Dear Friends and Family,
So, what have you missed since our last prayer letter? Lots of travel and moving our stuff from house to house—four times in five months to be exact. We left Australia on October 4th heading to the US headquarters in Florida. Rena helped in the kitchen cooking for staff and students while I worked on fixing roofs damaged from the last hurricane.
Then we headed off to Denver for a wonderful mission’s conference. We attended the Redeemer Temple 50th Celebration which was a great one to come home to. In the 50 years as a church, they have sent out over 70 missionaries, many of whom are still on the field. Each night during the conference four missionaries would share (man you get these missionary types talking, well, let’s just say they have a lot to offer) their faith building messages. It was a revival for all. I know Rena and I have been inspired into a deeper relationship with God. I saw the ripple effect this church has on the world and then shared that as my message. You can see it on YouTube
Next, I headed off on a very long flight to India and Myanmar. The work in Myanmar is growing; we have started work on the new office and school to train missionaries. Elwin, our staff, runs three Boot Camps, one of which was right after Christmas. Please pray for him and his wife. They have a lot of work to be completed. God has blessed them, and they have seen many salvations in parts of India and Myanmar where there is no other mission work going on. Also pray for our office in south east India. Our staff are struggling, I have met with the board and we are trying to come up with a solution. The nation is growing and the government is changing, and new laws are being enacted it is making it harder to run charities. This has led to some quick decisions with bad results.
That brings us up to November. I returned home from 30 hours of travel on Tuesday; then Rena and I hopped into a car on Wednesday to drive to Mississippi for a great redneck Thanksgiving. We joined Katie Rose and Brandon at his grandfather’s ranch. This is the first Thanksgiving we have had in 18 years where the turkey was actually a whole turkey and not a pizza. People came and went and came back; we played games and football, had some target practice and lots of food, which by the way was almost all gone before we went to bed. I think we know where we are going next year for Thanksgiving.
Then we were off to Rena’s dad’s place. It had been a while since we had been there. We were able to help him find someone who could get his house and garage re-roofed. We also found an easy chair that he can work well and get in and out of easily and were able to connect with family. We were hoping he would come and join us in FL, but he did not want to make the trip.
We celebrated Christmas in Florida with Katie Rose and Brandon who flew in from Texas. Michael and a sweet gal named Victoria flew in from Minnesota where he is going to school. It was great having a family Christmas for the first time in 18 years without running off to teach a class at Boot Camp. We even had a real live Christmas tree—man, it smelled great! Rena was in her realm cooking for the kids. I was hoping for snow in Florida, but had to be happy with temps in the 80’s.
Then in February we were both off to India and Indonesia. It was one of the harder trips that we have made over the years. Indonesia is moving forward, but they have had a lot of bumps in the road and they still have a few things to work through. Please pray for them and the new leadership team. Pray that the six schools that are spread throughout the nation stay united and continue to grow with staff and students. India still has a few hurdles to overcome. They need staff, funding, and leadership to be strengthened. We believe we have worked through some of the issues, but still need more time to complete the task. It is looking like I will be heading back, despite the very long journey. Rena and I had a day off and we did some sightseeing which we rarely do or even have time for. I have been going to India for 31 years and have never seen the Taj Mahal. Well, we finally did it. Man, that thing is beautiful! It is worth seeing, and now I know why everyone goes.
We are now back home and not slowing down, but we did finally move into a new place that we hope will be the last. We are helping to get ready for the MUD Run, Boot Camp and general fixing up of the USA headquarters. Rena is excited about her new job in running the Peanut program, our week-long Boot Camp for 6-9 year olds who learn some construction skills, but more importantly learn evangelism skills and do some local outreaches in the community. Then, we head back to Australia on June 17. From there we will travel throughout Asia training our Asian staff in our MSSM (Motorcycle Sunday School Missions) program. The program has been a huge success in Africa, and we believe it will have great success in Asia as well.
Thank you for your prayers and support.
- Travel and health
- For Rena with the Peanut Program
- The starting of the MSSM program in Asia
- Indonesia as they continue the transition in leadership
- India as we try and move forward
Mike & Rena
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