Dear Friends and Family,
The harvest is plenty but the laborers are few. What does that mean? It means that we have more work than workers and some changes need to be made to help with the growing needs. That seems to be the issue with many mission bases around the world, as well as Teen Missions. Because of that, some changes are happening one of which is with us. By the time you get this we will be back in the US taking on new roles within the ministry as well as keeping some old. This may be a surprise to some of you, but it has been in the making for some time. We just did not know when, what or how it was going to work, until the past few months. We only bought our airline tickets about two weeks
before we left on October 4th. The work in Australia is not totally closed-down, just down-sizing for now so we can help the different bases around the world including the US. Rena and I are looking forward to heading back to the US, but at the same time will miss our home in Australia. We are still considered Australian employees/staff and Lord willing will be heading back in June of 2018 to take care of a backlog of work. Now you might be asking what are we going to do, well that is a good question and most of that will be worked out when we are back on the base in the US. We will let you know as soon as we can. One of the jobs I know we will help with is cleaning the base up from Hurricane Irma. (I like playing with tractors and chainsaws) and some damage to buildings.
These past few months we have been on the road traveling mainly to Indonesia helping the new leadership staff and board candidates through a transition period. They are doing a great job considering all that is involved. Please pray for them as it is a hard task. It was a joy and honor watching the 130 Bible school students graduate and head off to their next adventure. We started off in Jakarta where Rena shared the opening message at the Tangerang school outside Jakarta. Then we flew off to the first graduating service that was held at Wonogiri in Central Java. The Chief of Police, the Head of Religious Affairs of Wonogiri and the Mayor spokesperson attended the service. Then off to Medan in north Sumatra
(the base is in the small jungle village and Medan is the closest city). I had the privilege to share the Commissioning message as well as a class on Post Modern issues that face the Church today. There were several professors from the area that spoke as well, it was very informative and I think I got more out of it than anyone. I wish we could take each and every one of you to see the great work God is doing in that nation. The staff, teachers, volunteers and students have a very high standard in education that would rival any school system in the world. It speaks volumes about each base coordinator, for which they give God the Glory!
As a last hurrah, we had a “Reunion of the Ages” and the last graduating class of our BMW program here. A hundred plus from all over Australia and New Zealand came to hear some good teaching, and even some fun and games. Some parents and their children who also went on teams compared war stories and testimonies of the impact this ministry has made over the past 30 years, of which Rena and I were a part of these past 17 years. The old photo albums were broken out and very old video tapes were played from days gone by. Man, we all looked younger then. The weekend was capped off with the last batch of students walking down the aisle with their diploma in their hands. It was a sad but joyous day. This last batch of students held on and finished the race. Thank you for your prayers.
Now back to us coming home. I will stay for a bit to get settled in before heading to India and maybe Myanmar. From October 30 to November 4, we hope to attend Redeemer Temple’s 50th anniversary with other missionaries from around the world. Then we will figure out what’s next. We are hoping to have Christmas in Merritt Island with our kids. It will be the first one as a family in 18 years. But as a backup, we may be in Texas depending on our kids getting time off from work, we still need to work that out. If we are not in Texas for Christmas we will try to make a mad dash to Texas and Southern Illinois between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Sorry guys, it is the only time we have.
– Need a car. This time to keep. (Thank you, Amy S, for letting us use your car last time)
– For my travel to India and Myanmar
– Rena’s Dad’s health
– Culture shock, we have been away for a long time it will take time to adjust to living and working in the US again
– Christmas arrangements, that somehow, we can all be together in FL or possibly TX
– Somehow fit deputation time in during the worst time of the year to raise support
Mike & Rena, Eph. 6:10-18