Dear Friends, Family and Former Team Members,
Well, another year is now behind us. All in all, it was a really good year, but not without some struggles. We did have a wonderful Christmas break with ALL kids home which was a big blessing. Thank you to all who sent cards, letters and gifts. All were such a blessing!
We were able to have BJ and Danae home during their fall breaks in October. BJ came home again a couple of weeks later for Thanksgiving. Danae spent Thanksgiving in Arizona visiting friends. Both came home for Christmas which was a blessing. After Christmas, we spent a few days in Georgia visiting my mom. My sister and niece were also visiting from Arizona, so this was the first time that mom had all the kids, grandkids and great-grandkids together. We all had a good time with lots of laughter and food! We were also able to visit a couple of supporters which was enjoyable.
Lindsay has now moved back to the Orlando area and she is working for a non-profit in foster care. The company is paying for her to get her license in Florida and she is hoping to eventually work with adoptions. Since foster care is privatized in Florida, there is not as much stress in working with the families. It is good to have her closer and see her more often. Please pray for wisdom as she works with foster parents and foster kids.
Colton is not taking any classes this semester, but is planning on enrolling at the University of Central Florida in the fall, majoring in film. He is still working part-time at Sabarros, but is also working full-time on a day-trip boat where he is cooking. We see him periodically (when he is hungry or needs his laundry done) and he never ceases to make us laugh! Please pray for his future decisions—school, work, etc.
Danae is still enjoying Wheaton College, but still does not like the cold weather. She has been accepted to do a semester with “Wheaton in Chicago” in the fall where she will live in Chicago, intern with a local agency and take classes at night. The time commitment does not allow her to have an outside job (she will not be working on campus of course), but we are confident that the Lord will supply her every need (including her daily coffee).☺ It is hard to believe that she will be a senior next year. Please pray that the Lord will give her wisdom as to what she is to do this summer (internship, work or lead a team) and for increased financial aid next year.
BJ is still at Bryan. He struggled with prioritizing his time (fun/sports/studies) and his grades suffered. He is more motivated this semester and will hopefully improve his GPA. He did get an A in his engineering class!☺ He is not sure whether or not he will be going to Bryan next year. Please pray for wisdom in his decision making and for a good financial aid package for wherever he goes to school. Please pray that he will focus on his studies.
We are now back to “empty nesting” which we find it having both positive and negative aspects. We really miss the kids and the laughter, but it sure is nice to not have to restock the food and toilet paper so often and meal planning is so much easier (popcorn tonight?). And the house stays much cleaner!
There have been several changes here at Teen Missions and we are excited for the future. We have a new director, Richard Barber. He is a former pastor and business owner who was on staff (with his wife, Gina) in the 80’s and came back about five years ago. We are implementing some positive changes, but remaining true to our core values. Some staff have changed jobs, but Paul and I are remaining in the US/Canada Teams office. We all know that change can be difficult, but for the most part, this is proving to not be the case. Please pray for wisdom, love and grace for all of us in this transition period.
The registrations for the summer of 2019 are coming in. The Fiji team is already full and there are a few that are close to being full. Once again, this is our summer to stay home and run the office. Paul is staying busy with finalizing all the travel arrangements, corresponding with the missionaries, placing leaders and answering phone calls and emails from curious parents. I continue to enter the registrations of all the team members, leaders and volunteers. I will also be working on what teams need visas and the requirements for that along with getting water filters for the teams that need them. This fall I was able to expand the Bible study on James (that we started last year) and that was a very enjoyable project. Once it is through the proofing process, I will work on a workbook for the team members. We now go through a book of the Bible, verse by verse, during our daily Bible study times with the team members instead of topical Bible studies or Bible marking. There was many positive comments concerning this change that we implemented this past summer. Please pray for us as we embark on the busy spring season here at the office. We need wisdom, love and grace as we deal with the phone calls and emails from parents and team members.
Thank you so much for your prayers and support of us in this ministry. We don’t take your sacrifices lightly and we are so grateful that because of you, we are able to serve in this ministry that we dearly love. If there is anything that we can pray about for you, please let us know.
Paul, Beth, Colton, Danae and BJ Kostner