Hello My Friends, Family and Supporters,
I hope and pray you are all doing well and basking in the many blessings from God every day!! I had an amazing summer in Tanzania and would love to share some of our experiences with you.
This summer was a little different at Teen Missions. We had Peanut (7-9 year olds) and Mustard Seed (4-6 year olds) Camps the week before the teens came. That meant we were in “Boot Camp Mode” earlier than usual. It made Boot Camp seem very long, but I enjoyed having a chance to see those two Boot Camps in action. It also meant that our Bible school students and staff were more available to help with the teen Boot Camp and since we need all the help we can get, it worked out great!
Along with two other leaders, I took 19 teenagers to Tanzania. Our base there is very near Mt. Kilimanjaro and so every clear day we could see it as we worked. It is amazing that the massive mountain completely disappears behind the clouds and you wouldn’t even know it was there. Our work project was to continue work on a new kitchen/dining hall for the Bible school there. It was slow going in the beginning because one corner of the building had to be repaired and leveled again, but we were able to get concrete poured and the block laying finished, so the building is now ready for trusses and the roof. Once that is finished, there will just be some small finishing jobs to do and the base will be able to use it. It will be a super helpful addition to the base there. Because our base in Tanzania is just getting established and has only a dorm/classroom/office building and a staff house, they really need a place to cook and serve meals for the students and staff. At the present time, meals are served outside and the student eat in their dorm rooms or the classroom, so this building will be a huge blessing.
After three weeks of working on the building, we traveled to the other side of Mt. Kilimanjaro near the Kenya border and pitched our tents at the Ngare Nairobi Lutheran Church. We spent a week there going door-to-door each morning to share the Gospel. While we were there, the team got to do their presentation at a couple of church services and they also got to play some football (soccer) most afternoons. It was a great week of ministry and fun and even though we couldn’t go backpacking in the mountains, we very much enjoyed the fellowship and the “hiking” around the mountain villages each morning. And even though we didn’t “measure up” as far as the game of soccer goes, the team truly enjoyed playing with the Tanzanians.
We arrived in Tanzania on July 4th and the team left to head home to Debrief on July 30th. I stayed an extra two weeks to help set up the new financial system and do some MSSM training. I really missed spending time at Debrief with the team, but enjoyed the extra time at the base. While there, the students harvested the sunflower seeds and maize. They work very hard and it helps the base with food for the rest of the year.
This was a difficult summer personally, because early in July, my sister passed away. She had been struggling with Crohn’s disease and COPD for a while. That same weekend, my son-in-law was in a bad car accident and was in a slight coma with a brain injury. In addition to that, he had a bruised lung, cracked ribs (in at least 26 places) and a lacerated spleen. He was in the hospital and a rehab center for several weeks and came home just a couple of days before I got home. He’s doing very well at home, but still deals with a lot of pain and memory loss. Also early in the month, my son had hip replacement surgery. This, of course, we knew about before the summer and he is doing very well and is now back to work. As difficult as it is to be so far away when these things happen back home, God is good and always gives the strength we need to get us through our difficulties. Our faith is always strengthened as we face hard times.
It has been a week now since Hurricane Irma ravaged the state of Florida. Our damage at TMI is minimal and I just lost a few shingles on my house. There is much more damage all around us. A tornado spawned by the hurricane hit my church and we lost the steeple and the front porch. Just across the street is a mobile home park for retirees and there was a lot of damage there. So much devastation and flooding both in Florida and Texas and now more storms are coming this way.
I am so glad that my God is never surprised by any of this and the One who keeps my heart calm and my body strong! He is still in control!!! This month I can’t help realizing more and more just how powerful God is and how small we are. Please, if you have never made the decision to accept His gift of salvation, do it now! Don’t wait till it’s too late! He loves you and He’s just waiting for you to come to Him!!
•For the lost all over the world. There is still so much work to do!
•For my family as they mourn the loss of my sister.
•For my kids as they recover from the accident and surgery.
•For me as I recover from some minor surgery on Sept. 5.
•Just before the summer, I lost some support, so please pray that God will lay it on someone’s heart to help make up the difference.
Thank you all so much for your faithful prayers and support. I am forever grateful to you for making it possible for me to be here at Teen Missions.