Dear friends & family,
It is hard to believe that the summer is nearly upon us and by the time you receive this newsletter we will be in the home stretch of making preparations for our upcoming summer mission trips. Thanks so much for all of you who are praying and supporting us. We are very excited to give you a quick update on all that God has been doing in and through us over the last few months.
THANK YOU to each of you who pray for me (Ryan) as I travel. January was a very busy month for us as we represented Teen Missions Int’l (TMI) at two different mission conferences and traveled throughout the West Coast sharing at Christian Schools and Churches. Travels during this month took me up and down the I-5 corridor, from as far south as LA to as far north as Vancouver, BC. Speaking engagements have kept me busy at Christian schools, church services, and youth groups, as well as meeting with pastors to discuss strategic ways we can get their youth involved in missions.
AN UNEXPECTED TRIP
A very unexpected opportunity presented itself to us, as we were invited to partner with Real Battle Ministries (RBM) to represent Teen Missions at the annual Hawaiian Island Ministry Conference in Honolulu, HI. A very gracious and kind supporter of Teen Missions asked us (Erin and myself) to attend the conference and even paid for all the travel related expenses for us to do so. Dr. Doan, who was speaking at the conference, runs Real Battle Ministries. Real Battle Ministries is an organization that seeks to inform families on the mental, physical and spiritual costs of digital media overuse with suggestions for real life solutions. Dr. Doan and his wife have a very powerful testimony to share about the medical and spiritual effects that excessive internet gaming has had on their lives and have very graciously begun to promote Teen Missions as an “unplugged” alternative for students who may be struggling with digital overuse and abuse. Being at this conference was the first time that TMI has done an event with RBM and by all accounts it went very well. People were very responsive to the information that Dr. Doan shared and so far we have seen two students register for summer mission trips with Teen Missions as a result of this conference.
FAST FAMILY UPDATE:
Micah: Between Boy Scouts, soccer & youth group Micah has been a very busy middle-schooler.
Abby: It’s hard to believe that our little baby girl turned 8 this past year. Celebrating life with our very joyful and outgoing 2rd grader continues to be lots of fun. Most recently Abby and Ryan got to attend a “Daddy-Daughter” dinner with the local American Heritage Girls chapter that she is involved in. Good food, fun games, and fun prizes were had by all!
Zeke: He continues to be a very active 4 year-old. In a recent overnighter with “Grandma B” (Grandma Fast), he convinced her to let him take his dinosaurs for a swim. As Grandma was about to discover this involves taking a stool over to the kitchen sink for accessibility purposes, plugging up the sink, and then gathering all the various plastic dinosaurs from around the house and placing them in the sink. It is also very fun if bubbles get added into the mix. From initial submersion to tucking them all in bed for a nap at the end, Grandma B and Zeke had a great time!
PRAISE: MALAWI & MONGOLIA
After much prayer and generosity, we are excited to report that all the support has come in for Micah, Abby and Zeke to go on their various mission trips this summer! Micah is really looking forward to going to Malawi, Africa where he will be building a playground and planting trees for orphans there. Abby and Zeke will be going with us as we lead the TMI team to Mongolia where we will be running a Teen Missions Boot Camp and working at an orphanage and a youth center teaching English and doing various work projects.
MONGOLIA: HERE WE COME
Erin & I are thrilled to be leading the team to Mongolia this year. This will be our second trip to this country that holds a very dear place in our hearts. We have a team of 20 teenagers signed up to come and can’t wait to meet them all. If you’d like to keep up to speed with us throughout the summer go to https://www.teenmissions.org and look for the twice-a-week trip reports that will start being posted the week of June 17.
We praise God for all of you who pray for us and support us with your generous gifts. Having all of the money come in for the kids support has reminded us of how truly blessed we are to have all of you involved in our lives. Thank you so much for your thoughtful gifts and continued support.
1.As of the writing of this newsletter we are still in need of a female assistant leader for the team we are leading to Mongolia. Many other teams need additional leadership as well. If you are interested or able to meet this need please let us know.
2.Pray for Micah as he prepares to go to Malawi. Pray for God to continue to build up in him a burden for the lost and to mature him spiritually throughout this experience
Our hope is that through this newsletter we will convey to each of you, as our partners and co-laborers in Christ, what God is doing around the world in and through the lives of the teenagers that we work with. Our prayer is that each of you will be able to share in the joy we have in participating in God’s kingdom and seeing disciples being made. Thank you so much for supporting us and know that in Christ we love you all so very deeply!
The Fast Family,
Ryan, Erin, Micah, Abby & Zeke