare bedroom ready for company. (hint, hint) I have been attending a local church, but on Easter visited a new church plant in nearby Cape Canaveral. My sister alerted me to this new opportunity, as the pastor is connected with her friends. I really enjoyed the service and may return there!
I haven’t done much “fun stuff” locally yet, as I seem to spend my free time trying to get the house and yard in order, and then wasting other time doing nothing when I’m tired (that’s a prayer point!). I have made several trips to Tampa on weekends to visit family and friends, and attend to my elderly cat. He has been in the loving care of my friends Alex and Beth ever since last summer, as I was unable to take him back to Ohio with me, or bring him to TMI. He was born into their family, and now has lived out his last days in their loving care. RIP – Nano 1998-2017 (yup he was 19!). A big thank you to them, and to their son Isaac for the tender “kitty hospice” care during his final illness. It was a comfort to me knowing how well he was cared for.
Being close to family is nice, as I have been able to celebrate birthdays in person. I’ve also attended a church reunion from the church I grew up in, and a Passover seder with a friend in Lakeland – and made some new friends there! I haven’t been able to visit with all my Tampa friends yet, but your turn is coming!
A few of my weekends were spent on official duties. In April, nine of us traveled from Teen Missions to Evansville, IN, to set up one of our life- sized Old Testament Tabernacles at TTT Christian Youth Ministries. I was the team cook, but was able to go outside and help a little. Pray that it is a successful evangelistic tool there. We have one here at the FL base also, so come on over and see it. Also, our facilities here at the Florida base can be rented for retreats, and I’ve spent a couple of weekends having fun helping in the kitchen.
I am still coordinating the M.A.D. Mothers program. With a lot of prayer and hard work, most of the program materials are well developed and ready for use. We have a leader manual that we can send to anyone interested in starting a M.A.D. Mothers Fellowship Group (hint, hint), which is a group of ladies who meet once a month to learn about and pray for the children who have been orphaned by AIDS and the programs we have to minister to them. We hosted a retreat at the end of February/beginning of March for any ladies interested in learning about the program. We had six ladies plus me here for almost a week and we had a blast together! They learned all about the M.A.D. Mothers program, but they especially enjoyed all the tours. In the display room tour, they learned about the history of Teen Missions and about all the programs and bases worldwide. They toured the Orphan Rescue Unit and Bush Sunday School models here at the base. The life sized replica of the Old Testament Tabernacle was not completely set up yet, but they were able to “take the tour” via our scale model, that was a favorite! We had several “just for fun” activities like an outing to Cocoa Beach with a picnic supper, an afternoon tea party, and evening devotions around a campfire. Our “African cooking” session was both fun and eye opening. Everyone dressed up in an authentic African wrap skirt (I have many from my travels!). We cooked greens and Nshema (kind of like grits, but so thick you can mold it and use it to pick up other food). The cooking was done outside with wood charcoal on actual braziers I brought home one summer from Zambia. While the food prep was rather easy, they discovered the chore of getting your fire going! It’s similar to cooking over charcoal briquettes, only you put your pots and pans right on the coals. Talk about the real feel of everyday life in rural Africa! They all went home with a better understanding of the lives of those they will be praying for, and excited about recruiting ladies to start a local group. The first official group had their first meeting in early April and are already looking to pick a project to help the orphans and the orphan ministries! It is very satisfying to see all that work begin to take shape.
Now in case you thought my workload might ease up, let me dispel that myth! I still have work involving the M.A.D. Mothers program, but now I am beginning to transfer much of my time to developing the next big thing. American Awakening will be a tour around the U.S. and Canada for nearly a year. We are looking to recruit about 10 young adults to be part of this travel team, with a goal of inspiring a spiritual awakening among church youth, sharing the vision to reach the world with the Gospel, and also share the opportunities Teen Missions has to personally get involved beyond their local community. We will travel with a mini-obstacle course to generate excitement and help the youth get their friends to come as well. I get the intense brain work of developing the massive details necessary to bring this to fruition, but I also get to lead the team!! I’m not really sure why Teen Missions and God both think I can handle all of this, but “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13. We plan to train the team in January 2018 and hit the road in February. That may seem like a long way off, but considering all my office work stops while I lead a summer team, well, to me, it’s just around the corner. Please pray for me as I develop this, and pray for the team members we need to recruit to be able to do this.
In my last letter, I mentioned that I was leading the Japan team, but that sometimes things change. Well, technically I am still leading the same team – same team members, same type of project (teaching English and doing evangelism). However, due to unforeseen circumstances at our host location, our destination has changed to South Korea! It will be my first time there. We still need more leaders for our teams, so please pray for that. This will be my first time leading as a staff member, so it will be a bit different. Staff leaders don’t get to spend as much time with their teams during Boot Camp because they all have other duties as well. I’m not yet sure what other duties I will have, but I’m sure I’ll need an extra measure of prayer! Being here already keeps my summer expenses very low, so I am not doing any additional fundraising, I just need consistent monthly support. By the way, we can always use more volunteers at Boot Camp, so if any of you are available and interested, let me know and I will put you in touch with our volunteer coordinator. You will NOT have to stay in a tent! We provide food and (air conditioned) housing is available. We need lots of hands in the kitchen, teachers for construction and other classes, nurses, etc. I’m sure there’s a place for you! And there is still plenty of space on the teams for team members – do you have or know of any kids interested? We have age appropriate programs all the way down to age 4!
After the Summer
My team goes home August 4th and I will have two weeks to regroup and get organized at home and at my desk duties in the office. Then I will have three weeks of “deputation” from August 21st – September 8th. This is a time we are given to travel and visit our supporters and give presentations about Teen Missions and our role in the ministry. I need to start planning my time and travels, and schedule times and places to share, whether in a home or church setting. Please call me if you would like to host a gathering in your home, or if your church would like for me to come share. I may be able to make a circuit similar to when I traveled between Ohio and Florida for the summer. Even if you are not along that circuit, I may still be able to arrange to come. Just let me know as soon as possible if you are interested.
Thank you again to all those praying for and donating to my ministry! I couldn’t do it without you. My monthly support has come up some and one time gifts are filling the gap. God is good! I want for nothing.
Joyfully Serving Him,
239 Heavenly St
Merritt Island, FL 32953
– For my summer team to South Korea
– God’s direction and blessing on M.A.D. Mothers an American Awakening
– Spiritual growth, and being sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit
– To glorify God in all I do
– To be fully supported financially
– That all of my “team” (YOU!) is as blessed as I am!