I hope you are surviving this winter without any problems and the Lord is blessing you every day. Well, I know the Lord is blessing you every day. There are so many blessings we take for granted throughout life and ALL of them come from the Lord!
We just finished a Spiritual Life Conference at Teen Missions. It was a great time of spiritual renewal. Do you ever just start to feel like your life is monotonous and begin to wonder if what you are doing is really worthwhile? Sometimes, even though we get to do some pretty amazing things at Teen Missions, we start to think our normal work day isn’t really doing much to spread the Gospel. We are wrong, of course, but sometimes its hard not to feel that someone else gets to do the “front line” stuff and we are just doing mundane office work that doesn’t really matter. We have been reminded several times lately that what we do really does matter because it is what keeps the Teen Missions work around the world going.
Anyway, back to the Spiritual Life Conference – I guess my point is that we all get weary and need rejuvenated. Our speaker was Dr. Carter from the Creation Museum in southern Ohio. They are the organization that just finished building a life size replica of Noah’s ark. I haven’t had the chance to see it yet, but it sounds incredible. I have always found the creation/evolution debate interesting and so I get pretty excited when science can back up what I already know to be true from the Bible. He gave us a ton of scientific facts that make so much sense. I wish I could remember them all, but needless to say, I truly enjoyed his messages. We had other speakers, teachers and activities and it was just a very rewarding and inspiring week.
So, at Teen Missions, we are gearing up for the 2018 AIDS Orphans Mud Run which is our main fundraiser each year for our orphan rescue units overseas. We are also, of course, beginning to think about what needs to be done before Boot Camp gets here, which will be here before we know it. Please pray for the preparations – for safety and wisdom and strength.
As most of you know, Teen Missions has three life size replicas of the Old Testament tabernacle. Two of them travel around the U.S. We set them up in May and take them down in October. This year one will be hosted by Jericho Hills Camp in southern Iowa, so if you get a chance to take a drive down, you should really go and take a tour. It is very interesting and I know you would enjoy seeing it.
In the MSSM Department, we are always busy writing reports to our Sunday School sponsors and in our spare time, we are getting items ready to be sent to our bases overseas with the summer teams. We have also been working to update the Teen Missions display room, which is actually two huge rooms full of pictures of the work we do overseas. I love when I get the opportunity to give someone a tour through these rooms, because I am very encouraged when I am reminded of all we are doing around the world. I am still doing a lot of auditing of the new financial system we are working to get instituted at all of our bases. I truly enjoy doing that even though it puts some huge demands on my time. It gives me great satisfaction knowing I am helping our staff in each country with that part of their ministry.
Another huge highlight for me is teaching our Bible School students. I am teaching the Grammar class and am truly loving it. They are pretty smart though and some of them probably know more about grammar than I do. All that means is that I’m learning some things right along with them, because they sometimes teach me, too.
I was able to spend Christmas with my two daughters and their families in Pennsylvania. That was such a blessing as I hadn’t seen them since the previous Christmas. I don’t think I’ve ever been apart from them for that long a period of time before, so it was amazing to spend some time with them. It was not good that my son couldn’t join us, but I hope to see him and his family soon. He is recovering nicely from his second hip replacement surgery and is back to work now.
My son-in-law, Justin, is recovering from a serious car accident he was in back in July while I was in Tanzania. His recovery has been remarkable, almost miraculous, but he still has a long way to go. His body has pretty much healed, but the severe brain injury will take a while longer. Please pray for his healing and for his family as this has all just put their family into a tailspin. They have had a lot of help from family and their church family, for which I am eternally grateful. It was very difficult not being able to be there when they needed help so badly, but it taught me that God has them in the palm of His hand and He provided people that were probably much better help than I would have been anyway. They have learned first hand how a church family should work supporting, helping and praying. God is so good!!! It was so good to see Justin & Emily and their sweet kids.
It was also great to see my oldest daughter and her family and spend Christmas with them. David is still pastor at Daybreak Community Church. I love visiting them and their church, and, of course, their five kids. I learned a few Snapchat tricks from my granddaughter. And I got to help my other granddaughter pick out a hamster (well, I didn’t really help, but I did get to go with her), which was one of her Christmas gifts. Oh how I love those grandkids!!!
Once again, I want to let you all know how much I appreciate your prayers and support. I wouldn’t get to do this without you. I am still a little short on support, but I am truly “floored” every month when my supporters help make it possible to continue on. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
God bless you all!!