Dear Family and Friends,
As we start this new year, we want to praise God for His faithfulness to us. We are grateful for our support team, prayer partners, family and friends. 2018 was a difficult year for us in many ways, but a year of that grew us closer to the Lord. It was also a year of changes. As many of you know, Teen Missions is going through a time of transition and our new director is Richard Barber. Richard has been connected with Teen Missions for over 30 years. He and Gina were on staff and teams in the 80s, then moved back to Ohio. A few years ago, they joined staff again. We are thankful for the support of many during this time and ask for continued prayers for the staff and ministry. We are excited about what the Lord will continue to do through Teen Missions and are thankful to be a part of it.
2018 has been year of changes for our family. Jessie joined staff with YWAM in Tyler, TX. She is enjoying it greatly and is working in Administration doing visas for international students, daily updates their Instagram and is a dorm mom. She is learning the missionary life, trying to not spread herself too thin! There is so much to do. At this time, she is co-leading an outreach to the West Coast which includes ministry in Las Vegas, Idaho, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and then they will be in the Orlando area for a few weeks.
Brandon and Brooke are doing well in Lititz, PA. Brooke is working for the Esbenshade Garden Center family business and Brandon is doing commercial painting for a small company. He is a supervisor for some jobs and is learning the trade. They celebrated their first anniversary in November. They are leading a young adults group in their home on Wednesdays. Pray for continued growth in the Lord and guidance for future endeavors. We are looking forward to a visit from them sometime this spring!
We enjoyed spending the Christmas holidays in Pennsylvania. Brandon and Brooke live about 90 miles from the farm, so we were able to see them quite a bit. Jessie flew in from Texas for a week, so it was good to be together with the whole family. We were able to make homemade potato chips, butchered a pig, attend the Pennsylvania Farm Show and visit one-on-one with supporters. It is always a busy time, but also relaxing to be on the farm.
We are now back in the office getting things ready for the summer teams. There are Boot Camps running overseas during this time. We have a good number of volunteers here this year; people who want to serve the Lord and get out of the cold north! We also have two adult teams going out for two weeks in March (to Malawi) and May (to Zambia). If you would like more information, contact the office. We are also preparing for our Annual Mud Run again this year which is May 4.
Darin is looking forward to completing his Sophomore year. He is doing basketball now, and also started training for spring football. Pray for wisdom as to whether to go on a team, or continue training during the summer for fall football. We are thankful for his love for the Lord, as well as his witness and example to his friends. We know it is a few years away, but he would appreciate prayers as he seeks the Lord in what he should do after high school.
We are excited about returning to Thailand this summer. We took a team there in 2009 and will be returning to the same location, Ubon Ratchathani. We will be working with the House of Hope orphanage. They have two ministries and we will refurbish the bathrooms and put in a kitchen service window at the Ban Pak Ping Vocational Training Center which houses disadvantaged children and children whose parents have died from AIDS. It is mainly Buddhist in Thailand, but we hope to be able to share the Gospel with the people there. Begin to pray with us for the team members and leaders as they raise their support and prepare spiritually and physically for the summer ministry.
Spring also brings us a number of visitors each year! We have friends and family from Pennsylvania coming as well as Shawna’s twin brother and sister-in-law from Winnipeg, Manitoba. If you are coming to Florida, please drop in and see us. We would love to spend some time with you and share what the Lord is doing.
Thank you for your encouragement to us. We continue to be amazed at the Lord’s goodness to us. He DOES own the cattle on a thousand hills, so we shouldn’t be surprised at how He can bless us in so many ways! Thank you for being a part of what the Lord is doing.
Anthony, Shawna and Family